Atkins’ new packaging highlights lifestyle instead of weight loss

By Kate Bertrand Connolly in Packaging Design on February 22, 2018

Atkins Nutritionals Inc., a leading player in the low-carb nutrition market, has launched a rebranding campaign in which packaging design plays an integral role. The company’s redesigned food packaging started rolling out in late December 2017, followed by an ad campaign featuring a new brand spokesperson: actor Rob Lowe.

The rebranding makes living a healthy lifestyle, rather than dieting, Atkins’ central message. Thus the new packaging design is food-centric, featuring mouthwatering photos of the products while retaining nutritional information.

“We redesigned all packages to focus on the delicious products and provide the information that consumers use to make decisions in an easy, readable graphic treatment,” says Linda Zink, svp of innovation at Atkins.

The company worked with the DuPuis Group to redesign the packaging, and its packaging suppliers have remained the same: All Packaging Co. for cartons; Printpack for film wrappers; Tetra Pak and WestRock for shake containers and the shakes’ paperboard outer wrap, respectively; and PaperWorks Industries for corrugated board.

Zink answers some additional questions about Atkins’ rebranding effort and package redesign.


What was the strategy behind Atkins’ rebranding, and how does the new packaging fit in?

Zink: Atkins is a consumer lifestyle brand, and we wanted our packaging to reflect a more contemporized look and feel. Since our research shows that most people are watching their carbs and sugar intake, the Atkins bars and shakes are great snack options for this larger, more lifestyle-focused population—and not limited to those who are solely trying to lose weight.

The new design focuses on the food. People buy food, not messages. We wanted the package to appeal to consumers’ love of food and to help them make choices that easily fit into a low-carb lifestyle.


What packaging design changes did you make?

Zink: We wanted to create a modern, cohesive look at shelf and to make it easy for consumers to shop the Atkins line of products and distinguish between our Meal, Snack and Treat segments. The front panel was designed to highlight the food and make the nutrition callouts easy to find and read. The horizontal color band at the top of each package identifies the product segment while creating a strong brand block at shelf and making it easy for consumers to find our products. The back panel now highlights flavors and ingredients and features the hidden sugar story—important nutritional education for our consumers.



Please explain the new packaging’s visual hierarchy. Why move the callouts from the left side of the package to the upper right?

Zink: The new architecture is food-focused. We wanted to devote more space to the food, while making sure the brand and the nutrition callouts remained strong. This horizontal design creates a strong, color-blocked banner at shelf. And since people naturally read left to right, it makes it even easier to find and read the information that is important to them.


Why did you choose to maintain the existing package color schemes?

Zink: We wanted to signal that Atkins has changed while remaining true to our loyal consumers. We didn’t want to create a new color system that could cause confusion at shelf. Our consumers love our products, and we wanted to make it easy for them to find their favorite products within the new graphic treatment.


Did the packaging redesign include structural changes?

Zink: We kept the same structure for the vast majority of our product line. We did decide to transition some of our Endulge line that was in a gabletop box to the traditional box used for our other products. This change was primarily done to help with shipping and retail stocking.



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