Not-So-Simple OJ

Okay, so I had seen the new Tropicana design on Brandweek. Didn’t think much of it. It all sounded good, modernize, right? Till today, I went grocery shopping. (I’m a single girl who rarely cooks… so I rarely shop for grocery, so pardon me if I’m a few weeks behind.) In any case, I went to the juice aisle, and there they are… the new packaging.

I was as surprised at how much I was surprised.

It just did not look right. Especially amongst all the other brands.

I would have enjoyed seeing the original research that supported this redesign. As I stood at the aisle, I tried to dissect why I could not connect with the packaging. I think it was because the packaging was too aspirational.

First, it moved too far away from the message. Tropicana had always heroed the orange. The move to hero the juice was a far move away from the brand’s image. Also, losing the straw from the orange actually lost a lot of the freshness message. It could have been any juice in that glass that was on the packaging.

Second, it was too pretty. Orange juice is simple. Orange juice is breakfast. Orange juice is family. Orange juice is drank from a simple juice glass, or straight from the box (don’t tell mom). Rarely would I drink it out of fancy juice stemware, if I was at home. And when I saw Trop50, all I could think of was mimosa. That has orange juice, yes, but I certainly don’t drink mimosa because it’s healthy. So while the packaging heroed the juice, it lost the juice at the same time. Ironic.

Third, it was hard to shop. Color-blocking is one of the simplest ways to help consumer identify their product from the line on shelf. The old packaging did this effectively, and the new packaging made it hard for consumers. This was especially true when you consider how the packaging actually sit on the shelf.

But, I am always conscious that sometimes my opinion is just my opinion. It was interesting to realize that it wasn’t, and Pepsi is bringing back the old packaging. In this NY times article, the flop was compared to the New Coke in how it allienated its own core consumers.

Of course, like many, I found the new orange shaped squeeze cap a very neat innovation. Too bad that one good did not overcome the many bad… (But in execution, I don’t think this cap went on every carton, which was unfortunate…) The good news is that they are keeping the cap.

Photo credit:
Shelf set

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