NYT: Tropicana Discovers Some Buyers Are Passionate About Packaging


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“The PepsiCo Americas Beverages division of PepsiCo is bowing to public demand and scrapping the changes made to a flagship product, Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice. Redesigned packaging that was introduced in early January is being discontinued, executives plan to announce on Monday, and the previous version will be brought back in the next month.”

What a disaster, though I think the reversal is clearly needed since the new packaging is virtually useless for shoppers. The root of this problem — and this is for a much longer blog post for another day — has less to do with PepsiCo than with the design and branding industry in general, I think. Not every client who thinks they need a redesign really needs a redesign.

  1. PErhaps their is something wrong with me then. I noticed this redesign the other day while grocery shopping, and the new look actually made me stop in my tracks and go pick it up and admire it.

    I loved simplistic design though.

    I’m not a HUGE fan of orange juice, but I almost bought it just because I was digging the redesign.

  2. I think people might be a little too quick to react to these kinds of things. I personally love the new Tropicana redesign. People are always going to be opposed to change. Especially when it comes to things they never identified a problem with.

    In my opinion I think Pepsi is focussing on the wrong product that is in need of rebranding change. The new Pepsi logo is a royal POS if you ask me.

  3. Rebranding is part of the Pepsi identity. Whether you like the new look or not, their “generation next” platform is all about staying current. In truth their designs tend to be about ten years behind the curve. I personally think that the new identity is a good move, but that’s a purely subjective discussion.

    Tropicana on the other hand, for better or worse, has a bit more legacy tied to its visual identity. The same is true with a few of the other PepsiCo brands that Arnell redesigned, such as Mountain Dew and Gatorade.

    There’s probably a bit more permission because of the young demographic of MD and Gatorade to push things further … but Tropicana is a rougher cookie. I’m guessing that moms are a big part of their target demo. Moms are looking to buy healthy food for the family – and orange juice is one of those staples. Whether you like the old packaging or not, it certainly has that “fresh wholesome goodness” look to it. And the huge jump with the new identity and packaging was clearly too much with this audience. An evolutionary approach seems more appropriate for this crowd with this type of product.

    I certainly have my quibbles with the packaging, but like the new identity and the European influence on the design. I’m really not surprised at the backlash – but I am disappointed that PepsiCo isn’t sticking to their guns.

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