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Romano’s Macaroni Grill boxed dinners – Packaging Analysis

In General Info,Observations & Insights,Packaging,Products on January 31, 2011 by BrandAndPackageTheProduct Tagged: , , , ,

Since this is my first posting dealing with packaging and aisle appearance, I’ll give  a quick explanation of my thought process. First of all, when it comes to placing a product on the store shelf, placement and packaging is everything! How many thousands of products never even SEE the shelf?!?! If your product is one of the lucky ones, you gotta make sure that you’re taking advantage of all the tools at your disposal. You need to be maintaining a good relationship with your retailers and making sure your product is selling well.  Those two things have a HUGE impact on your shelf space (relative eye level and shelf space usage) at the retailers which in turn helps your product sell or not. That is an incredibly brief explanation to an otherwise lengthy topic so if you still have questions, check out this site: Guide to Securing Shelf Space in a Competitive Market.

So, in my analyses, I take single products and compare their packaging and shelf presence at my local Wal-Mart Supercenter and Super Target. I have a number of questions that I ask myself about it and the questions that I feel I can offer insight on, I use here! Also, the pictures of the products on the shelves were taken by yours truly. So… here’s my first analysis for this blog. Enjoy and as always, if you have a comment or you worked on this product, please tell me and help me out! 🙂


Does it have billboard effect? (Billboard effect is created when packages are stacked next to each other and together form a miniature billboard.)
The Romano’s Macaroni Grill boxes create a great billboard effect. The top border, black center bar and the light color beneath help to blend the boxes together and create a visual display for the customer. The design is appealing but I don’t think it stands out as much as it could. It is placed in the same section as Pasta Roni and Hamburger Helper which have clear shelf space dominance. Their designs are more colorful and active. Romano’s Macaroni Grill needs to maintain the look and feel of the actual restaurant which is what makes competing in this product category difficult with competitors like those mentioned.
My Recommendation: This is where I think the most good could be done. Romano’s Macaroni Grill is obviously not selling as well as its competitors, which is obvious just by looking at the shelf space and shelf placement it gets. Competing on price would not make sense for this product’s position and relation to the brick-and-mortar restaurant, so that’s not an option. I think a stronger, more in-your-face design would go a long way. There is a lot of unused blank space on the front of the box. I think TGI Fridays’ frozen foods are a good example to look at. They incorporate the color red throughout the whole package. I think Romano’s Macaroni Grill could do the same with the top bar color (dark green would be a good choice). I think that the name Romano’s Macaroni Grill should be made larger and put at a 45° angle to help it stand out more from all the Pasta Ronis and Hamburger Helpers.

Explains benefit and reason to believe?
The key benefit and reason to believe are explained. There is great text on all sides of the box. It should be plenty convincing to anyone that stops to read what it has to say.

Any current promotion?
I did not see any current promotion.
My Recommendation: This would be a great opportunity to drive primary demand both for the store shelf product as well as the restaurant. There should be chances to win fully catered parties, free dinners at the restaurant, and coupons for free appetizers as well. There could be lots of chances to win which would mean people would really think they had a chance to at least get a free appetizer the next time they go to the restaurant.