“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” If I had a nickel for every time I have heard that phrase, I would be driving my dream car at the moment, something out of the Aston Martin advertisements. It is a lesson that is preached to us from a young age, a certain moral to live by as we go through life. However, as we grow up, this message begins to be molded by the outside world. Instead of seeking out what is on the inside, we tend to perceive the visual stimulations, whether it is of people or things. Because of this, marketing tactics focus almost solely on this behavior, looking to appeal to the eye. If we don’t immediately find ourselves drawn to something, we won’t even give it the time of day. Beverage companies have caught on, and are starting to zero in on consumers. Before, we would stick with the brands that we recognize. Not to say that this still isn’t the case, but something that stands out has more of a probability of us giving it a shot. For instance, I am not a huge soda drinker. In fact, I stick to water at least 98% of the time, with the other 2% being caffeinated beverages to add a laser to my focus. However, if I see one of the new lines of Coke in the store with my name on it, I would purchase it solely for the bottle. (That would never happen because my name is unique; this renders me even MORE likely to buy a bottle if this discovery took place). My supervisor has one on her desk right now; she won’t even consume the liquid! It is a brilliant technique to use, and something that other brands should be looking to exploit.

Aside from this, customers are also behaving in consistency with the “green” initiative. This trend has spread itself to diets and is also making its way to the realm of consumer awareness. It’s as if we feel bad for not recycling; therefore, packages that are more environmentally friendly have begun to hold an advantage. According to a study by the Can Manufacturers Institute, 97% of a sample of food managers and executives at food and beverage retail companies deem that “consumers are driving demand for sustainable, earth-friendly packaging… 98% believe that demand will continue to rise through next year” (Lewis, 2014). In order to stay relevant, organizations need to be sure that their packaging can be properly disposed of by the consumer (or even reusable). If not, they risk falling behind the rest of the market.

There seems to be a common theme when it comes to convenience stores and retailers; there are always trends among consumers, and the key to keeping up or getting ahead is paying attention to them and even trying to anticipate the next line of behavior. In this case, the pattern is something that we have seen a lot of; sustainability. We have seen food/drink purchases go this route to be more diet friendly, and now we are witnessing the same thing in order to be environmentally aware. Brands will do well by following this common denominator, continuing to remain in touch with the needs/wants of the consumer, and anticipating their direction in the near future.

Source: Lewis, Abbey. “Judging the Beverage by its Package.” Convenience Store Products. 2014