Bad Packaging Design: Lessons From the Beer Aisle

Bad Packaging Design Lessons
(Reading Time: 3 minutes)

It’s safe to say I’m a pretentious, annoying beer snob craft beer aficionado.  I keep several varieties on hand at all times – just in case someone stops by! – and I regularly experiment with different breweries and styles.

Bad Packaging Design – Example One

So it’s not unusual that I recently found myself in the smallish (but well-curated) beer aisle of my local Whole Foods. On this day, they were featuring the Four in Hand Winter Brew. The two side panels of the six-pack looked like this:

Huh.  All that real estate, and not a word about what the beer tastes like.  Or even what style it is.  Is it a brown ale?  A porter?  Roasty?  Malty?  Spicy?  Sweet?  I removed a bottle from the carton, hoping to find a clue, but there was no information there either. Continue reading “Bad Packaging Design: Lessons From the Beer Aisle”

Tropicana Package Design: Out with the Old, In with the New, Out with the New…

(Reading Time: 2 minutes)

The new Tropicana package design is an epic, unmitigated failure.

AdAge reports that Tropicana’s packaging change was not just a customer-relations fiasco.  It was also a financial drain on the brand.  Dollar sales of Tropicana Pure Premium dropped 19% from Jan. 1 to Feb. 22 of this year.  (Category dollar sales fell 5% in the same time period.) On Feb. 23, Tropicana announced that it was pulling the new design and reverting to the old.

Both designs are shown below, with the original Tropicana package design on the left, and the new (recently removed) design on the right.

I can’t think of a bigger design snafu in recent history.  And there’s been quite a bit of talk in the marketing community about what exactly went wrong. Consensus seems to be that it’s a failure of marketing research – that research should have kept this design from hitting the shelves. I’ve got a different point of view. Continue reading “Tropicana Package Design: Out with the Old, In with the New, Out with the New…”