Natural Products Expo

Standing out on shelf: 3 brands explain their approach to new packaging

At Natural Products Expo West, brands debuted new packaging that incorporates bright colors, smart storytelling and new forms as points of differentiation.

More interested consumers. More investment money. More ways to sell. More competition.

These conditions set the stage for the countless rebrands and packaging updates we saw from natural brands at Expo West.

"What's really interesting is you're noticing a lot of brands actually elevate their design game, so you're seeing more investment in branding and strategic design," said Fred Hart, creative director and partner at design firm Interact. "There's so much acquisition going on, so much private equity, so much money floating around, and a lot of people are utilizing that to elevate the presentation for the amazing follow-though that's actually the product inside their packaging."

Hart lent his keen eye and design smarts to help scope out some of that noteworthy new packaging on the show floor. Here are three interesting stories we found.

Tea Drops debuted a new product line and a '70s-inspired rebrand that emphasizes function and ingredients and better tells the story of the mission-based women-owned brand. Founder Sashee Chandran talked with us about the inspiration and key elements.

To pop out in the frozen case, Grainful updated its look with bright colors and fun illustrations that convey the personality of the brand and its consumers. Marketing Manager Katie Long said the company also reformulated the blend of gluten-free grains in its frozen entrees and swapped out the tray inside with a bowl. 

Bou launched a product extension that makes use of its better-for-you bouillon cubes in a recyclable soup cup, complete with ancient grains, spices and eating utensils. Director of Sales Zach Bluemer walked us through the logic behind that move.

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