Dating back to 1925, Progresso, as a brand label, was first sold in 1949 when two prominent Italian importing companies in New Orleans, LA, merged and remained family-owned until 1969. After a series of acquisitions, Progresso is now a brand of General Mills and offers a range of canned soups, canned beans, broths, chili, and other food products, totaling nearly 100 options. Although Campbell’s is the more famous soup brand, Progresso was first to offer ready-to-heat soups as meals, as opposed to Campbell’s, which were condensed and required further work. This month, Progresso rolled out a new logo and packaging designed by Seattle, WA-based Hornall Anderson.
As shoppers become increasingly health-conscious, the new stripped-back design proudly displays both the Progresso name and what’s inside the package, inviting consumers to enjoy soul-satisfying soup recipes with full confidence. A new wordmark embraces Progresso’s heritage, while modernizing its look and feel for greater impact. To increase shopability, excess detail is replaced with clearly legible sub-lines and unique vessels, ensuring shoppers can easily find their favorites and discover new choices. The vibrant, iconic photography set against a clean, bright label highlights the care and attention to detail that goes into each recipe.
The old logo wasn’t bad… okay, I mean, yes, it was bad by logo-designer-standards but as an identifier for a mass market brand of soups it was on point with all the necessary “realism” in the shading of the banner and the veggies depicted. The new logo goes for a simpler, bezier approach that drops almost all decoration, keeping only the red and yellow borders on the banner but not the baby blue (which has been transferred as the main color of the packaging). The new typography isn’t too impressive but it’s also not too bad — it’s hard to tell if a font was just Envelope-Distorted in Adobe Illustrator or if it was properly modified. The one thing I may have liked to see on the banner would be a darker color on the back folds to add dimension as it now looks somewhat flat.
Also, you might remember this other redesign from Hornall Anderson for Progresso that I think modernized and sophisticated-ed the logo better. Now there are two new Progresso logos on the shelves which is far from ideal; maybe the stock packaging will be updated in the next run.
At UCllc headquarters our kids are big fans of the Chicken Noodle soup and we’ve been buying it for years. The nice thing about Progresso is their blue-ness and you can spot them easily in any grocery store so in terms of equity, to me, that’s the key and not any of the other mediocre design that it has been laden with all these years. The new packaging keeps the blue-ness and everything else is an improvement.
One the main improvements and a fun display of creativity within the soup world is the product shots that use different kinds of serving bowls or spoons to show the soups, instead of Photoshop-ing different products unto the same container. It’s a very nice touch that probably added time and cost to the production and someone rolled their eyes at it because it wasn’t as easy to do as the old cans. The hierarchy is much improved too with a top section that separates the different kind of soups and bigger soup names underneath the logo, which might be a tad big btw. Overall, like the Progresso stocks redesign linked above, this update adds a rare level of sophistication and clarity in a space not known for either while still maintaing the expected visual tropes. That’s progress… o.