USANA Health Sciences of Salt Lake City is a direct-sales company that offers vitamin and mineral supplements as well as products for low-glycemic weight loss, skin and hair care, and energy. To mark its 20th anniversary in 2012, the organization undertook a corporate rebranding project that included the design of a new brand logo and packaging, to refresh its outdated look and position USANA as a global company.
“We wanted a completely new approach,” explains John Cordova, Executive Director of Brand Management for USANA. “The previous packaging made our premium product seem very dated.”
According to Jon Jeffery, District Manager for Berlin Packaging—the organization responsible for the packaging project—USANA wanted the new design to convey “its wish to prolong life, unify mankind, and fight global hunger.”
To create the new identity, packaging, and visual language for its brand, USANA worked with Australian design firm Cato Partners. Cato’s vision centered around a spherical logo with white silhouettes of dynamic human forms against a background in shades of blue. The goal was to deboss this design onto a custom closure that would adorn all of USANA’s product containers.
Notes Jeffery, “The design resonated with USANA and its consumers, but there were manufacturing challenges.” To address these challenges, Berlin worked with its Studio One Eleven Design division, its Berlin Global Packaging Sourcing Team, and injection molder Mold-Rite Plastics to produce a custom closure in USANA’s tight time frame at a cost comparable with its existing packaging.
Dynamic new logo
USANA was founded in 1992 by microbiologist, immunologist, and pioneer in infectious disease diagnosis Dr. Myron Wentz, who, since the untimely death of his father at age 57, had dreamed of a world free from pain, suffering, and disease. Dr. Wentz founded USANA to provide people all over the world with the most advanced supplements science can produce. Because of his vision, USANA is dedicated to continuous product innovation, stringent manufacturing processes, ongoing scientific research, and the production of exceptional products.
The ‘one world’ logo designed by Cato was inspired by these ideas. Says Cordova, “When Ken Cato was asked about the new logo, his response was, ‘The key to USANA’s new identity comes from Dr. Wentz’ own words. In the development work, we found his words to be potent and absolutely relevant to the evolution of the overall concept. The idea of the USANA family as the healthiest family on earth, combined with the idea of a world free of disease, becomes evident when you see the trademark.’”
As mentioned, the primary brand logo presents active human figures against a background of several shades of blue. Variations of this symbol are then used with different colors for each of the brand’s “body benefit categories” in its Optimizer line, including Digestive Health, Total Body Health, Bone and Joint Health, Heart Health, Brain and Nerve Health, and others. For example, products in the Brain and Nerve Health category use a central silhouette of a human head, with a background of red; Bone and Joint health shows a figure running, with a background of grey blue. There is even a customized version for its Usanimals children’s vitamin product, which uses a white background and silhouettes of animals, including a monkey, an elephant, and a dolphin, in bright colors of magenta, orange, and green.
The central logo is repeated on the secondary cartons, printed with a glossy finish. For the primary container, Cato specified a white, straight-wall high-density polyethylene bottle with a custom polypropylene cap sitting flush to the container. The entire cap was designed to carry the debossed logo, with raised areas exhibiting a polished finish, and debossed areas having a matte finish.
In December 2011, USANA approached Berlin Packaging with the new package design—and with an extremely tight time line for finished, molded packaging. The supplements company wanted to have the new packages ready for use in June 2012, so that it could begin filling products in the new container for its August 2012 distributor convention.
As Jeffery relates, a modified stock container from Alpha Packaging was chosen for the container body. The closure, however, involved challenges relating to engineering a custom closure that could be produced at the required cycle time and at a reasonable cost within the time frame requested by USANA.
Keeping custom closure costs down
Berlin began work on the USANA closure project by engaging engineers in its Studio One Eleven Design group and its Berlin Global Packaging division to tweak the design to accommodate certain project restrictions. “We had to watch the pricing for new molds,” says Jeffery. “New molds on a closure can sometimes cost anywhere from $75,000 up to $250,000, depending on cavitation.”
Part of the solution involved designing horizontal lines on the side of the closure so that it would release properly from the mold during the injection-molding process. This allowed the part to be produced at industry-standard speeds. Cost was also reduced by keeping the depth of the closure to 0.05 in. “When you do that, you are able to create cores or cavities over an existing core. That keeps the mold cost down and enables you to have a custom-looking package,” says Jeffery.
Mold-Rite was selected as the closure manufacturer, as the company has its own tool-build capabilities in-house and specializes in what it calls modular mold design. Explains Troy Rinke, Vice President of Sales for Mold-Rite, “We have over 1,200 molds in-house. We build tools knowing that we can take a stock part and create a custom look by using existing manifold systems and cores, and just changing the cavity plate.
“For USANA, we built a completely new cavity plate, but we were able to use existing cores and manifold systems, which helped expedite the process and meet the time lines they were looking for to get them to market faster.”
Mold-Rite manufactured five cap sizes for USANA to match five container sizes, ranging from 75 to 400 cc, on a new KraussMaffei injection press—one of eight new presses in the 500- to 700-ton class installed by the company in the last two years. In all, Mold-Rite operates 85 injection presses, ranging from 100 tons to 750 tons, at its three manufacturing facilities.
Due to the fine-tuning of the design, as well as Mold-Rite’s in-house tool-build capabilities, Berlin was able to deliver closures to USANA by its requested deadline. “From the time we were given the sign off on the closures, which I believe was in mid-April, we were able to create these closures and get them out to USANA in approximately 10 to 12 weeks,” says Jeffrey. “This type of process for a new custom closure typically takes from 20 to 24 weeks. So we cut the time in half, which was crucial for this company.”
The final piece in the project was to ensure that the closures could run on USANA’s existing capping equipment. Because the company stayed with the same diameter closures and because the cap offered enough area for gripping, introduction of the new closure into USANA’s packaging line in Salt Lake City was virtually seamless. The only adjustment needed, according to Jeffery, was with the induction seal equipment. “Because of the peaks and valleys we had designed for the closure, the induction sealer did not apply heat evenly down through the top of the bottle. We just had to tweak the machine to make sure we had constant heat over the area so that it applied the induction seal properly. It was a minor challenge that was resolved quickly.”
Commenting on the project, USANA’s Cordova says, “There was some concern about mixing custom with stock, but we were very happy with the outcome. We also saved ourselves a lot of heartache by deciding not to change the circumference of the bottles.
“Overall, the response from our distributors has been very good. Customers are happy with the new look and have embraced the new identity.”
Adds Jeffery, “Everything just came together for this project; the team that was organized was well thought out. The people who came together made this happen. It was a culmination of several different entities, including USANA and their marketing team in Australia, three different divisions of Berlin, and Mold-Rite. The project came off flawlessly, it really did.”