CASE STUDY – Seenergy Foods packaging design

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Creative Brief

Seenergy Foods manufactures individually quick-frozen grains (IQF) and sells them under private brands owned in Canada by Loblaws and other chains. Capitalizing on their success, they asked us to create a packaging proposal for the US market. Their own brand was tentatively called Grain Effect. The company wanted to start with a line of rice products. These fully cooked rice products were going to be packaged in 30-oz cartons (3 microwaveable pouches in each) and sold in the frozen section – ideally as a competition to the likes of Uncle Ben’s. Frozen section is always full of of all kinds of packages so it’s difficult to stand out, especially because the client had never had any shelf presence. The competitive advantage? The products were “all-natural” and some were organic.

Our Process

We decided to start with branding and explored a number of concepts addressing different sets of benefits.

seenergy story1-01The client selected a heart shape around youthful growth of a cereal. This is probably the best choice, but there were other rounds:

seenergy2We thought the “LOVE” banner created a stronger emotion, but the client wanted the logo to be compact. The chopped banner was approved. Now it was time to choose and fine-tune logo colours. 2- and 3-colour combinations in the earthy, natural, youthful palettes.

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We also looked for a more effective option for the wordmark.

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Note that the word “coloured” has Canadian spelling (;

This summarizes several rounds of logo development… It’s about to get signed on. One little thing, though. The brand is now to be called Grain Cuisine!

seenergy5OK, sure. Oops! Simple retyping didn’t work very well.

As soon as this is approved, we focus on package development. Most often it is done by designing the front panel. After all, this is the panel that will be facing the customer in the store and will serve as the “billboard” for the brand. We establish a design direction, then go through several rounds of fine-tuning to make the client happy. Looks like the client wants to go with the brown header across the top.

seenergy6Beautiful photography by a friendly photo studio:

seenergy7Rice is a staple in many Asian cultures, but there is a way to make it look desirable, cosmopolitan and awesome to the American consumer. The formula “health is wealth” gets a visual.

We’re getting close to finalizing the front of the package. Artwork now goes into production. To prepare it for printing the production department needs to check the dieline, panel orientation, regulatory information, including nutrition, net weight, UPC and health claims, colours and proofread the copy. More technical stuff is being discussed, such as line weight, type size, spot colour vs process. We also talk about how this product is going to be merchandised. Some stores may not have enough space to display all the front panels, so we have to plan for the side panel being a “secondary face panel”. The NLEA is required by the FDA to be to the right of the front panel. However, everybody would like the product to occupy as much space as possible.

SF_dieline A few more days and we have a final for the flagship SKU, Brown Rice:

SF_Brown_Rice_30oz_box3More little layout changes and the rollout of the rest of the line. Brown. Jasmine. Basmati. Brown and Wild Blend.

seenergy8SKU colours reinforce the natural and the earthly. They are also selected so as to permit further expansion of the product line.

Our work is completed. At the end it’s always good to look at the whole line from various angles.

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