“I wanted the packaging to scream fun and vibrancy and ‘choose me!’ and ‘pick me up! … I want it to be beautiful and be the kind of thing that people are happy popping in the purse or putting on their desk at work. I want to initiate a smile and I want people to feel good,” said Joy Bauer, who also is the company’s chief nutrition officer.
The jewel tones, polka-dots and swishy stripes that decorate the otherwise sparse front panel of the new bags of Nourish Snack’s granola bites certainly do this – and they stand in sharp contrast to many of the better-for-you options on store shelves that currently favor brown craft-paper or “clean” monochromatic designs.
The brand also reinforced joy as a top priority and marketing message by ditching the litany of free-from claims that are often couched as negatives and which crowd many competing better-for-you products, Bauer said.
“Sometimes, when we slap so much no, no, no on packages, it takes away from the fun” of snacking, which already is a significant hurdle for better-for-you options, she explained.
As a dietician, Bauer said that she knows “the power of a perfect diet and that everybody should aspire to follow a perfect diet,” but she adds, “in real life that is just not realistic. We crave certain foods. We love nostalgic favorites and we feel like it is a compromise or a sacrifice if we are stuck with kale chips or salad or beets. So, I wanted to create a realistic better-for-you snack platform that is the best of both worlds.”
Bauer also believes that consumers “are becoming much more savvy” and they don’t need all the free-from claims on the front of product packages anymore because they are flipping over the pack to read the Nutrition Facts on the back.
“I want my ingredients and my story to be the differentiator because I know that is a slam dunk. I have gone over every single ingredient that is going into each and every flavor. So, to me, there is no need to do a hard sell on the front,” she said.
In addition to dropping free-from claims and nutrient call-outs on the front of the package, Bauer also pulled back on the use of photograph so that there is only one small picture on the top of the front panel.
She explained that even though her photos are real, many consumers have wised-up to touched-up food photos on packages and they no longer trust pictures. As such, she didn’t want to give a photo too much real estate, she said.
Bauer also added a larger 4-ounce bag to the portfolio, rather than just sticking with the original single serve options the brand has traditionally favored.
“When we first started out I thought single-serve was the way to go because it reminded people this is what portion control was like and you couldn’t over eat. But I found out that consumers wanted an option. We still have single serve packages, but they were asking for larger packages with resealable tops that they could share with family or open and eat some, reseal and eat more later. People also were using them on top of ice cream and adding it to their cereal and doing all sorts of fun concoctions rather than just eating it as a single serve snack,” she said.
New ingredients and new products to complement the new look
When Nourish Snacks decided to revamp its packaging and streamline its offerings, it also cleaned up the ingredient deck of its granola bites to “be even better for you,” Bauer said.
“With our refresh, I was able to go back and make our granola bites even more delicious with even cleaner ingredients,” such as using fruit pectin as a binder, which also ensured that unlike other bite-sized snacks on the market Nourish products stay intact and “poppable,” she said.
Bauer also took the chance to add new flavors to the line so that consumers can now choose from a crunchy coconut vanilla, a chewy blueberry apple and three different options of chocolate – a chocolate banana, chocolate peanut butter and double chocolate.
“Why three chocolates? Because we are listening to consumers and consumers want more chocolate – and I couldn’t agree more,” Bauer said, laughing.
She also hinted that she has been busy in the kitchen creating new products, which are “a little bit top secret now,” but which will include a savory line.
“The new products will be rolling out pretty soon and the whole idea again is that every ingredient counts so that these products are not only delicious, but also satisfying,” she said.