New Trends in Natural Foods Packaging

Posted by | November 16, 2010 | General | 6 Comments

As a self-proclaimed Brand Geek(R), I tend to notice trends.

One trend I recently noticed is several natural food companies updating their packaging.

Annie’s Homegrown:


Barbara’s website states that the company redesigned its packaging this summer to offer a “bold, simplified look that’s 100% recycled and carbon neutral.”  Barbara’s chose Strathcona Paper’s GreenChoice packaging for their new look.


According to The BizPress, Hansen’s survived a bankruptcy ten years ago and has been offering its products in the same packaging ever since.  On June 1, 2010, Hansen’s announced that it redesigned its labels and packaging, and its new designs hit stores this summer.


BNET reported that Rudi’s Organic Bakery unveiled its new brand identity and packaging at the Natural Products Expo West this past March.  Rudi’s VP of Marketing, Doug Radi, stated that the company revitalized the brand to “better reflect the company’s long heritage of doing the right thing.”  Rudi’s believes that good health leads to happiness, so they changed their packaging to reflect a bright and optimistic future and the brand’s passion for healthy living, which the company hopes will make their products stand out in the bread aisle.

Newman’s Own Organics:

While Packaging Digest reported that Newman’s Own unveiled new packaging for its salad dressing this summer, there was no mention of the updates to its packaging of other products, such as the Fig Newmans depicted here.


Applegate’s website contains the most interesting and useful information about its packaging updates; including  its new logo, new packaging design and new hot dog packaging.  According its website, after 22 years Applegate determined that the “profusion of farm imagery on food packaging everywhere” reduced the distinctiveness of its historic farm logo:

Applegate Farms LogoCausing the company to abandon its farm (logo, that is) for something that better reflects its (very important & noble) mission: to Change the Meat We Eat based on principles of Taste, Truth and Trust and to create a viable economic model that empowers family farmers.  Applegate switched to this apple arrow logo:

To better tell its story of two decades of supporting family farms and developing protocols for safe, humane and antibiotic-free meat production (this is far from the “norm” of factory farming).  In short, the logo combines the William Tell apple, symbolizing skill and trust with cupid’s arrow, symbolizing timeless love and devotion.

All in all with many Americans placing increased importance on healthy eating, natural food companies are taking steps to stand out in the crowd and in the food aisles.

About Lara

Lara Pearson is a trademark attorney with Exemplar, where she also serves as the firm's Sustainability Steward. Lara's legal practice focuses on trademark and copyright law, including: intellectual property audits; trademark search & clearance; trademark and copyright registration & maintenance; intellectual property transfers; transactional work; and dispute resolution, including litigation when necessary. Lara primarily represents other social enterprises -- those leveraging their businesses and brands as catalysts for positive social and environmental change. Such businesses engage in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to have a positive "triple bottom line" of people, planet and profit. As Exemplar's Sustainability Steward, Lara works with others in her law firm to measure and reduce the firm's carbon emissions and encourage engagement in social responsibility initiatives, including pro bono legal work and volunteering. Lara is a proud member of the Social Venture Network. Brand Geek is a member of 1% for the Planet and a Certified B Corporation, whose Incline Village office is certified under the regional Keep the Sierra Green program. Exemplar Companies is the most innovative professional services firm in the New Economy. Our unique, diversified expertise spans the disciplines of corporate law, business advisory, and capital/investment banking to better meet the needs of our high-potential customers. We have assembled a comprehensive suite of service to meet the complex issues facing companies in today’s challenging business environment. Our unique, holistic approach ensures the growth and success – and greatly increases the competitive advantage - of our customers. The Exemplar team is comprised of knowledgeable, highly skilled experts in a wide range of industries and disciplines. They work closely with our customers to provide trusted advice, incomparable support, expert guidance and the ultimate competitive advantage as they accelerate their businesses and position themselves to transform industries.


  • Rachel says:

    Great post. I think Applegate did a great job on repackaging and rebranding. Strong message and notable design.

  • I really liked this post. You describe this topic very well. Logos are needed for the reason that you want people to see a visual image of your company or business. When people see your logo, you want them to automatically correlate that logo design with you and no one else. Using a common image or a typeface defeats the purpose of having a logo and can leave the impression that your company is lackluster. A logo is one of the smartest ways to make impact with a brand name when done properly.

  • Normally I wouldn’t comment on posts but I felt that I had to as your writing style is truly excellent. You have broken down a hard area so that it simple to understand. I believe that you would enjoy reading what another good blogger has to say on the subject.

  • Will Wolaver says:

    I now have the answers to my queries – at last! Thank you for just a good site. Gratefully, Beth

  • I noticed the same thing and found it curious that all this movement is happening at the same time. It made me wonder if there was one large corporation behind all or some of it.

    • lpearson says:

      My guess is that the Applegate story is the same throughout the industry — it’s harder and harder to be distinctive, especially on non-specialty food store shelves.

      Our local chain grocer, Raley’s has a few natural food aisles right in the center of the store, which makes shopping for most things pretty easy. Some organic items are mixed in with the other foods on the shelves throughout the rest of the store, where I have no doubt it’s much harder for good brands to compete.

      I buy all the brands I wrote about and I hope they all succeed.

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