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SnackWell’s reformulates for a cleaner label

SnackWell’s reformulates for a cleaner label
SnackWell's brand revitalization includes a new brand logo, tagline and package redesign.

From a brand owner standpoint, knowing that consumers want to eat healthier can mean that a reformulation is needed—paired with a packaging redesign that flags the nutritional improvements. Such is the case for SnackWell's, a leader in the low-fat snack category, which is committed to reformulating its products to be made without high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors or colors. The company, which was recently acquired by Back to Nature Foods Company, L.L.C., a portfolio company of Brynwood Partners VI L.P., is reinventing itself by reformulating its products and expanding its product line. SnackWell's is also unveiling a new brand logo, tagline and packaging as part of the brand revitalization.

Mark Eisenacher, senior director of marketing at Back to Nature Foods, provides further details about what this means for the company and its packaging.

What was the basic strategy and what trend(s) does it address?

Eisenacher: In recent years, more consumers are seeking flavorful products made with healthier ingredients that satisfy the whole family. In response, SnackWell’s is reformulating its products to meet consumer demands and needs. SnackWell’s products are free from high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors.

Our brand refresh addresses this trend with a new brand logo, tagline and look-and-feel. SnackWell’s packaging will note recent reformulations by highlighting what the products are “WITHOUT” or “FREE FROM.” The new packaging delivers on key brand attributes consumers look for, indicating SnackWell’s products contain healthier ingredients that are flavorful and family friendly. For example, Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes packaging will be labeled as without high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

What are the major design goals of the design? What elements were changed or added?

Eisenacher: This is only the second major branding transition for SnackWell’s since the 1990s. The new branding aims to reestablish the brand and reinvigorate the product line by focusing on cleaner ingredients and what the products are “without” or “free from”. The SnackWell’s tagline was also updated from “Be Bad. Snack Well.” to “Live Well. Snack Well.”

Before/after comparisons and more…


How would you compare the before and after look?

Eisenacher: The new SnackWell’s logo is much closer to the original logo from the 1990s and noted by consumers as a fresh look and nod to nostalgia. It focuses on SnackWell’s products as better-for-you indulgences, as well as cleaner ingredients and being perfect for sharing. It is a departure from the most recent logo, which was more playful and edgy to reach a younger consumer. Using the tagline “Be bad. Snack Well.”, the old packaging focused on portion control and gave the consumer permission to indulge.

Can you credit the design company?

Eisenacher: We partnered with McDill Associates, a California-based company with more than 20 years of strategy and brand experience.

About how many SKUS does or will this involve? And what’s the status for the restaging?

Eisenacher: All SnackWell’s products will be updated with the new branding in 2015 on a rolling basis, totaling close to 20 SKUs. Additionally, in June SnackWell’s will launch two new products that will use new branding and made with clean, better-for-you ingredients: a new Devil's Food Cookie Cake flavor – Chocolate Mint – and Mini Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites that are made in a peanut-free kosher facility and are specifically formulated to be school-compliant.

Can you relate any market tests or retailer feedback for the new look?

Eisenacher: Consumers who got a sneak peek at the new packaging said it looked like a “fresh approach.” Many said it reminded them of how SnackWell’s used to look, which pays tribute to our brand heritage.

Consumer research found the new SnackWell’s packaging delivered across all brand attributes including branding, type of treat in package, family-friendly presentation, flavorful and healthier ingredients. 75% of consumers shown the new package design said they were likely to purchase SnackWell’s in the future.

The upcoming Global Food & Beverage Packaging Summit set for July 7-8 in Chicago features a brand owner’s presentation on Clean Label Design in Response to the Demand for Healthy & Honest Products. For more information on this session and a complete list of conference sessions, click here. To register for the conference, click here.

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