Case Study: Traeger Grills
When Traeger wanted to remove foam and plastic from their packaging, they turned to Billerud Managed Packaging for a revamped customer experience and scalable savings.
When it comes to pellet grilling, Traeger is the top of the line. They patented pellet grilling in the mid-1980s and created a subculture of barbecue purists that has grown for decades. Their heavy-duty grills are featured extensively in barbecue cook-offs and YouTube videos from meat-smoking enthusiasts around the world.
Ultimately, Traeger’s packaging did not match the innovation of its products so they sought to step up their packaging without hurting their bottom line.
To begin with, Traeger had little to no control over their packaging. Original Equipment Manufacturers sourced packaging that was inconsistent between factories, relied on foam, poly-bags and other low cost low quality materials to protect and contain the smaller components of the grills. Traeger wanted packaging that impressed customers as much as their product does, without sacrificing performance or driving up prices.
With underwhelming and inefficient packaging, they were paying up to double their packaging costs when selling through Amazon. To be compliant with Amazon’s strict policies, Traeger was forced to put their package inside a second box. As it was, their packaging was underwhelming to the customer and costly for the accounting department.
Traeger wanted a packaging solution that eliminated foam, reduced damage in transit, enhanced customer experience while lowering prices and remained Amazon compliant. These issues are what led them to reach out to the packaging experts at Billerud’s Managed Packaging division.
Traeger’s packaging presented some challenges and opportunities, especially related to the consumer experience. The grills were held in place by huge blocks of foam, with a mess of poly-bagged parts placed haphazardly into the barrel of the grill.
“There were not a lot of opportunities to improve freight density, but the packing was very chaotic and disorganized,'' says Matthew White, International Sales Executive at Managed Packaging in Portland, USA.
The Billerud Managed Packaging team began development on a packaging solution that matched the premium quality and user experience of Traeger grills.
In order to eliminate foam, enhance the customer experience, improve efficiencies in the supply chain and maintain Amazon compliance, Billerud turned to their packaging designers and engineers.
The Billerud design team utilized high performance materials to maximize the strength of the package for transit, and corrugated inserts replaced EPS foam to absorb the shocks and impact. Additionally, these corrugated inserts brought attractive design elements and ensure ergonomic flow throughout the supply chain.
The new packaging incorporated bottle holders for beverages to enjoy during assembly, delightful design features for better brand presentation and the interior of the box is printed with graphics, giving the packaging a second life as a playhouse for the kids . This new package design architecture proved effective, and is easily adaptable for application to multiple grill product lines and sizes.
Over the next months, Billerud conducted a battery of tests to ensure the packaging would meet the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) 1A, 3A, 3B and 6A standards, while maintaining target weights and aesthetic appeal.
The new packaging design was a resounding success. The corrugated materials and methodical design created an ideal packaging solution that achieved each of Traeger’s goals.
The new design had the following results:
- Over one year, approximately 156,000 pounds of non-biodegradable polymer have been transitioned to sustainable corrugated materials
- The new packaging passed the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) 1A, 3A, 3B and 6A Test Procedures
- The corrugated materials allowed designs and features that enhanced the customer experience
- The cost of packaging met Traeger’s target
- Traeger has expanded Billerud's packaging redesign to other grill lines in their portfolio
“Traeger has been able to leverage Billerud’s design expertise/experience to supplement our constrained resources as it relates to packaging engineering, which has proven very valuable in improving product design and overall product quality.” -Trevor Rametta, Director of Global Sourcing, Traeger.