Pouches’ boldly redesigned packaging unleashes a wilder side

in Pouches on March 28, 2017

Endangered Species Chocolates’ debut into pouches enlarges the iconic animals to boost on-shelf attention while exploring a new look for the brand.


Endangered Species Chocolate, Indianapolis, has extended its territory beyond chocolate bars into flexible packaging through two new wryly named product lines: Barks, which are chocolates bagged in their bare natural state, and Bites, which are individually wrapped and bagged.

As with previous ESC products, the chocolates increase awareness of a variety of at-risk species such as the rhino and include conservation statistics. The products also help fund wildlife protection programs though ESC’s GiveBack program that donates 10% of net profits annually to partnering conservation organizations; current partners include the Rainforest Trust and Wildlife Conservation Network.

"What consumers want right now is a trust-worthy snack that is familiar, and fits into their demanding life-styles," says Whitney Bembenick, ESC’s director of innovation. “Our new product lines hit every chord, from flavor to function. Made with real, premium ingredients and packed ready for any adventure, these snacks are a daily indulgence consumers can feel good about."

ESC’s only previous non-bar products were cardstock “pouches” and glass jars of cocoa spread. Besides the new format, the matte-finish, resealable gusseted bags also present an updated look and an atypical color scheme distinguishing ESC’s first venture into flexible packaging.

Credited for the Bark and Bites packaging design is Nicholas Lee, ESC’s creative director, who responds to our questions.


What were the major design goals?

Lee: We wanted to stand out on shelf and put our GiveBack mission first. Watching packaging trends and visiting store shelves you see product displayed with light backgrounds and bold vibrant colors. To stand out among our competitors we used the one thing our consumers identify us with…the animal. Bold photography of beautiful species helps the brand stand out among others.


How does this design both continue and diverge from the brand’s legacy?

Lee: This design continues using the animal as our unique brand identifier. However, these offer a greater emphasis on the animal and now makes them the focal point of the package. Our 3oz bar labels have always had darker backgrounds. The new white background, brightly colored accents and updated fonts are a bold leap that explores a new look for the brand.


What elements are included or added vs. previous packaging?

Lee: We carry our 10% GiveBack statement, animals, certifications and cocoa content on all ESC products. The new packaging uses different fonts, species information on the back and larger, bolder animal photography. This is also the first time we have included product images.


What can be said about the individually wrapped Bites?

Lee: The individually wrapped bites now have a matte finish. We needed the look and feel to match the premium chocolate inside. We also love the play on the name “Chocolate Bites.” These snacks are a daily indulgence you can feel good about.


What was the most difficult decision?

Lee:  The largest challenge was making the decision to give the animal such a large presence on the front of the package.


Final nibbles

Barks and Bites are Fairtrade International certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan (select products) and gluten-free. The packs are sold on Amazon.com and in Kroger and natural food stores across the U.S. at a suggested price of $4.99.

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Great products, great cause and great looking packaging. The article is missing essential information. Are the bottom gusseted stand-up pouches printed rotogravure or flexographic? Who did the printing? Are these pouches premade or form-fill-seal from roll stock? I'm guessing premade from the non-straight, possibly hand made top seal evident in the photo. Are the individually wrapped bites in heat seal or cold seal film? Were high barrier materials used or required? Thanks. David Rieckmann
I love the design but it looks more like pet yummies than people treats. I think the 10% GiveBack statement needs to be emphasized more.
What's with the new packaging on the bars? I hate it! It doesn't show an animal anywhere.