I always enjoy snooping around the grocery store during the holiday season and finding special seasonal packaging. Browsing in the produce section, I came across La Bonne Vie spreadable cheeses, which I am sure would complement any holiday festivity. Loosely translated as “the good life” (confirmed by translations provided for same, positioned at the bottom of the panel), the product line consisted of soft spreadable cheeses in regular, garlic and horseradish as well as a small wheel of Brie.
What was intriguing to me was 1) the segment of the store this was displayed in; and, 2) the visual impact the package design had standing out on shelf. First, what made me pay attention to the packaging was finding these products in the produce department – the only product of its kind – situated in and among the vegetables. Since our local store has a large cheese and imported meats case located in proximity to produce (where you might naturally look to find specialty cheeses), I never would have thought to find these “entertaining” cheeses displayed with produce.
I was also unfamiliar with this product line but as a true “Francophile”, the image of the Eiffel Tower caught my eye, reinforcing an impression of something French – which in association with fresh vegetables further implied something authentic that tastes good. So far everything about the design clicked and was driving toward a common purpose. I did, however, get a little lost with the sub name “Chanté” and how “song” related to the other design components (or for that fact to the product itself). I resolved that it was only my obsessive need to know “why” that was getting in my way. I didn’t need to understand.
The graphic design is simple in the sense of being uncluttered, executed with a facsimile of a classic art nouveau letter style and a primitive line illustration of the Eiffel Tower and its surroundings. In spite of the fact that only three styles of their product are available at our local store, the company offers a wide range of cheese products all packaged using the same consistent design grid, differentiated by the use of color, structure and flavor designations – making it fairly evident there are multiple options to choose from.
As per usual, nutrition and ingredient copy is situated on the back panel along with website information, and although small, the copy is still relatively legible. However, I recommend one modification. Unfortunately, as soon as you remove the container from the outer wrapper, you are left only with a brand name and a time/date stamp for product expiration. Once you open it, you have no idea of the flavor or the content/style of the product. It would be helpful to include some flavor/style communication on the container as well.
This is the classic chicken versus egg situation. Was this packaging effective on its own because of the impact of the graphic design or was it effective because it was positioned in a new and unique location in the store? I can’t answer that question but whoever drove these decisions did a smart thing. Effective package graphics should stand out and connect with the consumer wherever they exist but it is a double win when they can be positioned as the only product reaching out to and connecting with consumers before competitors have a chance.
Regardless of what you are developing packaging for, if you need help with the structure, design, and marketing that will ensure your product’s success, we invite you to start a conversation with us by contacting us at 920-886-7727 or [email protected]
The purpose of our “findings” blog is to spotlight packaging that displays thinking that breaks the mold and delivers something new or chancy – or at the very least, highlights packaging that catches your eye in the retail environment.