Retail-ready packaging (RRP) has come a long way from its origins as a humble corrugated tray and is now an extension of the primary packaging, carrying branding and slogans.

"RRP should be seen as part of the marketing mix and as such needs to be considered at the same time as the primary packaging," says Smurfit Kappa NAM Tim Oakley. Good RRP sells products, he says. When Smurfit Kappa produced a PoS display for Happy Eggs in Somerfield, for instance, sales increased 2,000% in the month the displays were used.

The colour and styles used across the primary packaging and the RRP need to work together on-shelf, he adds. "By spending a little more on RRP, using coated paper and varnishes, you can more closely replicate the primary material."

Brands are also increasingly thinking about what the RRP will look like as it starts to empty, says Oakley. "Initially, we saw a move from brown liners to white, and now we're being asked to have a colour wash inside, but you can take it further and have the brand logo repeating inside or calls to actions, such as 'this is where the crème eggs were, fill me up'."

And it's not just expensive products that are getting high-quality RRP. The discounters are using premium RRP to drive up consumers' perceptions of product quality, says CRP sales and marketing director Dev Brahmachari, as they don't have big brands as signposts. "The discounters are using litho, die-cut RRP you wouldn't see in the big four," says Brahmachari.

"I think we're going to see full premiumisation of RRP," he adds. "All of the graphic effects used on primary packaging will carry through to secondary, such as foiling and varnishes."

Focus On Packaging