Vermont Bread Co., a 30-year-old natural and organic bakery in Brattleboro, Vt., revisited its product packaging and decided it was time for a face lift.
“The packaging was too busy and the organic benefit was not displayed prominently,” says Beth Swanson, marketing manager for Vermont Bread Co.’s parent company, Charter Baking, Boulder, Colo. “The sales and marketing team, along with executive management, agreed it was time to update the packaging and give it a more modern look.”
The internal sales and marketing team worked collaboratively with Epicenter Creative, to come up with a new design. Charter Baking determined the features and benefits that needed to be conveyed to consumers and tweaked the designs with Epicenter’s help.
Charter’s marketing team decided the new packaging concept needed a clean, contemporary appearance that allowed consumers to easily identify Vermont Bread Co.’s various organic and natural breads.
They also found it was important that health information and claims be front and center on the new packaging design.
“We wanted to include the whole grain content per slice,” Swanson says. “That is impressive to customers because most of Vermont Bread Co.’s products are made with whole grains, so we decided to add a whole grain content banner to the front of the package. The grams of whole grains per serving were not displayed on the previous packages.”
The new design works synergistically with other Vermont Bread Co. labels to convey the message that its products are made with pure, simple ingredients that maximize health benefits and flavor, she says.
The planning team walked a delicate tightrope in the packaging design. Its goal was to create a unity across all of the bread varieties, making sure consumers recognize the Vermont Bread brand, while simultaneously differentiating each variety for consumer convenience.
They decided on a black and white rectangular image of an old mill, referencing Old-World style hearth breads, emblazoned on the center of every package. Vermont Bread Co. appears in rustic typeface, hanging like a shingle over the mill image. This simple, colorless logo appears on every variety of the company’s loaves, reinforcing brand awareness among consumers.
The team then bordered the central logo with color to differentiate the bread varieties. Each variety of bread, from organic wheat to natural rye, has its own specific packaging color. This helps consumers identify the variety, and the clean, color-coded design simplifies the decision making process for customers who will only need to look for the logo and a color corresponding to their favorite variety.
None of Vermont Bread Co.’s breads contain high-fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients or preservatives. On the all-natural bread varieties, the new packaging relates that information in eye-catching callouts. A yellow banner conveys the amount of whole grains per serving. Organic varieties will include all of these features, plus an additional banner.
“With a bright red banner, the new organic package clearly lets consumers know that they are buying organic bread,” Swanson says. “The USDA Organic seal is also clearly visible on the front of the package.”
Many bread packages let consumers know that the product is made with whole grains, but the Vermont Bread Co.’s labeling let consumers know how many grams of whole grains they are getting per serving. The marketing team at Charter Baking believes that this will help the product stand out. •