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A fruitful package change

GoodBelly probiotic juice brand changes its carton graphics to emphasize the flavor appeal of its products, while paring down its probiotic message to appeal to mass-market consumers.

New design: Gluten Free
New design: Gluten Free

GoodBelly: The name says it all. But until recently, packaging for this line of probiotic-infused juices from Boulder-based NextFoods failed to deliver a clear message to consumers on-shelf. While the product, formerly sold in the health store channel only, was a standout in its jet-black gabletop carton, copy dominating the front panel that focused on the product’s probiotic benefits made it difficult for consumers to identify it as a juice. With GoodBelly’s imminent expansion into conventional supermarkets, NextFoods knew it needed to juice up the flavor appeal of the product to attract mass-market consumers.

“Shoppers who perused natural food stores had always responded positively to GoodBelly’s packaging, which conveyed it as a functional product that aids the digestive tract,” explains Kelly Reedy, CEO of advertising agency LRXD, which headed up the restaging of the brand. “However, this was ‘TMI’ for a product pitched to the masses. This information interfered with the other important message that the package needed to communicate—the product’s delicious flavor. It was crucial that the new design instantly convey the most important health benefits to fickle consumers without being too wordy.”

Involving more than just a small tweak to existing graphics, the redesign was a year in the making and relied heavily on consumer research, data-driven analysis, and focus groups. New package graphics introduced in early 2015 now emphasize flavor over functionality, while still conveying the probiotic message.

Consumers lay the groundwork

The GoodBelly probiotic line comes in two formats: a 1-qt gabletop carton for seven varieties of juice, and an 80-mL injection-molded polypropylene cup for four flavors of PlusShots. The product is non-GMO, soy-free, vegan, and kosher, and contains the Lactobacillus Plantarum 299v probiotic strain, which helps promote healthy digestion. Unlike many other probiotic products, GoodBelly is dairy-free, making it appealing to those who have difficulty processing lactose.

However, as Reedy explains, while conducting consumer research for the redesign, LRXD learned that for the majority of GoodBelly consumers, dairy is not an issue. “Research concluded that ninety percent of GoodBelly customers eat yogurt on a regular basis, so we didn’t need to focus solely on marketing the brand as an anti-dairy probiotic alternative for, say, vegans or the lactose intolerant,” Reedy says.

Research also indicated that despite on-pack imagery that included raw fruits and vegetables, and even a glass of juice, consumers couldn’t identify the product as a juice.

“Since this is one of the brand’s major points of differentiation—GoodBelly is America’s only juice-based probiotic product—we needed to change this perception,” Reedy explains.

After the feedback phase, LRXD reassigned the packaging’s visual hierarchy in a top-down approach that clearly communicated three key traits: the probiotic function, refreshment, and dairy-free formulation.

While the majority of package graphics, fonts, and verbiage were changed with the new package design, LRXD retained the black background, which had proven so eye-catching amidst the throng of other juice beverages on shelf, with their light and citrusy-colored cartons.

Form over function

Contributing to the consumer confusion with GoodBelly in the past, the main focus of the previous package was the GoodBelly Probiotics name prominently placed in the center of the package in white. Much smaller, on the bottom third of the carton was copy that read, “Juice drink for daily digestive health,” along with an image of a glass of juice and pictures of the fruit or vegetable ingredients for each particular variety.

For the new design, LRXD altered the principal photography to showcase larger, almost three-dimensional images of GoodBelly’s fruit combinations. “Small, static pictures of produce and juice glasses were swapped for cornucopias of fruits and vegetables that appear to burst off the boxes,” says Reedy. LRXD also enhanced the photography with “animated” hand-scrawled highlights, such as drops of juice and motion lines.

In addition, the hierarchy of the information and images was streamlined and simplified. Previously the word “Probiotics” got prime placement on the package in large, bold letters. This was replaced by the term “Probiotic Juice Drink,” which is easy to spot, but has been de-emphasized, with its placement in a colored text box that matches each flavor variety. A new tagline runs in small type above the Helvetica-type GoodBelly that reads, “Drink daily for healthy digestion.”

Also more prominent is the flavor descriptor in white, surrounded by a hand-drawn box that looks as though it has been sketched with chalk—creating the feel of a chalkboard menu at a juice bar. Small, “chalk-drawn” illustrations of the fruit ingredients sit at the edges of the box. At the bottom of the carton, Non-GMO, Soy & Dairy Free, and Vegan icons are also hand drawn.

Fruitful package change

Because the launch of the new package is so fresh, Reedy relates that sales stats are not yet available. However, he shares that consumer reaction has been unanimously positive. “And, at one major grocery retailer we’ve seen accelerated growth in the last four weeks vis a vis the last 12-, 24-, or 52-week period, indicating that we are on to something here.

“GoodBelly’s label has been pared down to a message that lives up to the name of the brand and clearly conveys the idea that wellness begins with a healthy belly.”

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