Packaging spotlight: 9 rebrands that provide respite to pandemic shopping fatigue

A kombucha rebrand for a national expansion, a touchless label, a certification showcase, a splash of color—rebrands big and small might be the perfect antidote for shoppers in search of inspiration.

People are bored, and we’re not the only ones who’ve noticed. After months of a run-in-run-out grocery store shopping mentality, or “reordering” with the click of a mouse, consumers are seeking a bit of adventure and something that will pique their interests, tempt their palates and bring a little excitement to the cooking-at-home doldrums.

Rebrands can be one way for an existing brand to add a little "zhuzh" to shoppers’ lives. Not only can rebranding make a product stand out on store shelves (or on a website, as the case may be) through the use of colors and graphics, rebrands are also key to conveying a brand’s mission and message—something that consumers increasingly care about. Rebrands can also provide brands with an added boost when launching a new format, unrolling a new strategy or trying to make waves with a new audience.

Rebrand case study: AquaViTea

JeffWeaberBrewery.jpegFor AquaViTea, its most recent rebrand represents several of these objectives, as well as a new, nationally facing chapter for a stalwart kombucha brand whose products have been well-known in the Northeast for more than a decade. This Vermont-based kombucha brand, which pioneered the use of self-serve kombucha fountains in grocery stores, has recently launched a refreshed look for both its classic, 16-ounce bottles, as well as the 12-ounce cans that are the focus of the brand’s national rollout.

Previously, says AquaViTea founder Jeff Weaber (right), the kombucha had been available in 14 states in bottles and 23 states in keg format. However, the new distribution strategy—carried out in partnership with sales and marketing agency Acosta—will focus on 12-ounce cans to expand the brand’s presence from approximately 3,500 locations across the Northeast to grocery stores nationwide. Among other things, the reduced size and weight of this format, says Weaber, have made it possible for the brand to come out with much better pricing for both the individual can and 4-pack formats.

In addition to a new format, AquaViTea’s rebrand is a reflection of its commitment to prioritizing alcohol transparency. Along with the USDA Organic seal, the new labels display a “Verified Alcohol Extracted” seal on the front panel, indicating that this “responsible kombucha” has been tested in house for compliance throughout the production process. Finally, fans of this brand will be happy to see its colorful designs take center stage with the new rebrand. Says Weaber, “We’ve always had homemade in our branding and the cans have now allowed us an opportunity to really explode that, to de-panelize things and bring the art front and center. The art is a mirror of the craft that we put behind the brand and everything we do.”

A rebrand for every purpose

Not all of the nine rebrands featured in the attached gallery serve such multi-tiered goals. In the case of Parma!, for example, the new—but not very different—look was created for the purpose of including a “touchless” QR code on the front of every bottle of its Original flavor, where consumers can use their smartphones to safely link to product information and ingredients. Other featured rebrands, such as those debuted by Zoup! and Nature’s Garden, serve to reinforce the products’ main ingredients. On the other hand, The Honest Stand’s rebrand emphasizes color, its plant-based attributes and its USDA Organic certification—touted right on the front label, just the way shoppers like it.  

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