Pennzoil, Quaker State Outline Packaging Changes


Pennzoil and Quaker State will roll out new packaging for their one-quart and multi-quart motor oil bottles starting Nov. 1.

According to an announcement, Pennzoil will switch to all-yellow bottles/jugs, while Quaker State will change to all-green bottles/jugs. Distribution will be stacked, with the rollout to the new packaging to retailers over the next few months and into 2017.

The current Pennzoil packaging uses a variety of colors, including black for Ultra Platinum full synthetic motor oil; silver for platinum full synthetic motor oil and high mileage full synthetic motor oil; gold for synthetic blend motor oil; brown for high mileage motor oil; and yellow for conventional motor oil. The current Quaker State packaging includes gold color bottles for full synthetic and synthetic blend motor oils, red for high mileage motor oil and green for Advanced Durability conventional motor oil.

For each of the two brands, the new bottles will also feature an improved heavy duty cap for easier opening, optimized ergonomics for easy pouring and handling, clear product tiering across the portfolio with color-coded caps and labels, and prominent placement of viscosity grades to aid in product selection.

The back labels all will have a product comparison chart to make it easy to select the right product for a vehicle.

The redesign of Pennzoil and Quaker State product packaging is intended to streamline the look of our entire portfolio of high-performing motor oils to reflect the advanced technology inside the package, said Doug Kooyman, global brand manager for Shell Lubricants Americas. As our packaging engineers worked to refine this transition, optimized ergonomics for easy pouring and handling was a top priority. This, in addition to creating a more unified look across both brands, leads to easy product selection for the consumer at the shelf.

Larry Solomon, president of automotive aftermarket consultancy Strategic Resources Inc., said the packaging color changes represent the two brands returning to their roots, adding that changes in lubricants packaging tend to be spread over time.

The equity for Pennzoil brand I see is in yellow, and the equity for Quaker State is in green, Solomon told Lube Report. I think this is their attempt to bring everything in line with their true equity. So I think this was a pretty good move – its pretty sharp.

With the bottles going to a uniform color for each brand, he suggested, owner Shell Lubricants may need to place more importance on distinguishing the tiers within each brand through advertising and through the information on each bottle. Theyre going to have to do some things to convince people that their higher-tier products are better than their lower-tier products, he said.

As an example, he noted that the Quaker State updated motor oil package labels do clearly differentiate through the use of label color – gold for full synthetic, silver for synthetic blend, red for high mileage conventional and black for conventional. Thats very good because that way theres clear definition in the Quaker State brand, Solomon noted.

The updated Pennzoil labels also make use of changes in color. For example, the updated high mileage conventional motor oil label will have a red background color, while the updated high mileage full synthetic packaging will feature the Pennzoil name in red letters.

George Morvey, industry manager for Kline & Co.s Energy Practice, agreed, saying he liked the look of the new package types and colors, especially Pennzoil going back to its roots with an all-yellow color bottle/jug.

Lube suppliers understand the importance of package design and unique shapes and materials, Morvey said. Retail lube sales for the most part is an un-aided decision and whatever a lube supplier can do to draw attention to its product offering against its shelf neighbor, it will do, he observed. That means bottle color, cap color, handle shape and location, among other design changes. Perhaps with packaged oil moving more towards a 5-quart jug that is often displayed off-the-shelf, lubricant suppliers may be more inclined to refresh their packaging types and color schemes more frequently to convince consumers to pick up brand A over brand B.

To view images of the new packaging, visit the Pennzoil web site and the Quaker State blog.

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Finished Lubricants    Packaging