Posts Tagged 'Product Packaging'

Heinz unveils new ketchup packet

Old Heinz ketchup packet vs. new Heinz ketchup packet

Old Heinz ketchup packet vs. new Heinz ketchup packet

Meet the new Heinz® ketchup easy-dip packet. Heinz® ketchup has undergone a redesign of the ever-so-convenient ketchup packet that has been a classic staple of fast-food eats for over 35 years. However, there have been many complaints about the product’s messiness. With this in mind, the H.J. Heinz Co. unveiled a new solution on Thursday, Feb. 4th, 2010. The product’s new packaging allows for easier dipping or squeezing, depending on the consumer’s preference. With more flexibility, it appears that the Heinz® company hopes that this will appeal more to a broader range of customers. According to an ABC news article,

Designers found that what worked at a table didn’t work where many people use ketchup packets: in the car. So two years ago, Heinz bought a used minivan for the design team members so they could give their ideas a real road test.

The team studied what each passenger needed. The driver wanted something that could sit on the armrest. Passengers wanted the choice of squeezing or dunking. Moms everywhere wanted a packet that held enough ketchup for the meal and didn’t squirt onto clothes so easily.

The original packets will still be available for traditional consumers. However, for those of you anxious to check out the new design, you can anticipate the new packets to hit the market at select fast-food locations throughout the nation in Fall of 2010.  To find out more information, read the press release, “Heinz® Ketchup ‘Uncaps’ New Decade with Revolutionary Product and Packaging Innovations” on the Heinz corporate website.

Thanks to Jacob Cass, @justcreative. for the lead.

Brand Facelifts in Pictures

Thanks to Forbes, they recently released a fabulous article: “Marketers Have Makeover Madness: Brands get bright new looks in dark times.” They’ve included before & after pictures of branding identities. One of the biggest trends I’m noticing is the use of more white space. If done tastefully, it can be very effective. Here are a few examples of products that have undergone a facelift:




Trix Cereal

Check out the changes in the full photo essay at

Check out this comprehensive photo compilation of more before & after logos of major national brands over at

Tropicana Orange Juice to Revert Back to Old Carton Design


GREAT news for the design world. After realizing the public uproar of defying its branding power with the new design, it appears that PepsiCo has announced the decision to revert back to the old carton design of Tropicana orange juice.

Read the New York Times article here.

Pepsi and Sierra Mist get new look


Here is another example of a company trying too hard to be modern and hip. The design agency that created this look clearly took direction from the PepsiCola company who probably told them to put a fresh spin on a dated company. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pepsi’s product. Just not loving the new product packaging. Fair enough, right?

I will say that I like the Pepsi can better than the Sierra Mist can and here’s why. The use of white space was executed well in the Pepsi design. However, the tree silhouette in the Sierra Mist design seems to have no relevance. Also don’t think that “mist” looks misty, if that is the effect it is intended to give.

What are your thoughts? Love or hate the new look?

Coffee Lids Revisited: McDonald’s

Photos Louise Harpman and Scott Specht.

Photos Louise Harpman and Scott Specht.

When I first blogged about the Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks Coffee Lids, I explained that I rate beverage product packaging based on the ability to function well while traveling. This morning, I took advantage of McDonald’s free medium cup of coffee special for the month of February (I would link to a reputable article about it, but it appears that the McDonalds’ marketing team decided to promote this deal purely through viral marketing).

After the McDonald’s employee handed me my coffee cup, I realized that the lid has no hole — that is, until I’m ready to puncture it to consume my coffee. While one consumer complained that the lid does not allow for safe slurping of hot beverages, I beg to differ. The lid does well in traveling safely without spilling coffee. My new rating for beverage product packaging, with #1 being the best, is:

1) Dunkin Donuts

2) McDonald’s

3) Starbucks

Judging from the comments and other blogs on the web, it seems like many people have an opinion about the design and functionality of coffee lids. Which one do you think is more important? Design or functionality?

For further reading, check out this article, Peel, Pucker, Pinch, Puncture.” A little outdated, but offers an extensive analysis of what should go into the engineering of lid design.

Dunkin Donuts & Starbucks Coffee Lid


On my way in to work this morning at 7:30AM this morning I stopped by Dunkin Donuts for a cup o’ joe. I ordered a large French Vanilla Coffee, which my coworker calls, “frufru coffee.” Meh. So be it. I paid for the coffee and I was on my way. Side note: if you know me or my commute, you’ll know that I park my car a good 15-minute walk away from the office. Therefore, it’s essential that I can travel well with liquids. Well, I’m happy to say that from the time that I left Dunkin Donuts to the time I plopped down in my chair at my desk, my coffee was spill-free.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I even bother to talk about my buck-fifty coffee. As a designer, I tend to be a little more observant when it comes to product packaging. When a company takes the time to engineer the product packaging well, it shows. Any good company will invest the time and money into observing consumer behavior. Dunkin Donuts did precisely this. They did an incredibly good job with designing their spill-proof lid. The lid comes with a standard pull-back tab that covers the mouth of the lid, which appeals to coffee drinkers on the go. In addition, you’ll notice in the photo above that there is a crevasse in the lid — almost in the shape of a racetrack. This acts as a drain basin for coffee that spills out of the air hole of the lid.  Ingenius. Because Dunkin Donuts invested the resources into creating a great package for their coffee, it traveled well, and won me over as a repeat customer.


I also give props to Starbucks for their attempt in product packaging. While their coffee lids do not have built-in pull-back tabs for the mouth of the lid, they offer a swizzle stick that has a snug fit in the mouth part of the cup.

Apparently I’m not the only one who has noticed this packaging. Check out Aram Squalls‘ article on “Dunkin Donuts coffee lid: innovation at the intersection of regulation and free markets” and see what the Starbucks Gossip blog has to say.

As good as these inventions might sound, there seems to be some backlash. Some consumers are angry that Starbucks has created more waste on our planet with their plastic swizzle stick. Do you think that this is something we should be concerned about?

Tropicana Orange Juice Has a New Design

UPDATE: It appears that Tropicana is reverting back to it’s original design.


Looks like Tropicana® has followed in the footsteps of Pepsi® and is sporting a new look. They’ve redesigned the packaging of their orange juice cartons. I’m not a fan as I think there is too much white space. I do give them props for the orange cap, which my coworker pointed out to me. What do you think?

Check it out at

Subliminal Messaging in Cascadian Farm Packaging

What an intriguing idea Cascadian Farm had. Thanks to bloggers like Bread & Honey, a secret in their packaging was discovered. If you notice underneath the Cascadian Farm text, you’ll see green grass and hills. Hidden in these hills are two faces!

See for yourself:

Cascadian Farm Jam

Cascadian Farm Jam Label

Two faces buried in the hills

Two faces buried in the hills

Now that the secret’s out, looks like the package redesign won’t include the faces anymore. Sad… I kinda liked it.

Broccoli packaging:

Broccoli Florets

Broccoli Florets

Broccoli florets up close with faces

Broccoli florets up close with faces

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