Hot Diggity Dog! New Packaging for a Timeless Product Line

A Packaging Design Case Study  of McElveney & Palozzi by Salmon Creek Media & Marketing

Who they are:
For more than 130 years, Zweigle’s has been making great-tasting sausage, hot dogs, and specialty meat products based on their exclusive “Old World” family recipes. Today, as a fifth-generation, family owned business, the company continues to carry forward the legacy of quality and excellence that makes them a hometown favorite.

Their Rochester, New York, facility produces and distributes over 5 million items, including their famous white “pop-open” hots, throughout the East Coast across several categories—pop open, skinless, natural casing, knockwurst, Italian, chorizo, spinach & feta, gourmet, etc. Over the decades, they have developed a strong regional customer base and product line that is featured in the cases of many large “club” stores and high-end grocery chains, such as the rapidly growing grocery emporium, Wegmans.

The Challenge:
Zweigle’s packaging had not undergone any substantial design changes in a number of years. With their competitors incorporating new and updated designs, the company goal was to make sure that their products were not becoming visually lost in store cases. With that in mind, it was decided to modernize the packaging to increase the visual impact and grow market share. Zweigle’s was adamant that new packaging be consistent across the brand in addition to conveying the premium status of its products while at the same time differentiating the 15+ SKUs in the various offerings.

“Zweigle’s has a great following among its loyal customers,” said Steve Palozzi, Vice President and Creative Director at McElveney & Palozzi, the firm responsible for the redesign, “but it needed to start reaching out to a new generation of buyers. Our challenge was to make sure that the new Zweigle’s packaging ‘popped’ visually in the case while still retaining elements of its nostalgic brand value.”


Developing a Solution:
Working collaboratively with Zweigle’s, McElveney & Palozzi developed a design solution that is recognizable and memorable in the retail environment while continually leveraging the strengths of Zweigle’s current equity elements.

Printing plate costs were a major consideration in the final design solution. For versioning, all 4-color process elements are now in the exact same location for each SKU in a category—casings, skinless—and all typography changes are limited to this banner area. These changes translated into fewer plates used and reduced packaging product costs.

Originally, all the various SKUs featured varying package sizes. Those that were close in size were consolidated to further reduce confusion at the shelf and make production easier and more cost effective. The PDP real estate was also maximized to take advantage of the printer’s capabilities.

Print production was carefully discussed with the potential vendors prior to finalizing designs, and the final choice was Packall, a major supplier of flexible packaging to the food industry, with specialty in meat, cheese and sea food. The project was run on a stable polyester film using a Fischer press with a smart GPS system. This ensures the most accurate registration and quality.

“We created a design specifically for the Flexo process. Splitting the 4-color product photos from the other visual elements allowed Packall to focus on reproducing the best quality image while maintaining consistent brand colors in the logo and background,” explained Matthew Nowicki, Senior Art Director at McElveney & Palozzi. “The color consistency and repeatability from run to run is critical for us and our customer.”

“Additionally, we delivered digital production files that required very little intervention in pre-press,” Nowicki added. “This avoided additional expenses for Zweigle’s and needless delays or rework. The added benefit is that the original design intent is maintained throughout the process.”

Packall commented about the efficiency of the files stating, “These are the best we have seen in a long time.”


The Final Results
Updated, energized, and standardized, the printing of the new Zweigle’s packaging is repeatable and reproducible, all while controlling costs. And their iconic yellow, red, and black incorporated into the new design, along and with a new, consistent banner across all SKUs make Zweigle’s product stand out and create a “pop” in the meat case that is recognizable by loyal customers and is drawing in a new fan base.

About the Design Firm
For over 29 years, McElveney & Palozzi Design has been recognized by the packaging industry for their strategic competence and design excellence. They are an impassioned group of business strategists, creative problem solvers, visual explorers, and production specialists all focused on their clients’ goals. With expertise in consumer product brand building McElveney & Palozzi Design achieves results in identity development, package design, advertising design, print collateral and web/social media.

Contact Information:
Doug Reed – Director of New Business Development

McElveney & Palozzi Design Group
1255 University Avenue Suite 200
Rochester, New York 14607


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