Packaging / Research and Awards

Design Excellence Awards

March 29, 2012
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PL Buyer Design Excellence Awards

Simply the Best

After much deliberation, our panel of private label design stars have voted on the finalists for PLBuyer’s all-new Design Excellence Awards!
 
The all-new PLBuyer Design Excellence awards recognize the best in private label design produced by design firms, retailers, processors and contract manufacturers, brokers and retailer co-ops, and others.
 
Roughly 100 entries were received across 14 categories this year, including: beverages, ethnic, frozen, on-shelf, organic, refrigerated, health & personal care,beauty & cosmetics, household goods & supplies, OTC medications, paper products, baby care, pet food/care/supplies and eco-friendly.

FINALISTS

ON-SHELF

ON-SHELF PREMIUM

BEVERAGES

BEVERAGES PREMIUM

FROZEN VALUE

FROZEN NBE

REFRIGERATED NBE

REFRIGERATED PREMIUM

HEALTH & PERSONAL CARE

PET FOOD/CARE/SUPPLIES

ECO-FRIENDLY

HOUSEHOLD GOODS

BEAUTY & COSMETICS

BABY CARE

 


 
To assist in the judging of the entries, PLBuyer assembled an all-star panel of seven noted private label design professionals who met in September and voted for their favorites in each category. An eighth judge voted remotely on finalists selected by the panel. Judges could not vote on products which their firms had submitted for the competition.
 
Voting was based on the following attributes for each product’s packaging. Judges were given scorecards with the following explanations for each:
  • Shelf Impact – The product visually stands out on the shelf versus competitors or effectively borrows the equities of the national brand (if this was the intended design strategy).
  • Relevancy – The package design ‘speaks’ to the target shopper (e.g. mom) and consumer (e.g. kids, dad, etc.)
  • Benefit/Appeal – The package conveys the right purchase drivers for the category and/or quality tier. For example, appetite appeal (food), efficacy (OTC), strength (garbage bags), etc.
  • Quality Positioning – The design reflects the intended quality position. For example, value tier should not over-promise and premium should look premium, etc.
  • Aesthetic Acumen – The overall design is well thought out, demonstrating effective use of font, image, layout and color.
Finalists are listed here where, in addition to comments from the judges for some of the packages, you’ll also see comments from the designers about the thoughts behind their design process.
 
The finalists will be displayed and recognized at the PLBuyer booth at the 2011 PLMA Show; the winners will be announced at a PLBuyer Design Excellence Awards reception Monday evening, also at the PLMA Show. Tickets for the event are available at PLBuyer’s booth Sunday and Monday.
 
 

ON-SHELF
 

Pemberton and Whitefoord

Retailer: Fresh & Easy
Product: Fresh & Easy Kid’s Cereal line
About the Design: Young families with kids are a key group of the client’s customers and it was important that the new design for the cereal range was able to break through their traditional branded buying habits.
Comment: “Love this creativity for kid’s cereals,” says judge Lindsey Hurr, vice president and certified brand strategist for Fort Worth, Texas-based Immotion Studios .
 

Brother Design Ltd.

Retailer: Foodstuffs New Zealand
Product: Pams Snacks
About the Design: These cheeky snack packs use whimsical characters to tell each shape’s story. Playful design that stays true to the Pams brand essence of ‘simple everyday pleasures.’ On vibrant backgrounds, with their retro typography and charming textured illustrations, these deceptively simple packs let their ideas stand out.
Comment: “Nice copy, fun graphics,” says judge W. James Forward, president of Rochester, N.Y.-based Forward Branding.
 

Michael Osborne Design

Retailer: Sam’s Club
Product: Daily Chef Premium Quality Elbow Macaroni
About the Design: Daily Chef – Built on the premise that members’ favorite foods should be delicious and affordable enough to enjoy every day.
Comment: “Love the six-pack concept and communication,” says Forward.
 

The Fresh Market

Retailer: The Fresh Market
Product: The Fresh Market Cereal line
About the Design: For our all-natural cereals we wanted to really drive home the all-natural quality we feel is so important. To do this we shot simple photographs of the cereal in a bowl set on a rustic table. We also chose typography that feels handmade.
Comment: “Beautiful flavor differentiation,” says judge Dennis Whalen, vice president of marketing for San Francisco, Calif-based Michael Osborne Design.
 

Michael Osborne Design

Retailer: Sam’s Club
Product: Artisan Fresh Breads
About the Design: Artisan Fresh – A passion for ‘made-from-scratch’ goodness is at the heart of all Artisan fresh foods.
Comment: “Love the use of clear bag with the design,” says Hurr.
 
 

ON-SHELF PREMIUM
 

CBX

Retailer: Duane Reade
Product: DR Delish
About the Design: Delish represents a premium and differentiated tier of food in drugstores. Delish represents the celebration of food, as well as a clever and witty brand personality. DR Delish also has a uniquely New York tone of voice.
Comment: “Love the personality,” says Hurr.
 

The Fresh Market

Retailer: The Fresh Market
Product: TFM Chocolate Bars
About the Design: Inspired by the country where our chocolate is made, we decided to research Italy’s famous Commedia dell’arte and use its characters for a visual representation of our different varieties of chocolates. We were also inspired by renaissance art forms and a visual representation of our different varieties of chocolates.
Comment: “In house designs, fantastic work,” says Whalen.
 

Watt International

Retailer: Longo Brothers Supermarkets Inc.
Product: Longo’s Premium Tier
About the Design: The Longo’s signature line is positioned as everyday affordable indulgences.
 
 

BEVERAGES
 

Winery Exchange

Retailer: Grape Moments
Product: Geovini Pinot Grigio
About the Design: The design for this label is rooted in a history of passion passed down through generations, coupled with an affinity for contemporary style, a quintessential Italian celebration.
 

World Brews

Retailer: Fresh & Easy
Product: Hopper Whitman Belgian White
About the Design: Standing out in the crowded craft beer category is a challenge, but with Hopper Whitman, we achieved a truly unique package. Harkening back to an old-world storybook visual, we let our dapper Mr. Hopper Whitman tell his story of craftsmanship and quality.
 

Winery Exchange

Retailer: Fresh & Easy
Product: Napa Family Vineyards Meritage
About the Design: The label design was inspired by lasting heritage of families creating quality wines with a modern approach. Solid, traditional and dependable, but with flair.
Comment: “Fabulous label,” says judge Jonathan Asher, senior vice president of Fort Lee, N.J.-based Perception Research Services (PRS).
 

World Brews

Retailer: Safeway
Product: Double Take IPA
About the Design: We approached this project in an unusual order. Our customer gave us the tagline (It’s a Head Snapper) and we were tasked with creating a brand concept that supported the tagline.
 

Winery Exchange

Retailer: Whole Foods Regional
Product: 31st State Cabernet Sauvignon
About the Design: The wines for 31st State are sourced from premiere vineyards all over California, home to world-renowned appellations and world-class wines. To celebrate the bounty of California, we chose to honor the great state with 31st State.
 
 

BEVERAGES PREMIUM
 

Smart & Final

Retailer: Smart & Final
Product: Ambiance Whole Bean Espresso Coffee
About the Design: Through color and stylized photography, we designed a bag that captured the essence of the locales that inspired each flavor-creating a unique product on shelf. By using this standardized bag theme with flavor-specific imagery and a roast indicator system, the Ambiance line of premium coffees supports our marketing objectives.
 

Roundy’s Supermarkets

Retailer: Mariano’s Fresh Market and Metro Market
Product: Vero
About the Design: The goal was to develop an integrated brand identity for a Mariano’s in-store cafe featuring authentic Italian coffee and gelato. The name Vero, the Italian word for true, was selected and a heart-shaped logo was designed to symbolize passion.
Comment: “Imagery was fantastic! Definitely says premium. I love the colors with the black and white photos,” says Hurr.
 
 

FROZEN VALUE
 

Fish Out of Water Design Inc.

Retailer: Sobeys
Product: Signal Neapolitan Ice Cream
About the Design: Our design needed to be appealing without overpromising. We used yellow for value and a bold sans serif font for an approachable look. A revel of a delicious product shot creates appetite appeal.
 

Watt International

Retailer: Longo Brothers Supermarkets Inc.
Product: Longo’s Value Tier
About the Design: The marketing and business objectives of the Longo’s value line was to create a value tier of quality, affordable, everyday products that were easily recognized on shelf and helped promote the Longo’s brand in-store.
 
 

FROZEN NBE
 

The Fresh Market

Retailer: The Fresh Market
Product: TFM All Natural Ice Cream
About the Design: We wanted to move away from the national brand scoop of ice cream photo and focus on ingredient-based photography.
 

Daymon Design

Retailer: Meijer
Product: Meijer Mini Burgers
About the Design: Meijer wanted to position its mini-burgers and sandwiches as family-oriented products with an emphasis on convenience. We combined supplier photography with distinctive colors to create powerful appetite appeal.
Comment: “Looks higher quality,” says Asher.
 

Daymon Design

Retailer: Spartan
Product: Spartan Premium Ice Cream
About the Design: The objective of the Spartan Indulgent Creations package was to clearly communicate the premium features of the product and also have consumers resonate with the origin of the local ingredients of Michigan used to create the product.
 
 

REFRIGERATED NBE

 

Michael Osborne Design

Retailer: Sam’s Club
Product: Artisan Fresh Artichoke Spinach Dip
About the Design: Artisan Fresh – A passion for ‘made-from-scratch’ goodness is at the heart of all Artisan Fresh foods. Only great-tasting, skillfully prepared fresh foods carry the Artisan Fresh name.
 

Pemberton and Whitefoord

Retailer: Tesco
Product: Tesco Tapas
About the Design: The client wanted packaging for its new range of Tapas Food to Go range. This was a brave move for the retailer as Spanish food has never really grown as a cuisine in the U.K. despite the British desire to spend holidays in Spain.
 

Michael Osborne Design

Retailer: Sam’s Club
Product: Artisan Fresh Pesto
About the Design: Artisan Fresh – A passion for ‘made-from-scratch’ goodness is at the heart of all Artisan Fresh foods. Only great-tasting, skillfully prepared fresh foods carry the Artisan Fresh name.
 
 

REFRIGERATED PREMIUM
 

Delhaize America

Retailer: Hannaford Bros.
Product: Taste of Inspirations Fresh Deli Pastas
About the Design: Premium, fresh product designed in the Taste of Inspirations packaging. Photo of product and full film printing show premium quality and have high impact on the shelf.
 

Pemberton and Whitefoord

Retailer: Tesco
Product: Tesco Finest Italian Ready Meals
About the Design: In difficult trading times, it has been challenging for premium ranges to keep attracting customers and convincing them that the product quality is worth paying for. This is a challenge we’ve been successfully helping the client with.
 
 

HEALTH & PERSONAL CARE
 

Dollar General

Retailer: Dollar General
Product: Rexall Antibacterial XL Sheer Adhesive Bandages
About the Design: We worked to develop a unique styling, while still keeping the familiar Rexall blue and orange colors. We didn’t want to be perceived as just another private brand.
 

Hatch Beauty

Retailer: CVS
Product: Prickly Pear Hydrating Body Cleansing Gel
About the Design: The fluid designs of the bottle design were inspired by simple, sensual, organic shapes and cultural objects. The bottle fits comfortably in hand.
 

Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy

Retailer: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy
Product: Pharmaca Hand Soaps
About the Design: We wanted our new packaging to convey ‘experience a natural clean’ as this soap contains none of the ingredients such as parabens, synthetic fragrances and colors, or sulfates that our customers are eliminating from their body care products.
 

Pemberton and Whitefoord

Retailer: Tesco
Product: Tesco Essentials Personal Care
About the Design: The client for the first time wanted to harmonize its packaging design across all of its entry-tier personal care products. Previously there had been different design styles for each sector of the category.
 

Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy

Retailer: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy
Product: Pharmaca Grapeseed, Jojoba and Almond Oils
About the Design: We wanted to highlight the beautiful colors of these natural body and carrier oils with packaging that fit within our essential oil/aromatherapy set. This set has a spa ambience with muted colors and a soft feel.
 

Daymon Worldwide (Massmart)

Retailer: Game, Makro
Product: Trojan Torso Slider
About the Design: Trojan is Massmart’s private label health equipment brand and has grown to represent the market leader in its respective category and is no longer viewed as just a private label by the consumer, but as a category solution and in the same light as any national brand.
 

Dollar General

Retailer: Dollar General
Product: Rexall Artificial Tears Eye Drops
About the Design:  This is a smaller package with less real estate on the PDP to get our message across to the consumer. We used the same Rexall Racetrack logo that is used on the entire family of products and an image to convey the drops and add color to the package.
 

Michael Osborne Design

Retailer: Sam’s Club
Product: Simply Right Hand Soap
About the Design: Simply Right – Spanning the health and wellness arena, the Simply Right brand offers healthful, gentle and safe personal care products for the entire family.
 
 

PET FOOD/CARE/SUPPLIES

 

Family Dollar

Retailer: Family Dollar
Product: Family Pet
About the Design: The Family Pet brand was created to convey a National Brand Equivalent quality, fun image and at the same time be category relevant to the consumer. The brand was designed to deliver consistency across the pet category with specific cues for consumers.
 

CBX

Retailer: Walgreens
Product: Pet Shoppe
About the Design: Pet Shoppe represents every day living solutions for your best friend. The design is unique and ownable with expressive black and white pet imagery. The simple design is contemporary and the unique logo placement draws interest to the pack.
Comment: “Would love to see at shelf,” says Hurr.
 
 

ECO-FRIENDLY

 

Daymon Worldwide

Retailer: Lotte Mart
Product: Bamboo Pulp Tissue (Facial)
About the Design: We wanted to develop products better than those made of wood pulp and take advantage of the benefits that only bamboo can provide.
 

Daymon Worldwide

Retailer: Lotte Mart
Product: Smart Eco Tissue (Facial)
About the Design: We used images of endangered animals on the package to deliver the message about eco-friendliness raising the awareness of the cause.
Comment: “Great use of imagery,” says judge Todd Maute, partner with New York-based CBX.
 
 

HOUSEHOLD GOODS

 

Fish Out of Water Design, Inc.

Retailer: Sobeys
Product: Compliments Green Care Glass Cleaner
About the Design: The grass green color palette and flower signal the product’s eco-friendly nature, while a gentle swoosh evokes wind. Together, the design gives the impression of a crisp, spring breeze.
 

Daymon Worldwide (Massmart)

Retailer: Game, Makro and Builders Warehouse
Product: Garden Master Lawn Dressing
About the Design: We feel the design changes we have implemented put Garden Master head and shoulders above other local and international garden equipment companies. We did extensive internal and external research to fully understand what our customers want from our products in terms of performance and also how the item is presented to them.
Comment: “Strong image and color – wonder how well it merchandises on a pallet,” says Maute.
 

Pemberton and Whitefoord

Retailer: Fresh & Easy
Product: Green Things
About the Design: The design brief for Green Things was crucial to further prove the brand’s investment in being green. The products were developed to fulfill strict criteria and the design needed to deliver.
 
 

BEAUTY & COSMETICS

 

Watt International

Retailer: Zellers
Product: Sentiments
About the Design: As the mass merchandise division of Hudson’s Bay Company, Zellers has over 270 locations and is the second-largest department store in Canada. Wanting to attract a broader audience and boost sales, Zellers engaged us to revamp its intimate apparel line.
 

Hatch Beauty

Retailer: CVS
Product: AM/PM Anti Aging Super Cream
About the Design: We chose a fluid, elegant shape for the jar, as it alludes to the curvaceous shape of organic objects. The thick walled acrylic and pearlized inner bowl and simple deco further the concept of classic beauty rituals and traditions.
 
 

BABY CARE

 

Fish Out of Water Design, Inc.

Retailer: Sobeys
Product: Compliments Diapers
About the Design: We wanted to create a contemporary design that was less busy and more sophisticated. Through juxtaposing black and white photography with a muted color accent, we evoke a calmer mood and imply trust.
 

Michael Osborne Design

Retailer: Sam’s Club
Product: Simply Right Baby Formula
About the Design: Simply Right – Spanning the health and wellness arena, the Simply Right brand offers healthful, gentle and safe personal care products for the entire family.

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