Coconut water brand Vita Coco unveiled a packaging makeover last week, the first major visual update for the 15 year-old brand intended to reflect its continued evolution while maintaining its established identity.
Vita Coco brand director Allison Finazzo told BevNET that the rebrand is aimed at “building equity” and “recruiting new consumers” to the brand, following the successful launch of its Pressed and Sparkling varieties, which were meant to attract drinkers who aren’t fans of coconut water’s polarizing taste. The roll out in stores and online will be a soft transition, with the new packaging available over the next few months.
“We realized we needed to harmonize this brand portfolio so it had a strong shelf impact and felt disruptive on the shelf,” she said.
Finazzo said Vita Coco wanted to retain the “core iconography” of its previous packaging and therefore made specific but subtle changes with three main goals in mind. First, it wanted to communicate the “craft and imperfection” of the brand on the packaging, retaining images of coconuts and palm trees to emphasize the message that its coconuts continue to be sourced from family farms even as the product expands into more conventional retailers. Second, the brand committed to simplifying its illustration style by using an “imperfect texture” that was still appealing to consumers while not depicting images of “perfect, stylized fruit” typically employed by other beverage brands.
Finally, Finazzo said the new line allows the brand to streamline the packaging across its portfolio and position potential future innovations to grow within that visual identity. This also allows the brand to differentiate its Pressed offering with new white packaging, while the other SKUs remain blue. Previously viewed simply “as a flavor,” Pressed’s revamped packaging now establishes it as a “flavor platform,” Finazzo said.
“The redesign helps us better communicate what the product propositions are, and therefore enter new occasions and overcome taste barriers,” she said.
The new packaging comes after the brand launched its “Impossible to Hate” campaign in May, which included an initiative to call out coconut water critics online; one of those instances resulted in the now infamous “PeeGate Incident”, a viral moment that CMO Jane Prior told Adweek was a “huge win” for Vita Coco.
After collaborating on that campaign, Vita Coco once again teamed up with Interesting Development for the design, as Finazzo said the agency already had a strong sense of the brand’s identity.
“They understood how delicate it is to evolve a brand’s visual identity and how we needed to do it subtly and with nuances as to not compromise brand recognition,” she said.
After a year of significant marketing moves for the brand, Finazzo said she feels Vita Coco “took risks and had fun” with its personality, giving consumers several reasons to “re-appraise the brand.”
“As the natural functional category has proliferated, we need to work to make sure people are constantly reminded of the benefits of coconut water and what the Vita Coco brand stands for,” she said.