Tropicana Goes Generic with New Packaging

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Sun, Oct 26 - 2:11 pm EDT | 5 years ago by
Comments: 63
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I’m assuming that Tropicana didn’t mean to turn its packaging into a generic knock-off, but that’s exactly what’s happened.  Check out the new Tropicana packaging pictured below. 

They’re not fooling anyone.  The cheap looking 7-11-esque packaging doesn’t make me feel any better about forking over a whole lot of money so my kids can get their Vitamin C in the morning.

tropicana packaging

Your thoughts?

Hat tip to Brand New for this brand packaging faux pas.

Image: Tropicana

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  • Scott

    It looks like the spent more on changing from a regular disc screwcap to the “half orange” looking thing. Is that actually the cap or just some fancy packaging? Way to put your brandname on the back burner…

  • http://www.leadershipturn.com Miki

    Well, if the lid really is a half orange then you could collect three of them to use for a shell game and fleece the gullible for enough to buy more:)

  • Dave P

    This is fake news! Tropicana did not change their packaging to this…

  • http://www.brandcurve.com Susan Gunelius

    Dave P, where did you hear this is fake news? Pepsi has been redesigning the packaging for several of their products (http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/pepsi_new_bottles.php), and from the source quoted in the post above, the Tropicana redesign appears to be true though I haven’t seen it on store shelves yet. If you’re certain it’s a hoax, could you provide a source so this post can be amended accordingly?

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  • Chad White

    This is true. I saw the new packaging on the shelf this weekend. Half of the products were the new packaging, the other half were the old packaging. I would never buy the new packaging. It looks like a generic 100% OJ brand.
    The package does look a bit different than you have…I think they minimized the glass of OJ some.
    Where is the orange and the straw? I love that image…makes me feel like I’m drinking right from the straw!

  • Alicia

    The image is apparently a concept.

    These may be the actuals:
    http://www.threadedmarketing.com/images/Tropicana_New_Packaging_12.08.jpg

    No orange hemispherical cap.

  • Alicia

    And that odd white band above the color band at the top.

  • Jeff S

    Booooo! This is a huge step backwards for Tropicana. I saw this in the store yesterday and didn’t know what I was looking at for a few minutes. I grabbed a container in the ‘old’ package, thinking the ‘new’ one was some strange generic brand.

  • Eric

    I just picked up one yesterday. There is definitely a flaw in the new design, it is now almost impossible to differentiate the different types of OJ. For example, Tropicana Light, Heart Health, and regular all look exactly the same except for some small writing on the package. Whereas before you could quickly find the one you wanted by color, now you cannot.

  • http://www.davidpcrawford.com David P Crawford

    I saw that mess in the store tonight. In frustration, I bought another brand. Another classic failure from Pepsi.

  • http://www.willigers.com Tom Rorb

    True story. When I first saw the packaging in the store, I thought I was on Candid Camera. It is horrible.

  • Wendy DesAutels

    I have been a huge fan of Tropicana for years. I’m even a “fan” of it on Facebook. The new packaging is terrible! I, too, thought my grocery store had stopped carrying Tropicana and substituted their own generic. Even after having to study each container closely to attempt to purchase the kind I like I still ended up mistakenly purchasing the calcium ones which I didn’t want. I guess I’ll have to take my magnifying glass to the market now.

  • RRD

    The packaging is horrible. As a graphic designer who focuses on corporate identity and product design, this is a major step backward. Boring, plain, hard to tell first off what you are buying. This morning I purchased Orange/Tangerine instead of Orange. The new Pepsi branding sucks also. BORING!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ned flanders

    Did the smaller (single serving) carton lose 2 ounces? The new ones are 14oz. and I could swear that the old ones were 16oz.

    Also, the new look is definitely a step backwards.

  • Gary

    I must admit, I like the new Pepsi packaging. However, this does not work for Tropicana. I love Tropicana orange juice, but honestly do not want to buy it anymore. I look at the shelf and think it must be horrible. Their new look is awful. Do they do consumer research?? Everyone I talk to hates how tropicana now looks. It looks cheep and second rate. Impulse buyers will not pick up this product –especially since it is hard for brand-loyal consumers to now buy Tropicana.

  • beach941

    The new packaging is a total disaster. It looks cheap, generic — totally lacking any appeal. Surprisingly, the final retail packaging is not even as marginally novel (cap) or easy to differentiate styles (bold colors on top) as the renderings shown on this page. What’s worse, I just spent literally three our four minutes at the dairy case just trying to identify the Tropicana juice blend (Orange-Tangerine) that I like. We almost left the store empty handed thinking it was no longer made. (And incidentally, if it was discontinued, the new packaging is SO bad, I would no longer purchase the Tropicana brand at all. I don’t even want these ugly cartons in my refrigerator!) As another poster pointed out, the only differentiation between a dozen or more varieties on the shelves is some tiny little type that you barely notice. It used to be easy to find what you wanted. This is stupidity beyond belief. In fact, the new design is so bad I would suspend disbelief if told that Tropicana’s new packaging was designed by a consortium of its competitors.

  • Ex-Tropicana Fan

    You have got to be sh*tting me. I saw this in my in-laws’ fridge and didn’t know what it was. I was surprised to find out it was Tropicana. I’m NOT surprised to find out Pepsi is behind this disaster.

    I will NEVER buy Tropicana again.

  • Tropi-FAIL-a

    I can’t believe a group of well-compensated, highly-educated individuals sat in a room and said “Hey, this is a good idea – let’s run with it.”

    What a waste of time and money!

  • Hutch

    I dig this new look. Simple, retro. It’s OJ, we know what OJ is. Makes me think back to a better simpler time.

  • Jason

    Are you guys kidding me? I mean, when I saw the new package, I was surprised at how weird it looked. But I like Tropicana over all other brands, as most of you supposedly do. Are you really willing to switch brands because of packaging? I guess it’s true that people buy based on packaging, not content. I never really believed humans were capable of such stupidity… and I’m a psychologist!!

  • dave

    Yea, its ugly. I am however, more amazed that people here are this upset about the branding of an orange juice container..and would even not buy it because of it.

  • Jacob

    I just followed a link to this article from an obscure web page on sfgate.com. After reading all of the above comments I am simply shocked by the vanity of the posters. So you all used to buy the Tropicana juice only because you thought that the old packaging was good looking and that this somehow made the juice you drink better than the “generics”? This is pathetic. Well, let me tell you why _I_ insist on buying the Tropicana juice, regardless of the packaging. Store where I shop, Tropicana is one of the only TWO brands of orange juice that actually sell you naturally squeezed orange juice. All of the generics sell the orange juice that’s made from concentrate, and I can tell the difference in taste between natural juice and juice from concentrate pretty easily. Juice made from concentrate sucks. There is no comparison. However, if you all still think that the “generics” are just as good, then by all means go ahead and drink the inferior juice. I won’t stop you..

  • http://dbgroup.tv Bradley

    Worst thing is that all the Tropicana products are being packaged like this…so instead of being able to quickly identify which is the orange juice (the one with the orange) and which is the grapefruit juice (the one with the grapefruit), and because the colors are so poorly printed, I now have to sort through the different cartons, reading each one to make sure I get what I want.

  • Joe

    I can’t believe the comments I’m reading. I thought that when you went to the store to buy groceries you would buy things you enjoy eating or drinking. It seems to me that a majority of the people in here have nothing more to do than complain about some stupid marketing campaign for a product that sells the BEST FRESH TASTING orange juice out on the market. Who cares, Tropicana decided to change there packaging for a GOOD REASON. Tropicana was the FIRST company to come out with the popular design of the straw in the orange. Soon enough Florida’s Natural comes out with oranges on there container, then Simply’s Best, then Minute Maid. All the other company’s tried so hard to make there packaging LOOK like Tropicana. FIVE STARS FOR TROPICANA/PEPSICO! I , as an avid orange juice drinker, will still continue to buy the #1 product out there, Tropicana!.

  • Linda

    This new design is awful! They all look alike & if you’re in a hurry – or need reading glasses – you won’t get what you want. Also – they’ve changed the juice itself. Tropicana had no real competition – why did they destroy their product? For the first time in my life, I’m going to start trying other brands.

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  • JessLyn

    It look bad…I thought it was store brand the other day when I was trying to find it…then I realized they changed their packaging…

  • Christopher Perry

    Personally…I like the new design – reminds me of smooth – natural, tropical enriched blend – and my entire family has not changes – because the taste is the same. Marketing? What a great stir-up…wait and see …I bet Tropicana acheives record sales this year – as a result of this design-marketing plan…you can it’s part of a grand plan.

  • Mike

    Looks like Amway / Quickstar Oj, why would they cheapen their brand. Walmart must have bought controlling interest. Next week it will say Great Value. Change it back…

  • Joseph

    So a company decides to cut back on their spending on packaging.. doesn’t raise their prices, and you people complain? No wonder everyone in the world believes Americans are retarded.

  • Linda

    They spent a fortune on redesigning their entire product line of juices to look like a generic brand.
    Stop fooling yourself – this cost does get passed on to the consumer.

  • Mike

    I like Tropicana, but didnt like the new direction in packaging either. I wrote Tropicana to inform them of the opinions here to see what their reasoning was. I also thought they were doing this to save money at first, but they assured me they were not. They simply said they wanted to bring the image of the juice to the table, not the fruit. The fact that many find it unappealing could have a negative effect on their bottom line. If I were them I would want to know what others thought, even us retarded Americans. If not for the opinions of their customers companies would not know what they want. After all we are their target market ( the retards of America ).

  • Paul

    Yeah, this packaging is terrible. I generally don’t care much one way or another when companies change up their branding a little, but this is like going 20 steps backward.

    The boring picture of a glass of OJ is not nearly as appetizing as the old “straw in an orange” branding, which was perfect, because it captured exactly what it’s like to drink Tropicana orange juice. I mean, like it or not, there is a psychological aspect to marketing and an image that associates OJ with the taste of a freshly-squeezed orange can’t be beat.

    Also, why would you make your products harder to tell apart? It’s true that it’s harder to tell the various juices apart now. Boo to the new packaging! If they were going to go backwards, they may as well have brought back the old hula girl from the 80s packaging (but updated her to make her sexier).

  • Amanda

    It is much too hard to differentiate between types of juice, but other than that, I like its abstractness. At first glance, you don’t even notice that it’s juice — just seems like an orange swatch.

    Like I said, this isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly a step up from their old packaging. All orange juice seems to have a picture of an orange– if anything is generic, it’s that.

  • greg

    It looks like the “No Frills” brand and it’s too flamboyant. It doesn’t look like the prestigious design it once had. I think the design community (or rather kids spat out of college with an “art” degree” or veteran designers that need a quick pay-check) need refrain from tampering with classic brands that already make them great. I think the tendency to renew or modernize certain brands calls for some self control and ego-discipline. Classic brands are classic because they work and are duly recognized by 80 year olds all the way 20 year olds. It probably would’ve been better to promote a campaign that works for these classic American brands rather than making them inferior with simplistic Arial type. On a heavier note–I think kids would’ve created better logos and brand designs with Microsoft Office.

  • Carsten

    I felt depressed after I saw it in the crocery store. It almost looks like liquid washing detergent to me. Much too drastic change for an well establshed brand that is consumed by consumers at all ages and families in particular. The loss of the orange with the straw is a major mistake. I am still buying it but my brand loyality has sunken dramatically. Almost as much as my respect for the brand managers at PepsiCo.

  • http://bendem.wordpress.com Ben

    We accidently bought a carton of low acid OJ because we didn’t notice the (literally) 1/4″ inch height strip at the very top of the carton that had text that said low acid which was even smaller. The design is horrible. It’s orange juice, not Tide. The orange and straw was awesome too.

  • a_fortress_mighty

    Listen, like a lot of 40-somethings, my close vision isn’t what it used to be. I can’t read anything smaller than 16 font without my readers — which I guess I’m going to have to start taking to the grocery.

    I actually landed in this forum after doing an internet search to find out why Tropicana took its “Light” product off the market.

    Apparently — they didn’t. They just hid it. As a graphic designer and marketer, I’m stunned this would pass muster at the corporate level.

    I get the whole “look generic” thing; particularly in this economy. But, as is evident from the vast majority of comments here, dumbing down your branding is certain to backfire.

    In exasperation last week, I reached for Minute Maid’s “Light” version. Even though I’m a “concentrate snob,” it’s not so bad. And the packaging certainly is easier on the (old) eyes.

  • c

    I love the design and got really excited when I saw it in a magazine. It is simple and clean and fresh.

  • http://www.elizabethhannan.com ELIZABETH HANNAN

    The design is in poor taste and doesn’t inspire me to but Tropicana. Unless, the glass of juice on the packaging is actually a giant mimosa.. then my opinion might change:)

    For now it looks like No Frills from the 80′s. ( thank you Pathmark.)

    For more thoughts:
    http://is.gd/ktoc

  • Heather

    I went to the orange juice section at my supermarket looking for Tropicana and all I saw was this generic brand… then I looked closer & realized it was Tropicana… looks like they let their one of their relatives redesign it… IT’S CLEARLY INFERIOR LOOKING & gives the impression of a watered down, poor tasting orange juice!

    Nice Job (whomever designed/made this decision)!

    ;)

  • d

    to say the design is in poor taste is a totally subjective comment. i believe the redesign is actually of much higher quality and of higher taste but is simply ahead of its time. the old design is frumpy and traditional – of my parent’s generation. the old design is symetrical, straight-forward and bland, like many american consumers. but if that is what the majority prefer then that is what will sell the most orange juice. period. i guarantee though, people like you, elizabeth, are unaware that you are the ones who don’t understand anything about taste or forward-thinking design. a photo of your living room would prove this.

  • Me

    Well everyone can rest easy now, Tropicana is going back to the old packaging!

  • DY

    There’s beauty in subtlety. I think the packaging looks great.

  • http://www.panpolynesia.net Kaliko Trapp

    The Dec 08 packaging design mockup at the top of this blog post was not all that bad, with the cute orange half caps and the clear colour labels on the top. But after looking at the production threadedmarketing.com image posted kindly by Alicia on 12/27, I much prefer the original packaging of Tropicana with the orange and the straw. The new packaging looks simply horrible and boring.

    I rarely buy orange juice, but when I do, it’s always Tropicana (the best IMO). I hadn’t noticed the change in design, and it was an article on NPR News this morning that prompted me to Google it. According to NPR News, PepsiCo is going to revert to the original packaging after such bad feedback from the marketplace.

  • Joe

    Just to let everybody know. As of February 23, 2009, Tropicana has decided to switch back to the traditional “straw in orange” packaging. After all the negative feedback received on the new packaging it was clear that it just wasn’t going to be a change for the good. So probably mid March you will start to see the CLASSIC packaging of Tropicana. This is not a rumor and is 110% true.

  • Tom

    Tropicana also uses their straw logo on the refrigerated railcars they use on their ‘juice train’ that runs between Florida and New York, which itself is another unique branding mechanism. It would appear that the folks at Pepsico simply have little respect for the history of some of the companies they buy, mistakingly thinking that Madison Ave knows better.

  • Brenda

    Are you people seriously not going to drink the OJ because the packaging is different? Even worse it looks generic<<god forbid. C’mon this is news??? Who cares what they want to put on their carton, the stuff inside is still the same! “Oh my God, that orange juice doesn’t look like the tropicana I usually drink, better put it back” seriously people get over it.

  • Matt

    Thats awesome Tropiciana… take a trusted and loved brand source of the orange with a straw that you have cultivated to the point that it’s pretty much a pop-culture item and squash it.

    Then, when no one is looking, re-brand your containers such that not only does it look generic, but people are confused about what they are buying in the first place.

    Thumbs up to your complete waste of money and resources!

  • su

    the glass of juice reminds of an orange flavored drink. Has Tropicana become a Tang drink? wow….yummm…more sugar.. What a mistake…did Pepsico go to an advertising agency? A Package Brand design company would not have allowed this. Better rethink your talent pool and go back to the pros.

  • Bridget

    I think Tropicana’s NEW packaging looks great! It’s a shame that some people cannot accept ‘change’ and something new and refreshing. I don’t understand what all the hoopla is, honestly! I don’t think the new design is “generic” looking, at all. It looks clean, bright and eye-catching! Regardless of the packaging, I think that most consumer’s buy a product because it’s GOOD and they like it!

  • http://www.bizzia.com/brandcurve/tropicana-goes-generic-with-new-packaging/ savvy

    I’m so glad to see that others agree that its a horrid new look. I’m usually all for modern design and for over a decade had a business devoted to it (not in the packaging area though…)

    Long before I found out that there was a surrounding controversy, I told my girlfriend who was shopping with me, how bad the new design was, and pointed out why. I usually don’t speak out or pay much attention to this sort of thing, so you know that I had a strong opinion about this one. I’m glad to hear that they’re going to change it back. Keeping it would HAVE to be a mistake!

    On a related note, I actually like the new Pepsi packaging. Its simple for one thing, and unlike a sliced orange, I don’t think a picture of a cola nut makes the average person’s mouth water, so here the abstraction is appropriate.

    “A picture is worth a thousand words” as they used to say in my Psychology in Advertising class, and the original carton design accomplished this much more efficiently! I had to study this new carton design for quite some time before I understood what I was looking at and even a good bit longer before I could determine my usual selection of the “low acid” variety.

    A well-printed (four-color process) freshly cut orange slice gives you an immediate idea as to what’s inside, and its a hundred times more appetizing than that abstracted juice glass that looks like it was printed at home on someone’s basement press with cheap ink.

    The half-an-orange screw top is a cute, eye-catching idea though, and therefore a good one (if its not hard to open). I hope they can keep it!

  • Lisa

    I was shocked to see the new packaging for tropicana. In fact, I thought it was a bad attempt to cut costs and make the product look more generic or organic feeling. However, it really turned me off. When I heard in the news that Pepsi was going to change the packaging back to the previous design, I said to myself, who got fired at Pepsi…for the company to go back to the “old” look so quickly, someone in the Pepsi marketing department paid big time for that failure.

  • Brian

    My wife and I are…excuse me, were, big Tropicana customers. While the redesign is somewhat of a bust, the more disappointing factor about having a generic looking carton, is that the price stayed the same (if not went up, in certain areas). The even MORE frustrating part about Tropicana’s lineup, is they removed Low Acid from their selection, the one and only kind we use to purchase. Not good. We now purchase our local grocery store brand. Pepsi’s re-branding is not so great either, but I’m not a huge customer of their cola. Mt. Dew…now that’s another story!

  • Brian

    I have to make a correction. I guess our local grocery store decided to stop carrying the Low Acid variety. Tropicana still has it available on their website (and probably in other stores). Still doesn’t explain the generic looking carton.

  • Kramer

    I do not see the fascination with the old packaging. It’s the sort of thing that dominated store shelves for far too long: Big obnoxious over Photoshoped looking pictures with ridiculously rendered type. Give me clean and easy to read any day. The taste of the general public is head scratching. I’m so glad I didn’t have to design this product then be told to go back to the piece of garbage so many love. Get over it, 80′s Floridian airbrushed t-shirt packaging is out.

  • ftwre

    New Tropicana logo was pulled, sadly the 2009 Pepsi logo is still ruined. Pepsi is going crazy with generic store brand looking packaging.

  • Mike

    I’m with the others that the new packaging was a terrible mistake. My biggest complaint of it is that is too diificult to see what variety you were choosing unless you were a few inches from the container. It was printed very small near the top, right at a fold.

    However, I was in the store on Monday and the old container appear to be back.

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  • jefe

    People who don’t buy a product because of the packaging are probably the top 5% stupidest humans on the planet. example: I like panda licorice, and I’d buy it if it came wrapped in burlap. What’s with people? Get lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sasha

    Pepsi underrated the fact that Tropicana has consumers so attached to the old-‘Tropic’ packaging that they were unlikely to appreciate a younger looking futuristic design. We did an eye tracking study on the effectiveness of the ‘New’ pack in the UK where we have never had the straw graphic and the results predict a 13% loss of sales. Tropicana shoppers don’t see new packages at shelf and are drawn to Tesco’s own brand products that have some similarities to the UK Tropicana pack. The truth about the sales loss has little to do with that graphic, and everything to do with shoppers ‘ability to find the new packages at shelf. Consumers have to find the product at shelf before they can buy it. One eye tracking study and this could have been avoided!