The 8-pack long weekend promo

The recently promoted Molson Canadian 8-pack packaging is clearly a BC long weekend up sell. Or is it? Without a 6-pack in sight (likely strategically removed), I had no option but to buy 8 if I wanted something less than 12. Initially I was a little put off, suspecting it was a clever ploy to get consumers to actually buy more, and by default increase their net profit. But when I referenced the pricing later online I realized the 8-pack was sold for $11.99 and the 6-pack regularly sold for $12.99. It was a genuine more for less promotion.

While this was a pleasant surprise, and well played by Molson’s to boost overall sales in the ever so critical summer time beer sales window, the “get more at a lower price” is a relatively uncommon marketing tactic.

More common is a change in packaging that results in less product being sold at the same price as before, bundling that forces you to buy more, or a package that causes you to use more, thereby increasing frequency of purchase and overall sales. Some examples?

Granola bar boxes with 5 bars in them, that used to have 6. The package is the same size, the price is the same, but there is less product. The net result is increased sales due to more frequent purchase. A bottle redesign that holds 50ml less than before, sold at the same price, will achieve the same result. And I’m convinced that the act of squeezing a ketchup container, rather than willing the last bit from a glass bottle, actually causes you to use more than planned, usually resulting in waste. Forced waste equals increased sales with more frequent purchase.

The key learning here is to understand that there are many ways to boost profits with packaging. While the removal of the Molson Canadian 6-pack as a price comparison was a tactic to promote the sale of 8-packs, by not having a reference price posted, they did themselves a disservice. Getting more for less was cause for a genuine long weekend celebration!


Mary Charleson

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