Grillo's Pickles On Why Its Packaging Refresh Is A Pretty Big Dill

Refrigerated pickles brand Grillo’s Pickles is known for its fresh ingredients and flavor, but  just as notorious for its packaging: a jar seemingly impossible to open without spilling pickle brine everywhere, as documented on any number of videos on TikTok or YouTube.

So when the brand announced last month it would be updating its infamous packaging to solve the problem, it was much more notable than your run-of-the-dill packaging refresh -- news that was widely celebrated by its fans. 

We caught up with the briney brand to discuss the packaging refresh.

This interview has been edited slightly for length and clarity.

CPG Insider: What led to the packaging revamp at this time and what went into developing the new packaging?

Vice President of Branding Eddie Andre: Ultimately, it was the consumer response to our old packaging that really made us want to figure out a solution. We’ve been talking about changing our packaging for nearly eight years, but to be honest, it’s not an easy task.

From hearing stories like using power tools to open lids, to [hearing about accidents] due to pickle juice spilling everywhere, we knew we had to revamp our packaging for a more seamless experience from start to finish.

We’ve looked at countless options and have done all types of different tests over the last eight years or so --  but when you‘re growing a business and dealing with the day-to-day challenges, it’s difficult to make a major change in the production process. We finally felt like we had the right processes in place to figure out a solution to our packaging and do it right the first time. So far we’re very happy with the result.

This new lid is very similar to other twist-top lids. The new lid will allow consumers to open and reseal with ease and prevent that signature Grillo’s splash when you open the jar. It's also a much better purchase process for consumers, as the jar will not leak during the shipping process, or on the ride home from the store.

We feel the combination of a new unique jar with a proven twist-off lid would be the best solution to improve the consumer experience.

We iterated on this until we felt we had the right solution for our fans. We didn’t want to incrementally get better, but rather implement a “step change” to “great,” which is why it took some time.

What was the strategy for announcing the news of the new revamped packaging?

We first started to tease the news of the new packaging across social media on April Fool’s Day to spark conversation among pickle lovers to see how they would react. Knowing many wouldn’t believe the announcement on April Fool's, we continued to post the new packaging on our social media to reiterate that this wasn't a drill, and we actually had a new jar coming out.

The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. A lot of “It’s about time!!” or “Thank god!” Some people have praised us for listening, while others state that they’ll “miss the splash of pickle juice that makes them smell like pickles.”

Maybe we’ll put out a pickle fragrance this year to appease those people, as well! In short -- this was the brand's biggest complaint, and we are thrilled to be able to give the people what they want without impacting the quality and taste of our product.

How did Grillo’s make the most of the marketing opportunity the announcement presented?

We knew that announcing a new jar would cause a lot of buzz and make a lot of people very happy, and we also wanted to have some fun with it. New branding, especially for household brands like us, can be a big deal.

We wanted to make sure the news was spread far and wide, but not by your typical billboard marketing. Which sparked us to create the very first pickle plunge in the shape of the new jar.  We hand-delivered these exclusive pickle plunges to influencers throughout the L.A. area, and the social media response has been insane.

(See above for sample of the giant jar).

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