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Crystal Light, Thinner and Lighter

Reviewed Feb. 3, 2010 by Armin

Industry / Consumer products Tags /

Crystal Light Packaging, Before and After

Crystal Light is a sugar-free soluble powder manufactured by Kraft Foods since 1982. Originally offered in only five flavors, the line-up now includes twenty-eight. And as non diet sodas become more and more the face of fattening evil, flavored waters and juices have risen in popularity in the last few years. While I prefer my water on tap without any kind of powder, Kraft Food bets upwards of $40 million in advertising in the last couple of years and more this year, that other people do. And while Crystal Light is clearly targeted towards women, Kraft Foods estimates that 40% of consumers are men, yet at point of purchase, women are the overwhelming majority. This past November, Kraft Foods introduced a new look for Crystal Light with an environmental-friendly range of packaging.

We measured the improvements in pounds of packaging material reduction and in terms of shipping efficiencies. Comparing finished cases, the new packaging uses 250 tons less material than previously. And, the new canister’s footprint allows for a 33-percent more efficient pallet, which we expect will result in greater outbound transportation efficiency.
Interview with Nicole Tom, Packaging Engineer, R&D at Kraft Foods

Crystal Light

Crystal Light

Crystal Light

A sampling of the new packaging.

In comparison to the old gaudy packaging that fell for every single visual cliché of consumer packaging — swooshes! glows! type on a curve! — the new packaging is remarkably restrained and sophisticated, even if it now falls under the all-white packaging trend that has been sweeping the globe. Nonetheless, the change is very welcome and it makes Crystal Light look more like a product for grown-ups than Fruit Roll-Up for kids. I believe they are using Optima as a secondary typeface and I have to admit it doesn’t look half bad. The bottom band of fruits swimming in colored water is almost appetizing even.

Crystal Light

The logo is also a major improvement even if not quite a home run. Again, the old one was a mess on most levels and the new one clearly positions Crystal Light as a healthy, feminine product. It even shows some design awareness by being custom-lettering, rather than an off-the-shelf script font. But it would have been nice for someone to point out that the “s” is fairly awkward. On the print and TV campaign by mcgarrybowen, another secondary typeface is introduced, Museo, the free font that is quickly achieving overexposure. All in all, it’s always refreshing to see a consumer product step away from package design excess into something more palatable.

TV ad by mcgarrybowen.

Crystal Light

Print ad.

Update: The design was created by NiCE.

Thanks to Derrick Reimer for the tip.



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