Phoenix Case Study: Califia Farms
By Joseph Seifts, Senior Research and Development Manager
Research and Development Department
Continuous innovation is crucial to business growth for new products, or any existing product line. Refreshing an established brand package is a careful process, because consumers have preconceived expectations. Anything new must add easily identifiable value, while maintaining the same consumer experience that brought the customer to the product in the first place.
At Phoenix, a holistic approach to product innovation and/or enhancement is possible for every aspect of a customer request. Recently, we worked with Califia Farms to develop a new dispensing closure for their 750-ml creamer package.
Customers already loved the delicious, premium almond creamer. Phoenix was tasked with improving the user experience and supporting a convenient, high-end product as it moved from a carton to the same style bottle as the other Califia products. The challenge for Phoenix was to focus on the ability to improve the amount of creamer dispensed, which was identified by Califia as a key “desired consumer benefit” that was lacking in the existing carton format.
The look of their new creamer bottles echoes their signature, award-winning carafe style silhouette. The refresh called for a revamp to the bottle design and a custom dispensing closure. The new closure solution Phoenix engineered and manufactured met the budget, survived the supply chain (made it through the filling and conveyance equipment) and is easy for the customer to use. All of these components were achieved through adherence to the four phases of the Phoenix design process:
- Plan: The customer’s feedback and market research are used to create a design brief that presents crucial aspects of the job.
- Develop: Potential new design solutions are reviewed; manufacturing feasibility is analyzed, and cost is examined before being presented to the customer for feedback.
- Study: Once a solution is approved by the customer, we measure how effective the solution is for the customer’s targets and explore if there are any additional opportunities for optimization before implementation.
- Act: The design is moved from concept to commercialization through a stage gate process to ensure quality control during each phase.
The new dispensing closure needed to improve the issue of dosing associated with less precise packaging formats. The design had to be easy to grip, open, and pour, giving the user enhanced control of their creamer-to-coffee ratio. We also had a budget target and product launch date that had to be met. Additionally, it was important to Califia that the new packaging made an impact on the shelf that allowed them to stand out among the other choices in the creamer category.
In collaboration with the Califia Farms marketing team, we created an innovative dispensing solution styled to fit seamlessly to their bottle. Working with our toolmaker and manufacturing operation early in the process, we found solutions to eliminate cost and shorten the timeline to launch. Goals around cost and timing were realized, and the customer was extremely pleased.
Creating new, exciting, memorable products is a demanding and unpredictable process. As with all good designs, customer requirements are kept top of mind throughout the innovation processes.
Phoenix provides a very high level of customer support which is considered a key pillar of the company’s core values. Califia Farms successfully relied on Phoenix research and product development experts to create a unique, customized solution that provides clear differentiation and enhances customer satisfaction.
Successfully innovative products are properly managed from concept to commercialization. The Phoenix Product Development Team delivers innovative customer solutions quickly and efficiently, with our logical approach to designing solutions.