Feature article

Kashi redesign: Each box tells a story

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Senior Editor, Packaging World
Kashi puts the focus back on the food and its origins, with bold product photography and vignettes on how the food is made and where it comes from.

Kashi, the Solana Beach, CA, producer of plant-based cereals, powders, entrees, and snacks, is taking clean labeling and product transparency to a new level. Inspired by the belief that “Good clean food deserves good clean design,” Kashi has redesigned the package graphics for its entire portfolio of 60 SKUs to feature food front and center, accompanied by short stories about the origins of each product.

In June 2015, Kashi began working with global design firm Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) to come up with a design that would express the company’s belief that food should not only taste good, but do good. “With an entire portfolio of Non-GMO Project Verified products and ever increasing organic offerings, we wanted to develop packaging to better reflect our food values, highlight the stories behind the foods, and also revisit the inspiration from the original packaging,” explains Jeff Johnson, Senior Director of Marketing and New Ventures at Kashi.

A pioneer in cereal package graphics, Kashi was one of the first to use white cereal boxes. With the new design, it breaks ground again, departing from the farm and field imagery traditionally used by natural and organic product packaging to feature food front and center against a clean, white canvas, accented with clean lines, vivid colors, and straightforward typography.

Kashi is now also one of the first brands to feature stories on all of its packaging about how the food was made and where it comes from. In one example, the back-panel of the packaging for Kashi’s Organic Sprouted Grains cereal features the story of Peggy, founder of To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co., a supplier of ingredients for the cereal. The box tells of how Peggy was inspired by her ancestors, who led long and healthy lives, to develop a way to sprout grains. Reads the box, “She started baking with sprouted flours in her Alabama kitchen. From there, her hobby grew (or sprouted, if you will) into a full-fledged passion.”

The story appears along with colorful photography featuring Peggy that covers two-thirds of the panel. Copy invites consumers to watch a video of Peggy’s story at KashiStories.com. On the website, visitors can see all 15 of the stories found on Kashi’s new packaging.

Says Johnson, “Knowing where your food comes from is just as important as how it’s made, so Kashi personally develops relationships with the farmers, millers, and communities where we source ingredients, in the U.S. and around the world. We wanted to bring these stories to our consumer in an honest and straightforward way, as a way to bring people closer to the food they love. These stories highlight the food’s quality, its origins, and the dedicated people behind the brand.”

Says JKR Creative Director Tosh Hall, “Kashi is changing the way it showcases its quality, starting with the consumer’s first impression of the product on the shelves and the food itself. Our new design reflects values of the Kashi Company. The visual identity system and packaging tell the story of the product’s quality, its origins, and the dedicated people behind the Kashi brand.”

The new packaging launched on shelves at select grocers and retailers nationwide in July 2016.

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