Over the last two years, Pacific Foods, known for its broths, soups, stocks and plant-based milks, undertook an extensive process to understand how consumers define nourishment and how it could better bring to life its Nourish Every Body platform, Kevin Tisdale, vice president of marketing at Pacific Foods told FoodNavigator-USA.
“The brand’s positioning and platform around nourishment, which is a great metaphor for how we conduct business, is really at the heart of everything we do as an organization and brand,” and the company wanted to ensure that message was getting across to consumers, he explained.
“Obviously, the food is inherently nourishing and nutritious, but how we treat our employees, how we nourish the planet through sustainability and sustainable agriculture, how we nourish our community through our giving back to various groups,” such as the Oregon food bank and local schools, also is a big part of the company's Nourish Every Body platform, he said. “And we wanted to reflect that in the packaging.”
Working with Voicebox Creative, the company decided to use the side and back panels of its cartons to spell out these values, including how it sources ingredients and helps feed those in need. This is based on consumer feedback that shoppers are looking to support brands that share their values, Tisdale said.
The brand also attempted to make its products feel more accessible to consumers by revamping the front of the package with photography that shows the ingredients in an “authentic, real life setting” so that the food would “feel like something you would see on your own kitchen counter,” rather than in a studio, Tisdale said.
It also made key callouts, including the calorie count, protein content and dietary features, such as vegetarian and gluten-free, easier to read because most consumers don’t have time to hunt for the answers they need when making shopping decisions, he said.
And finally, Tisdale said, the company opted to add ‘Foods’ after its classic brand name ‘Pacific’ in the logo so that as it expands its portfolio and continues to grow consumers will understand that the company “is a food company first and foremost.”
Celebrating the old
At the same time that the outside packaging has changed, nothing inside has changed – a point that Tisdale says the company is stressing to consumers.
“We take pride in the ingredients we use and the way we approach our recipes, and trying to develop recipes that are like homemade, so we wanted to make sure that weren’t changing anything on the inside and signal that to the consumer,” he said.
One way the company is communicating this is by emphasizing its heritage as a nearly 30-year-old company, he said.
“Our philosophy and approach to making food and our core values have not changed and we have not waivered on that in 30 years. So, we think it is important that consumers know we are not just some new kid on the block trying to make it in the natural food industry, but there is some heritage there and we hold dearly our core values and live by them every day. We wanted to make sure that came through as well,” he said.
Pacific Foods wants to own bone broth ‘in a bigger way’
The design refreshed aligns with the launch of several new products, including a variety of products focused on bone broth, which Tisdale says Pacific Foods is “trying to really own … in a bigger way, a more holistic way.”
He recognized that competition for bone broth is heating up, but Pacific Foods wants to carve out a larger share of the market by expanding how and when consumers use the product.
“We know that people cook with it,” but “bone broth can be used in so many different ways,” including as a snack, pick-me-up or functional beverage designed to address “common pain points,” such as anxiety or inflammation, he said.
With the last use in mind, Tisdale said, the company is “looking at a line of 8-ounce sipping bone broths that contain chamomile and lavender, that can help calm you,” and “a bone broth with turmeric, ginger and black pepper, that will help with anti-inflammation.”
These products are positioned more as sipping broths, rather than ingredients, which consumers can reach for as a snack or as a replacement for their afternoon cup of coffee.
Recognizing that consumers sometimes want more than a snack, the brand also is using chicken bone broth as the base for a new line of five heartier soups in cartons that will be “really, highly nutritious products that are high in protein, hearty and filling.”
Finally, he said, the company also is adding a beef bone broth to its line of chicken and turkey bone broths.
Pacific Foods highlights key ingredients on front of plant-based beverage packs
Pacific Foods also hopes to expand its share of the fast-growing plant-based alternative dairy segment with the launch of an unsweetened hazelnut beverage, as well as new positioning for the entire line that highlights the products’ versatility.
The hazelnut beverage joins an already diverse line up that includes soy, hemp, rice, coconut and oat products. While the company already offers a chocolate and original hazelnut milk, the latest addition is unsweetened “to capitalize on the trend that consumers are looking to reduce sugar in their diet,” Tisdale said.
He added that unsweetened plant-based milks outsell sweetened varieties by a staggering two to one – prompting Pacific Foods to make unsweetened options a top priority.
As part of the rebranding, Pacific Foods is making a bold move to drop product shots of its plant-based milks on the front of the cartons – opting instead of photos of the key ingredients, such as oats or hemp, Tisdale said.
He explained that consumers in focus groups found photos of a glass of non-dairy milk to be limiting given that they don’t just drink the product, but they use it in recipes, coffee, smoothies and many other uses. Also, by showing the key ingredient, Pacific Foods makes it easier for consumers to quickly find the option they want.
For consumers who may be new to non-dairy alternatives, they can still see a photo of the product in a glass on the back of the package – a move that further expands’ the brands accessibility, Tisdale said.