Responses by Man Wai Wong, designer and Matt Williamson, writer, Leo Burnett Design
Background: Our client, Grinning Face, was launching a new product line—fresh-pressed coconut milk that uses only two ingredients (coconuts and water) and absolutely no stabilizers, gums or preservatives. Our brief was to design packaging for this 100 percent natural coconut milk. The objective was to elevate the brand to compete in the premium drink category, yet keep a natural, organic feel that informs quality and speaks to ingredients. Our target audiences are the mid-affluent health conscious and dairy intolerant consumers. They’re foodies and ingredient readers, who seek quality whole foods above all else.
Reasoning: Since the milk doesn’t use any stabilizers, gums or preservatives, it naturally separates. Instead of hiding the separation like other natural milks that typically use milk cartons, we celebrated it with a clear bottle that puts the separation right in plain sight, and a design that encourages the consumer to shake it. We used white-on-white jumbled letters to emphasize the necessity to shake while also bringing out the rich creamy coconut milk inside. The large type aimed to engage the consumer and pique curiosity, as well as spell out Coconut Milk when the bottles are displayed together on the shelf. The packaging design resulted in a product that completely stands out, embracing what other brands have kept hidden and speaks to a natural, high quality and premium product.
Visual influences: Looking at the color of the milk and the color of the raw coconut, we knew that the cream color was something we wanted to embrace. This also led us into the direction of tone-on-tone photography, creating an entirely creamy world.
Specific demands: Since Grinning Face is a small family-run business, the bottling and labeling are all done by hand. To ensure that the labeling would be quick and hassle-free for the team, we had to find a sticker stock that was repositionable and less sticky so that the label could be adjusted if necessary. It didn’t make the project easier or harder but was something we were cognizant about, right from the start.
Alternative approach: Print the design directly onto the bottle, and eliminate the clear label entirely.