The sign of value
The whole package
A KEY TO THE SUCCESS of a Kirkland Signature item is not
only what’s in the package, but the package itself.
Costco’s packaging graphics group is responsible for
the design and labeling of most Kirkland Signature products. “We’re not just about putting pretty pictures on a
package,” says art director Kevin Diegel. “Our number-one
goal is to communicate as quickly as possible what we’re
selling, the quality and the value.”
The group also must make sure that the look and feel
of the Kirkland Signature package—its form, design and
color—are consistent from product to product. Finally, the
package should look high-end and enticing.
How does a package achieve all this? Here’s a peek at
the creative process behind the redesigned Kirkland
Signature Whole Dried Blueberries package.
Teresa Noonan, Costco foods buyer, met with the packaging graphics department to brainstorm ideas. She wanted
the new package to look fresh and to “scream” blueberries.
First, the blueberries were professionally photographed. The goal, as with all Kirkland Signature food
items, was to make sure the photo represented exactly
what was in the package and looked appetizing.
Next came the design phase, where the talent, experience and creativity of the six designers make the difference. As in-house experts on Costco, they know what will
work in the warehouse and what look Costco members
are attracted to. They created 10 to 12 ideas.
Teresa then selected her favorite and worked with the
designers to achieve a look that everyone liked. Final approval
after the 12-week process came from the Kirkland Signature
committee, including Costco President and CEO Jim Sinegal.
“Packaging is the first sale,” says JoLynn Sanchez,
packaging graphics manager. “Once a member puts it in
their cart, it becomes a traveling billboard for the product,
for Kirkland Signature and for Costco. It’s still working in
the cart, in the parking lot and at home.”
The end result? The design team won an American In-House Design Award for their achievement in packaging
design. And sales of the product nearly doubled in the first
six months.—Shana McNally
ONE PLACE IN THE WAREHOUSES that features dozens of
Kirkland Signature products is the fresh foods deli. It offers a full
lineup of ready-to-go meals that were created by Costco’s research
and development department and represent a tremendous value.
A perfect example is the Kirkland Signature Chicken Caesar Salad
Wrap. In creating this meal, Costco’s food developers took two popular deli items—Caesar salad and chicken—and put them in a wrap.
Each package consists of two wraps, each weighing one pound.
They’re big enough to cut in half, making a light meal or picnic for
four for $7.79.
“It’s just a natural,” explains Shawn McEnerney, Costco
fresh foods buyer. “The chicken Caesar salad is one
of our most popular sellers. We just made a
wrap out of it.”
The wrap is one of several new on-the-go Kirkland Signature deli products
being rolled out in the spring and
summer. These items replace heavier
meals that are featured in the colder
months and require oven use.
“We’re bringing in more seasonal items, as people spend less
time in the kitchen,” Shawn says.
“The wrap is a perfect hand-held meal for today’s