Product packaging has an incredible impact on our daily lives. Our perceptions of products and the decisions to purchase them are influenced from the structural design to the graphic design used to communicate a compelling story about the product inside. Having spent over 30 years in the packaging industry, we love finding new and different packaging ideas that break the mold and deliver something new, maybe even chancy. Every other week we’ll be examining packaging that catches our eye and sharing our insights with you.
This week’s packaged FINDINGS: Nabisco EVEN THINNER Wheat Thins Limited Edition
I have found that one of the best ways to find new things on the store shelf is to do what I call “winging it” shopping – daring to go to the grocery store with a “list” tentatively noted in your head, having the flexibility to take your time and really observe, and having a shopping partner who is willing to join in the fun. In this case, I had six items to buy and yet I came home with a cart full of items that I remembered we really should have.
With this shopping method, be prepared to find new and different things. Why? Because you have the time to be disrupted and think about what is in front of you – the time to really stop and look.
Which is why I found it so amazing to be in the middle of the cracker aisle. I never buy crackers and I find the packaging in that segment to be overwhelmingly yellow – not a color I am inherently drawn to. I did remember that I was going to a party so crackers would come in handy. I was prepared to grab anything and then it hit me – right smack dab in the middle of the 67 flavor and style permutations of one brand of cracker – salted, sea salted, low salted, no salted, gluten, no gluten, rice, sweet potato, brown rice, seasoned, non seasoned, baked, non baked – and there it was – EVEN THINNER Wheat Thins!
In the middle of a sea of yellow, a cold blue, shiny, clean package. Not clean in the sense of hygiene, clean in the sense of devoid of excess decoration. A simple, straightforward, dark blue package that featured a profile shot of a wheat thin with the simple copy, EVEN THINNER. There was also diminished branding – a Nabisco logo and Wheat Thins logo half the size of the elements found in the standard Wheat Thins brand architecture – and then the simple statement, LIMITED EDITION. No excess embellishment, just a simple product shot.
Of all people, it was my husband who first said, “Now that is cool! “ And I wholeheartedly agreed. A standard size unconventional package that was actually the same size, closure and construction of all Wheat Thins packaging but with a sense of lightness and clarity that echoed this elegantly thin cracker on the face panel. The side panels followed suit with a simple, straightforward and elementary repetition of the face panels. The top panel was cleaner yet with the simple statement, EVEN THINNER, the only design and copy element repeating from the front and side panels along with a small Nabisco logo.
The back panel used simple copy points with unique individual identification of the product features, supporting high contrast, straightforward photography of the delightfully thin cracker tumbling through a dimensionless field of dark space. The simple, repetitive statement of EVEN THINNER and the Wheat Thins logo was all it took to deliver the call to action, “the next dimension in delicious – try it for yourself.”
Being the ONLY package in a field of yellow bland, one could not help but grab for the carton. The story was perfectly told. No gimmicks, no false promises, not a diet cracker – just the same great Wheat Thin product but thinner and crispier – that is it. From a packaging standpoint, this is a perfect example of the maxim, “Less is more” adopted by Mies van der Rohe to explain his approach to architectural design. This package has been reduced to only the most basic fundamental elements of communication – and it works.
Congratulations to the Wheat Thins EVEN THINNER design team. Whether the cracker is better or not I offer no judgment. I will eat a Wheat Thin any way it comes but the design and execution are well done and do the job. Taken in total, it was a highly impactful package in an overcrowded segment and it delivered. I did buy it and I will share it with my friends as a new find!
If you are looking for breakthrough packaging that is designed and produced to succeed, we invite you to check out our packaging design capabilities and click here or to contact us at 920-725-4848.