Launched in 1952, Rivella is one of the most popular soft drinks in Switzerland. For non-Swiss soft drink drinkers a soft drink achieving popularity shouldn’t be a surprise but — wait for it — Rivella is a soft drink made of milk whey. Google-image that concept and tell me how much you want it in a bottle. Here is a video by BuzzFeed of Americans trying Rivella so you can get a sense of what it tastes like. Clearly a cultural difference, the Swiss love their Rivella, drinking a collective 200,000 liters a day which amounts to about 9 liters per capita a year. This Spring, Rivella will introduce a new logo and packaging designed by San Francisco, CA-based fuseproject
The previous logo is kind of painful to look at once it’s isolated from the bottle: the shining sun, the Evian-esque mountains, the crumpled ribbon, and the dowdy serif wordmark look more like an off-brand water than a leading soft drink. The new logo maintains the most recognizable aspect of the logo in the angled red band but cleans out all the peaks and valleys and introduces a bold condensed wordmark that is far more proprietary. The wordmark reminds me a little of The Sopranos’ logo so I subconsciously see it as more bad-ass. The chunky slab serifs and round corners of the “e” and “a” soften the look. The one thing I wish they hadn’t done was add the gradient as an official trait of the logo. I get that they were trying to convey the dimensionality of the label on the bottle but it takes away from the simplicity of the mark. On Rivella’s website (and other applications) it would be killer to have the back stripe of the logo be white on a rich brown background, to echo the new packaging (as you will see below).
The new design reflects modern Switzerland in a unique way. The texture of the bottle with its pronounced linear markings symbolises the Swiss mountains and lends the product excellent grip. The same cross design is used for the label and is perfectly synchronised to the texture of the bottle. The product’s lettering in Rivella red remains at a jaunty angle, communicating dynamism and optimism.
The production of the bottles and labels finds Rivella breaking new ground, explains Heinz Hohl, Head Supply Chain at Rivella AG: “We had a vision: following intensive discussions within the company and with our suppliers, we have realised it.” He is describing the bottle’s new eye-catching labels, which now feature an outline-stamped design. “The beverage segment has never seen anything like it - it’s a real innovation. The greatest challenge lay in aligning the bottles accurately during the production process so that the labels are applied correctly every time.”
The old bottle probably had a good amount of equity in its exaggerated silhouette but it looked disproportionate and like a squeezed, half-filled-with-air balloon. The new bottle keeps a slight tapering from top and bottom into the center but it’s much more subtle, creating a more streamlined figure. The ribbed texture of the old bottle has been translated into a more dynamic, criss-cross texture that leads into the new label. The integration of product and graphics is great, with the label and logo functioning as a bold and visible accent to the bottle.
Overall, as a non-nostalgic Swiss person for whom Rivella doesn’t have any emotional associations, I think this is a great evolution that gives Rivella a very put together look that is contemporary and bold, clearly marking a new era for the beverage that will feel apt for a younger generation (like the cool people above) and not oma’s or opa’s drink.
Thanks to Guilaine Fournet for the tip.