Tropicana Reverts back to Old Packaging. Wow!

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The PepsiCo Americas Beverages division of PepsiCo is bowing to public demand and scrapping the changes made to a flagship product, Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice. Redesigned packaging that was introduced in early January is being discontinued, executives plan to announce on Monday, and the previous version will be brought back in the next month.

Also returning will be the longtime Tropicana brand symbol, an orange from which a straw protrudes. The symbol, meant to evoke fresh taste, had been supplanted on the new packages by a glass of orange juice.

Tropicana Discovers Some Buyers Are Passionate About Packaging, by Stuart Elliott.

33 Comments leave a comment below

  1. I’m shocked! Partly at the news that they’re reverting to the old design (I think I’m one of the few who really liked the new look), but also at the much more reasonable price offered in this photo than at my local grocery store!

  2. It’s so funny that this thing struck such a nerve with people. I thought the new look was nice and fresh, but my husband (who doesn’t usually care about these sorts of things) was all, “Oh, it’s so ugly and it looks cheap and tacky!” And then I heard some guys in the bagel store having the same conversation. Who knew.

  3. i did like the cap though, which in more recent iterations was a little round orange.

  4. I can see people’s points about the newer pack, but I’m reminded of the immortal line from Back to the Future at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance…

    “Guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet, but your kids are gonna love it”

  5. I liked it, also. Admittedly, it is a little generic looking. I like the simplicity and direction it was going, if maybe it was just not quite there.

    I don’t really know about the whole “everyone has a say in the design process” phenomenon. Customer feedback is one thing, but taking advice on design decisions from orange juice-buyers is another. Usually the best things are those that people don’t get or like right away. “when you make something no one hates, no one loves it.”

    *waiting for the ‘design for your clients’ replies*

  6. i’m glad, i was really confused about this unnecessary redesign and i agree it made the brand look really generic. but i am shocked they’re going to scrap it all together, i think given time people would have gotten over it and gotten used to it.

  7. My only complaint with the new packaging was easily finding my calcium-added OJ, but otherwise I liked the new design, especially the orange on the cap–I love a little whimsy.

  8. That redesign was a drastic change from their original signature label. Any marketing manager should have known that such a drastic change would lead to confusion and redesign requires morphing stages.

  9. Thank god! They make a dozen varietals – all on the same shelf. I kept ending up with the wrong juice. I didn’t object to the concept of the design, but it was too complicated.

  10. uh – arent you guys in a War?

  11. Didn’t like the round orange cap combined with the new look. Graphics are ok, a lil boring tho.

  12. I’m with JDH, there is something unsettling about completely reverting to an old design because of customer reaction to a new look. But where Tropicana screwed the pooch was in their lousy user interface. Like Ann and Elizabeth, I had a hard time locating the variety I wanted. I switched to Simply Orange and haven’t looked back. No problems with their design.

  13. I kept reaching for it at the market thinking it was some organic small-scale product I’d never heard of that my health food market was carrying. I liked the simplicity+cleanness of the design. I feel like the original incarnation is loud and makes it tough to navigate all the information that is fighting for your attention. That said I agree that the dramatic switch might have been a branding mistake.

  14. I drink this brand and thought they were making progress over the years. However, it’s obvious that the sales department has written all over the box as if customers are stupid. I fought this at Polaroid for 25 years and eventually lost the war after winning many battles. (Google The Branding of Polaroid for examples.)

    These designs stand out only because competing products are so poorly designed. The orange and straw are worth keeping but the rest is clumsy. They look like two hour solutions to a complicated design challenge. To get the best out of a good designer takes a very smart manager and they’ve become an endangered species it would seem.

  15. As a brit, I’m always shocked at the SIZE of those things!! they look huge! we have max 1 litre most of the time. what is that? like doubte?!

  16. @william – It’s a half-gallon, so ~1.9 liters.

    I like the new design, but I can see why they might have wanted to keep a photo of an orange. Perhaps drop the straw. No one *really* wants to be reminded that they’re buying a bunch of processed juice; it’s much simpler to think “I’m buying fresh-squeezed juice, just the same as I could make at home myself”.

    I have a harder time navigating the old design, but that’s because I buy OJ infrequently. When I do, I want something that’s, well, 100% juice just like I could do at home. No added pulp, no filtered pulp, and certainly no other substance added to it. That’s tough to find though, which is why I buy it so infrequently.

    Customers unwilling to change: 1. Design: 0.

  17. I really love the new packaging, to a point where I’ve been more motivated to buy Tropicana. It’s clean and bright, I don’t see it as “generic” at all. At least, compared to the pepsi redesign. Yes, the redesign does need work, but to just revert back is admitting defeat. Also, were they really losing money from it? How could they know so quickly?

  18. I’m with elizabeth, above. I liked the new imagery and clean look, but the design made it harder to pick out the different varieties of juice.

    With the old design, I could spot the calcium-added box with its eyecatching blue from across the aisle.

    With the new design, that labeling was limited to a tiny strip along the top (and a small bit of extra type on the front which I only just noticed today), and I had to make sure I was standing just at the right angle to the shelf to see it.

  19. Wow! Same thought as Kitty. I liked the new pack but they really didnt suit the product. It’s quite strange to see them purely abandon it after just 2 months but it’s also pretty cool to see that the consumers can actually “choose” what they have on the shelve.
    I dont think it has to do with the customers unwilling to change, it was just a bad design (by that I mean it would have fit another brand, not tropicana)

  20. Jeez, I loved the new packaging. I actually started buying it because it made me pick up Tropicana once again and check out the ingredients. I had thought they switched their line… they have one that’s just juice, no additives and I’ve been buying that weekly since the redesign. I don’t want that ugly straw in my fridge!

  21. on a semi-related note, here’s an interesting article concerning what’s actually in that container of tropicana orange juice. not so freshly squeezed from brasil: http://bit.ly/4E1Rh

  22. that’s a perfect example on how to create something that appeals to everyone (and not only us, designers). do i like the new design? yes. my girlfriend (not a designer)? she prefers the old one.

  23. Thank goodness. The new design with the glass does look very generic, but I think the bigger design problem is an issue of weight: each element kind of has an equal weight except for the most important one — the “100% orange” stands out more against and has greater weight than the “Tropicana” brand name! Plus it’s more difficult to find the different varieties.

    I don’t know if the old design is “it,” but it’s definitely better.

  24. I didn’t even realize it, but the new packaging does make it harder to pick out different kinds. The other day I accidentally picked up one that has Omega 3’s from fish oil! I’m a vegetarian so after drinking a couple glasses you can imagine my dismay!
    I loved the design though, it was a huge upgrade imo, just needed some slight altercations.

  25. I’ve been a pro designer for over 12 years, but really… c’mon. Who REALLY can honestly give a rodent’s posterior about such trivialities at this point in time? Between the historically bad economy and the illegal war? Hello?

    Design is without a doubt the most incestuous and insignificant trade out there… other than car detailing or working as a “sandwich artist” perhaps… All the self-important designer stuff just floors me… “I find the kerning to be slightly off…” “I feel that the eye isn’t being lead around the packaging framework by the previous design…” HA HA HA HA. We just can’t get enough of ourselves can we? Whew.

    ORANGE JUICE. GOOD LORD.

  26. Perhaps the next consumer uproar will cause orange juice to abandon the long-standing acronym of “O.J.” due to it’s unintentioned reference to Orenthal James Simpson. Ha ha ha. What a country…

  27. When I first saw the redesign, I was shocked…mostly because the packaging had just been updated by Sterling Brands only a year ago. There seemed to be no reason for the total switch in branding so soon after Tropicana’s latest redesign. I thought it looked cheap, tacky, and that it strayed too far from it’s well known orange+straw icon. I’m usually up for a new take on an old favorite…but I hated it. I also had a really hard time finding the low pulp I was jonesing for…so instead I bought some Simply Orange. I’m glad they’re returning to the previous design. Now I can get my old OJ back.

  28. it was a bad redesign from the beginning. I can only image being one of the lead designers who pushed their idea all the way through, to national production, only to see it be rejected so badly it’s being pulled off the shelf a month later….wow

  29. I’m not passionate about packaging, I just want to get in and out of the grocery store without having to go “great, they changed the package, and I don’t even know which of the 50 flavors is the one I liked.”

  30. I work in the dairy department and people never could find the one they wanted with the new packaging. It was annoying to all of the employees too.

  31. The new design doesn’t work because it makes the product look like the discount supermarket brand and makes the name more difficult to read by laying it on its end. Plus the orange juice doesn’t look tasty. For what it may people have come to expect chroma Disney color in their consumer items. Why would you spend hundreds of dollars investing in name brand recognition then do everything to obscure that brand. I didn’t buy it because I never took the time to read the name, had I read the name I would have assumed it was the cheaper frozen or from concentrated variety, or not buy it because on a a visceral limbic brain standpoint, it doesn’t say this is going to quench your thirst. Whoever came up with this branding and signed off on it ought to invest in more focus group testing. Fail.

  32. I think the redesign might have merited some adjustments, especially in the field of juice type navigation, but I actually dislike the original one. It’s very American, in a bad way. Full of superflous stuff and ugly color schemes (especially for Lots of Pulp, that brown makes me cringe, and its my favorite type!).

  33. I do like a lot the new look.

    I think it gives you the message very clearly and very smooth in the same time just like the taste of a juice ready to be tasted.

    The idea of the rounded cape is also a genial idea :)

    GOOD JUB guys ;)

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