Packaged FINDINGS: Solely’s strength in simplicity wins at shelf

Posted on Oct 21, 2020 by

Although I do a significant amount of shopping online, I still rely on finding new product gems at my local bricks and mortar grocery store. In fact, for me, seeking out great examples of new products or packaging is one of the primary reasons I still shop conventionally. That being said, I recently came across something fun at the store that I thought was worth sharing – Solely fruit jerky. In terms of structure, a single stick of fruit jerky, which is fully visible on the back of the package. Clearly, this is an on-the-go snack alternative to overly salted, sugared, and preserved jerky and fruit leather products.

The visual design graphics are the hero here, as clear-cut and direct messaging is quick and easy for the consumer to read and engage with. Color coding aligned with the type of fruit inside the wrapper supports the brand identity or visual identity system that flows uniformly between products – providing a very strong, unified system of cues to the consumer. The corporate name “Solely” leads all communication and immediately sets the impression of “oneness” in the product, supported by not only the copy referencing content (composed of one whole fruit) and a super graphic, almost posterized image of the fruit product contained inside.

If that wasn’t enough, a statement follows with a promise to never add sugar, preservatives, or concentrates, and additionally supported by another “one” image and reinforcing boldface copy: JUST ONE INGREDIENT. It may seem like a lot to cram into a small single-panel package but all this taken together, the brand succeeds in communicating a single concept very well – so much so it is hard to find a flaw in this approach. And, in spite of the almost repetitive reinforcement of the brand, there remains adequate white space to include the Non-GMO, USDA Organic, and 100% vegan icons for the content conscious consumer.

To me, it is rare to find such a very small package that communicates so well and so consistently. The design system harkens back to the old communication principle of, “tell them what you are going to say, tell them what you are saying and tell them what you have said”. In this case, the variable that changes out package to package is not only the product content and composition but the color palette used to communicate that change out as well. All in all, this works very well with a few exceptions. For example, the color palette used on the banana package. It is a yellow-based package (visual recall to a healthy banana) but the colors do not provide enough visual contrast to each other to make the package as immediately legible as on the other packages.

Finally, in addition to a strong visual design system, the packaging is supported by a freestanding display, which continues to reinforce the same hierarchy of brand messaging, creating a very tight and consistent presentation to the consumer. In the crowded retail environment where competition for attention is at its maximum, this display provides a clean and direct presentation of packaging that would be lost if the products were displayed on j-hooks as single packages. From the front to the back of the packaging through the display, this is an extremely well-thought-out and consistent presentation of a brand image. When a product this small is able to catch and hold your attention, it definitely wins.


If you are thinking of creating a new package or adding new products to your mix and need help with the structure, graphic design, and marketing that will ensure your product’s success, we would love to start a conversation with you. Contact us at 920-886-7727 or

The purpose of our “findings” blog is to spotlight packaging that displays thinking that breaks the mold and delivers something new or chancy – or at the very least, highlights packaging that catches your eye in the retail environment.