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Natural storytelling helps redefine Kashi packaging

Natural storytelling helps redefine Kashi packaging
Kashi modernizes and gets personal with a new look across all the brand's packaged foods.

Redesigned packaging from Kashi Co., Solana Beach, CA, reinvents its logo and branding from the roots up including the use of editorial-style personal profile stories found on all packaging. The fresh elements and cleaner look better reflects the company’s values and basic business proposition: that food should not only taste good, but do good.

"At Kashi, we are inspired by some of the world's most vibrant ingredients and love bringing them together to create tasty food that also delivers the best possible nutrition," says Jeff Johnson, surfing nutritionist and senior director of marketing and new ventures at Kashi. "The new packaging reinforces our belief that foods should be clean and purposeful—the two ideas simply go together."

"Kashi is changing the way it showcases its quality, starting with the consumer's first impression of the product on the shelves and the food itself," says Tosh Hall, creative director of Jones Knowles Ritchie, the branding agency behind the new packaging and identity. "Our new design reflects values of the Kashi Company. The visual identity system and packaging tell the story of the product's quality, its origins and the dedicated people behind the Kashi brand."

The new packaging is rolling out on shelves at retailers nationwide for use across all Kashi food products.

Kashi responds to Packaging Digest’s questions to further tell the rest of the story.

Why the redesign now?

Kashi: With an entire portfolio of Non-GMO Project Verified products and ever-increasing organic offerings, we wanted to develop packaging to better reflect our food values and highlight the stories behind the foods. The new design puts the food front and center, and includes stories about where it comes from and how it’s made.    

What are the most notable changes?

Kashi: Kashi is shaking up the natural and organic category with a bold departure from imagery reliant on farm and field visuals. The new design features food front and center against a clean white canvas and accented with a design that is unmistakably contemporary – with clean lines, vivid colors and straightforward typography. Kashi is also one of the first brands to incorporate editorial-style stories on all packaging about how the food was made and where it comes from.

Why this storytelling approach?

Kashi: Kashi wanted to bring people closer to the food they love, so we incorporated these stories featuring employees, farmers and friends of Kashi who have had a deep impact on the food on all packaging. For example, Kashi Dark Cocoa Karma Shredded Wheat Biscuits features the story of Wyoming-based farmer Newton Russell, who was one of first farmers to pilot the Certified Transitional protocol (an initiative to help farmers transition fields from conventional to organic) and grew the wheat featured in the first batch of this new cereal. By the end of this year there will be more than 15 different stories, which showcase how the food was made and where it comes from. Many of these stories can be read at www.stories.kashi.com.

Did this storytelling format require extra effort?

Kashi: Kashi is a pioneer in the healthy food movement. We wanted to express the ideas of the company that have been around for years through design. Our major mission was to talk about the people and where the food comes from and go behind-the-scenes into the lives of the farmers. The new visual identity system tells the stories of the people behind the brand and how they are bringing it to consumers.

We wanted to move away from things that are expected in the category, that muddle the story and move toward talking about the people that create it – from the farmers to employees and the people Kashi partners with – to tell the story in an honest and straight forward way. Overall, adding stories to the packaging didn’t really extend the process because we talk to these people every day and have had the opportunity to hear their stories first-hand. We knew that consumers would be as captivated by them as we are.

We sought out people who were as passionate about the food as we are to help us bring these stories to life. People like Jack Jeffries, a photographer, traveled with us to the farms to find out more about the people and find the most seamless way to tell their stories.

What was the biggest challenge?

Kashi:  As a category pioneer, we see many brands vying to get consumer’s attention at the shelves and often times communicate too much. As a result, packaging can become cluttered with a variety of claims and statements that make it hard for consumers to navigate. We had to be purposeful in what we communicated on the packaging, so consumers only had the information they needed to know to make informed decisions. Which is how we ended up with design that reflects the visual cue that good clean food deserves good clean design.

Jones Knowles Ritchie

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Interested in a packaging and designs that boost on-shelf impact? Join like-minded professionals at MinnPack, September 21-22 in Minneapolis. Use discount code PDigest16 to get 20% off your conference registration.

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