Just like the high-end frocks of this past month’s New York Fashion Week, across the country new packaging is strutting down their own catwalks: grocery store shelves. It may be hummus instead of Hermes, but the new designs are just as riveting to those in the industry.
After time spent listening to consumers and retailers, brands including Ithaca Cold Crafted, One Degree and Hippeas all have launched refreshed designs to help them stand out in crowded categories.
Here are a few examples that caught our attention.
Ithaca Hummus Becomes Ithaca Cold Crafted
Along with a name change from Ithaca Hummus to Ithaca Cold Crafted, the hummus brand has embraced new packaging.
The switch from a traditional, circular hummus tub to that of a square container allows the brand to highlight its new branding and logo. Founder Chris Kirby told NOSH that the container swap provides more room to “speak” to the consumer while also differentiating the product on shelf.
“Across the category, all the other companies are using these squatty, not very tall packages. Sabra put a red lid on their hummus 15 years ago so they would have some visual identity from the side and since then everyone has kind of followed suit,” Kirby said. “We wanted to take a different approach to solving that problem of how are we going to brand this from the top and the side…With a label like this you can get maximum coverage.”
The changes aren’t just surface level, Ithaca’s new name reflects a new processing technique as well. Previously, the company used cold pressed juices to flavor it’s hummus. While Ithaca still uses these juices, the brand is now using high pressure processing (HPP) on its hummus in order to maintain freshness while still keeping a short, clean ingredient list and the nutritional benefits of its ingredients.
Using HPP gives the product a longer shelf life, which Kirby said will allow the brand to eventually expand its distribution. As the company continues to expand, plans may also include looking to other types of dips — something that wouldn’t have fit under the company’s previous moniker. All future product innovations will likely be in categories where Ithaca can provide a fresher, cleaner alternative, Kirby said.
It seems consumers are responding well to the new look, which is sold in 200 stores. In the first week since the rebrand, Kirby told NOSH he’s already seeing sales double in some retailersBaking Brand Embraces the “But”
Cherryvale Farms, makers of the “Everything But the…” baking mixes, has refreshed its look to focus on an attribute the company has found strongly resonates with consumers: plant-based ingredients.
The new packaging calls out the line’s “100 percent plant based ingredients” and, for those products that require it, also encourages consumers to consider using vegan butter. Cherryvale already strongly tied it’s brand to plant-based diets, with the majority of it’s products requiring consumers to also add a fruit or vegetable, such as bananas or corn, or nuts.
“Consumers love our baking mixes because they taste great and because they provide an easy and convenient way to bake with their kids and for their families” Cherryvale Farms founder and CEO Lindsey Rosenberg said in a statement. “However, we are seeing increased marketplace focus on and demand for plant-based eating and as a leader in the category we are pleased to provide more prominent messaging around our commitment to 100 percent plant-based products.”One Degree Ups the Focus on Transparency
Grain-centric brand One Degree Organic Foods is changing its packaging in an effort to better convey its story to consumers. The new look sports a clean, white background and prominent shots of the grains and flours that go into each product.
One Degree’s new packaging calls out that all ingredients are from “farmers we know” and contains a QR code that consumers can use to learn more about the farmers who were involved in the item’s production. All products are also tested for glyphosate, a widely used herbicide that still may be found in non-GMO crops due to drift.
It’s a move that founder Stan Smith hopes will reassure consumers about the quality of One Degree’s products and the commitment the brand has to bringing a “farm to table” concept to center store.
“There should never be more than one degree of separation between the farm and the consumer,” Smith said in a statement. “We believe that everyone deserves traceability in everything they eat, so our team visits every supplier and does its homework to ensure honest sourcing, a clean food supply, and a commitment to sustainability.”
The line — which consists of sprouted cereals, breads, hot cereals, and flours — also recently added tortillas and oats to round out its product portfolio.
Hippeas Conveys to Consumers What’s Inside
Just months after securing investment from Strand Equity Partners and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, chickpea puff brand Hippeas has embarked on a slight brand refresh.
The main change to the design is an image of the puffs inside — a helpful communication to consumers when dealing with a new category such as chickpea snacks. Also new on packaging is a color coded stripe corresponding to each flavor to make it clear the difference between SKUs.
“We’ve received a lot of love for our award-winning packaging so we didn’t feel the need to make wholesale changes,” Joe Serventi, Hippeas general manager, said in a statement. “Rather, we listened to both our consumers and retailers in making slight improvements. We felt these subtle changes – the new color block and puffs on the front – will make a big impact in both educating consumers and standing out on shelf.”
What’s inside the package was also not immune to adjustments. The company said it slightly reformulated its vegan white cheddar, sriracha, and barbecue SKUs in order to provide a bolder flavor experience.
RJ’s Responds to Retailer Requests
To better respond to consumer feedback and shrinking shelf space, RJ’s Licorice is refreshing its packaging and display formats.
After listening to consumer requests, the brand, which is imported and distributed by New Zealand Natural Goods, has switched its multi serve bag to be resealable, and call out product attributes such as free from artificial colors, nut-free and vegetarian. The line is also non-GMO certified.
For retailers, the bags are now in standup pouches that will allow the RJ’s to be sold on shelf or on pegboard displays that now take up half as much room and have less units per case.
“For years, we have had what we believe to be the best licorice on the market with an amazing taste and texture, and now we have a package that truly represents this quality,” Steve Muir, president of New Zealand Natural Goods, noted in a statement. “We know our loyal RJ’s consumers will love the new look and are excited about introducing the brand to a wider audience.”
The new look will rollout over the coming months and is expect to be completed for the holiday season.