Partners In Design


Tropicana Fail.

This morning while waiting in the deli for my breakfast to be made, I strolled over to the cooler to grab some OJ. I instinctively reached for the small Tropicana carton, when next to my favorite orange juice I saw another brand of juice... no wait... its the same brand! This was when I remembered that the not-so highly anticipated new Tropicana packaging was already out there mingling with the beautiful packaging done by Sterling Brands a few years ago.

I remembered seeing renderings of the new packaging done by Pepsi (Lets not even get into that mess) on the popular branding blog Brand New, and pretty much hating everything about it.

Why do I hate it? It is such a massive departure from the trusted Tropicana brand, I feel like its a different juice all together, part of my brain thinks it even tastes different. But ofcourse I know that's just the fact that I brushed my teeth not too long ago. Still, you look at this above and think- "Well, it cant really get any worse." Unfortunately, you know it can, and this is what I ended up buying:

Ok. Wtf. I understand that they need to put all that information there. We need to know that its 100% Juice and that its squeezed from fresh oranges and that it is pure and natural and that it has no pulp and that its pure premium and that its pasteurized and that there are 14 fluid ounces... well you see where I am going with this. Do you even notice that there is a glass of orange juice on this carton? Does it even feel like orange juice anymore? There is so much clutter and text not to mention like 107 different font sizes. I did not miss the fact that since this carton is smaller everything is condensed, but still. Uhg! Please share your thoughts, rants, disagreements with us.

*editJust saw this on one of the comments on the Brand New blog, by a dude named Dave. Thanks Dave for making me giggle.


Paul said...

There's so much wrong with that carton I don't even know where to start. I knew it was coming, I did. But this is just a mess.

I don't like the visual direction, that's one thing...and arguably just my opinion (though I have some damn good reasons)...but even look at the rendering of the small carton, I may hate it's direction, but at least it's competently done. The final product changes so much in terms of layout and typography as to make one wonder if Pepsico hired someone else to make it.

Also, I wish the OJ on the carton wasn't in a glass. I wish the entire carton was a giant picture of OJ (mimicking the appearance of a 'clear' carton)

In a world increasingly obsessed with 'All Natural' and Organic, could Tropicana have made more of a mis-step in terms of messaging? This looks like a chemical. It makes Sunny D look old fashioned natural.

Chris said...

I'm not even an artist, and I think it's hideous. It reminds me of some sort of cheesy over the counter drug.

Sybil Disobedience said...

what a friggin' headache. I guess I should keep the carton I have in my fridge with the original design?! maybe sell it on ebay in a couple of years?


Alexandra said...

I miss the old packaging already. Although I was just at the supermarket and I didn't see the new packaging. I'm grateful that I was spared.

Monica said...

I will say this time and time again; after being in the Account Management department of an Agency and learning the approval process for a new design it is beyond frustrating to know that several people had to give approval for this "creative" piece.

When you first look at the new design your eyes aren't even drawn to the brand name; all you see is 100% ORANGE. We get it. Really.

But the ultimate question is are Pepsi and Tropicana using the same designers they hired in the 1960s? Or are there current designers so trendy that they really wanted to bring the "mod" look to packaging?

As a consumer who is attracted to packaging (and yes I will purchase a product just because of its design) this new package makes me want to try other juices; Tropicana has just aged itself.

Laz said...

I'd have to agree with Paul on one specific note he made on this packaging. The final product is a far cry from it's original rendering. I find the renderings (although not on any level brilliant) tolerable. The end product comes across as cheap, 80's era packaging..


Anonymous said...

That's funny, I just posted a woeful response to the new packaging on flickr and was looking for info on how long the old design has been around... does anyone know? I'm bummed by this development!

Paul said...


The "old" carton was last revamped by Sterling Brands a few years ago (maybe 2 or 3). Prior to that, I'm not sure.

Jen said...

I hate it! When I first saw it a few weeks ago I took a picture & uploaded it onto flickr and other people agree. I think it looks cheap. It's like the store brand that sits next to the real brand.
U G L Y!!

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I hate is so much that I just sent a complaint to Tropicana

Mike said...

I just saw this new design in Stop&Shop yesterday. As a package designer, I think it's awful and generic. What ever happened to branding? When you see "100% Orange Juice" before you see the brand name, you know something's wrong. And the new, small Tropicana logo, running vertically, in a simple sans serif typeface is terrible. The 89 oz plastic jug is even worse. Oh the humanity!

I love the Nelson "Ha Ha' comment from Dave. Nice! Or, to mimic the Comic Book Guy... "Worst redesign ever"

Anonymous said...

OK for all who are curious...the agency who did this revamp is Arnell from NYC.

"The idea was to create some perspective on that corner so it is not sharp or angular, said Peter Arnell, head of Arnell which spearheaded the redesign."

Anonymous said...

OMG you are all crazy.








Anonymous said...

The reason why this new carton failed is because every type of Tropicana OJ looked exactly the same. Low acid looked the same as high pulp, the same as homestyle. As a grocery store clerk, we couldn't tell the difference between all the different types and I guarantee neither did our customers.