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Aldi embarks on Little Journey

Discount retailer Aldi launches a line of baby care essentials with thoughtfully designed packaging graphics that can stand up to any major brand name offering.

For pouched pureé snacks, Equator depicted animals interacting with the fruits and vegetables found in the products.
For pouched pureé snacks, Equator depicted animals interacting with the fruits and vegetables found in the products.

With its new Little Journey line of 48 affordably priced baby essentials, Aldi has proven that packaging for private-label brands can be as attractive, compelling, and thoughtful as that of major brand-name products. Warm and welcoming, graphics for the Little Journey range use colors and illustrations that communicate trust, signify the pureness of the products’ ingredients, and look right at home in a nursery or playroom.

In spring 2015, Aldi reached out to its longtime partner, Equator Design, to help launch the brand, which includes newborn diapers, training pants, cleansing wipes, baby wash, formula, and organic snacks.

“Aldi tasked Equator with overseeing the launch of its new baby care range to include the naming, brand development, and packaging design for the full product portfolio,” says Jen Gaeto, Creative Director for Equator. “This involved a meticulous evaluation of the product information hierarchy to drive engagement coupled with well-conceived design work to ensure that buyers would find the right product instantly. We also wanted to produce something that was completely unique to Aldi that highlighted quality and accessibility at an affordable price.”

Although Aldi is a discount supermarket chain, Gaeto says there were no significant cost constraints on the project, noting that Aldi’s aim is always to deliver something special to shelf that is creative and has the consumer front of mind.

An inventory of competitive packaging in the category was also not necessary. “Being in an Aldi store, we didn’t have to contend with branded competitors, so we could work more freely on the design, making it unique to Aldi without having to consider the competition,” says Gaeto.

Predetermined were the package structures: bottles, boxes, pouches, bags, and canisters. So the design had to work across a range of formats, while providing brand cohesiveness.

Ultimately Equator settled on a brand architecture and design meant to express happiness and health. Explains Gaeto, the logo is simple, made to feel like a tag that might be sewn into baby clothes. Its natural color palette communicates softness and makes a good backdrop for the green used for the organic line and the teal color used for the core brand. For the non-food items, a handprint illustration within the logo adds an emotive touch; a leaf is used for the formula, snacks, and organic pureés.

Color and illustrations play an important role in differentiating between product tiers. For the formula products—there are six varieties in all—soft watercolor illustrations of animal moms and their babies adorn the packaging. “When conceiving designs for the formula, we knew it was important to showcase the love between parent and child while also showcasing quality,” says Gaeto. “The color coding matched the market strongly, and the illustrations were created to communicate this bond.”

For pouched pureé snacks, Equator depicted animals interacting with the fruits and vegetables found in the products. While all of the packs have a white background, they each incorporate hits of flavor color in the type. And for the snack items, including puffs, yogurt bites, and “Little Munchers,” Equator amped up the color palette and the energy of the animal illustrations to emphasize the light-heartedness of the product range.

The Little Journey brand was launched across all of Aldi’s stores in the U.S. in August 2016.

Says Nina Butchoko, Director of Corporate Buying for Aldi, “Equator took a seed of an idea and collaborated with Aldi to create something very special: Little Journey. From the creation of the name to the development of the essence of the brand, no detail was overlooked. The final watercolor-illustrated design tested very strongly with modern-day moms on numerous occasions. We are confident this will be a successful brand for Aldi.”

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