Trio of new sparkling teas from Tempo Tea reflects emerging less-is-more trend in package design

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Trio of new sparkling teas from Tempo Tea reflects emerging less-is-more trend in package design

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The fresh, pared-down look of Tempo Tea’s trio of recently launched sparkling teas in slim cans reflects the brand’s less-is-more approach to caffeine as well as a larger emerging trend in packaging design that maximizes white space and excises superfluous claims in favor of one or two easy-to-read key messages.

“Our original labels had a lot more information on them,”​ about what was and wasn’t in the bottle as well as a brief description of Tempo’s ​mission to provide beverages with ‘micro-doses’ ​of caffeine that help energize users without triggering the jitters or a crash, said company co-founder Ryan Crane.

But, he explained, the company decided to scale back the messaging on its bottle to only the most important information, based on feedback from consumers about what they most wanted to know, and the fact that most shoppers only look at labels for a few seconds before making a purchase decision.

“What we learned from talking to people was that there were only a few core point that they wanted to know upfront,”​ he said. “Obviously, people wanted to know up front that the beverage was bubbly. They wanted to know if it was sweet or unsweetened … and they wanted to know if it was caffeinated.”

He explained that the last point was particularly important to Tempo Tea, which prides itself on offering just the right amount of caffeine to help consumers get through the 2 pm slump. Based on the company’s research, the amount of caffeine needed is much less than most people realize – at about 45 mg – which is why the actual amount of caffeine in each beverage is listed “front and center”​ on the package, Crane said.

“You rarely see the milligrams of caffeine on packages, and for us that was our way of kind of starting the conversation around what is the optimal level of caffeine for people to consume, because that was the basis for this product to being with,”​ Crane said.

At the same time, co-founder Austin Gallagher added, the company didn’t want to crowd the label with long explanations of why the exact dose of caffeine was so important. So instead, he said, the brand added to the label a simple catch phrase – The right amount of energy. Set your own tempo.

Consumers who want to know the nitty-gritty about micro-dosing can learn more on the brand’s blog and through its social media channels, Gallagher said.

“We have also launched a pretty robust marketing campaign that is specifically tied to the concept of micro-dosing. So, if you Google Tempo or you go to our website or look at our social media page, you will see this interconnected web of content that is talking about the right amount of energy and how to break bad habits [around caffeine] at the office,”​ he explained.

The focus on caffeine content aside, many of the changes represent a larger emerging trend in packaging design, according to Crane.

“In general, you are seeing more and more of this packaging in beverage that is focused on a cleaner look, more whitespace, more modern and sleek,”​ Crane said.

New colors mirror new flavors

He also noted that there is a move towards brighter colors – like those that now appear on Tempo’s cans.

The bold jewel tones on Tempo’s cans not only help them standout on store shelves, but the duo says they represent the flavor combinations of its new line-up, which includes Sparkling Matcha with Raspberry and Lime, Sparkling Black Tea with Blood Orange and Ginseng, and Sparkling Rooibos Tea with Hibiscus and Strawberry.

“We created our packaging so we would stand out on shelves, but also to reflect the flavor profiles, which are vibrant,”​ Gallagher explained. For example, he said, “our rooibos tea, which has hibiscus and strawberries has this vibrant deep color with purple getting into pink – so it really feels like you are drinking a hibiscus and strawberry infused sparkling tea. Similarly, the Matcha can has a deep green color with raspberry and lime [colored] accents that will help the consumer more easily make sense of what is inside when they are making that split second decision at the shelf.”

Notably the new line-up includes a decaf option in the rooibos selection, which on the surface might seem counter to Tempo’s focus on micro-dosing and supplying small but sufficient amounts of caffeine. But the duo explained that the option was a top request from consumers who wanted something they could drink in the evening before bed or when they were trying to calm down.

From glass to cans

The new look and product launch also marks a move for Tempo to slim cans from the glass bottles it used for its original two flavors, which launched earlier last year and are still available through limited distribution in select brick and mortar stores.

The decision to launch the new flavors in cans was part logistical and part aesthetic.

In terms of logistics, the cans are significantly lighter and less expensive to ship – an important point as the company ramps up its ecommerce business with options to subscribe and save on orders delivered to consumers homes and offices.

On the aesthetics side, the Tempo team found that the tall slim cans, rather than the more standard stubby cans, resonated better with their target consumers who are ambitious, young professionals who want on-the-go products that they can carry proudly.

“The slim cans also have a healthy connotation to them, which also is right up our ally as well as that of our core consumer,”​ Crane added.

Finally, because the slim cans are not as prevalent as the stubby versions, the design helps the brand standout better in the competitive set.

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