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235. Healthy Choice Logo and Packaging.

Looks like the folks at Healthy Choice have decided to redesign not only their logo but their packaging as well. I think that their look has been long overdue for a new approach, as the old logo - with its jogger - has looked quite outdated for awhile, especially in comparison to Lean Cuisine and all the other frozen entree companies.

Logo Comparison:

The new identity is curvier and uses fewer elements. Gone is the jogger. (And I don't think this is one of those elements that have a ton of equity like the straw-in-the-orange of Tropicana. So it's okay.) Gone are the upper and lower bars. And gone are the serifs. In their place is a very casual, two-toned, seemingly custom sans serif with a big exclamation mark serving as both the 'l' in healthy and the dot of the 'i' in choice. And it is the latter with which I have the most complaints. It just seems to be a little easy or cliche and it reminds me - and I hate to admit that I remember this - of a cheap perfume that was marketing to girls in the 80's called, exclamation. Look it up. I don't think it buys anything for HC other than a graphic gimmick to use throughout their marketing. But context is everything and maybe it will be handled well. Time will tell. I think the 't' gets a bit lost in the word healthy, but otherwise don't mind the custom descender and terminals.

Going with a lighter, cleaner approach on the packaging makes a lot of sense - though I'm not sure if it will stand out as much on the shelf as everyone seems to be going in this direction. The green gradient was easy to spot and they might be losing a bit of that instant recognition in lieu of an updated appeal. The food photography that I've seen does appear to be a step above that of the old boxes, and the callouts though maybe not elegant - do the job even if it's using the punctuation mark again. It also appears that the entrees have been reformulated to match current restaurant/grocery trends, and that makes the rebrand more important - as it is announcing their new items.

Overall, it appears to be a good progression from the old look strictly in terms of design. It literally feels like a healthier choice. I just wonder though, if everyone is going in this general 'Martha Stewart-esque' direction how one brand will stand out from the next in the freezer section. And I don't think the exclamation mark is the answer, which is handled a little differently on the boxes everytime I see it. Check out their site for a more comprehensive taste of the work. (Pun not intended.) I'm still trying to figure out what studio/agency is responsible, and would appreciate any tips.

Old Packaging:

New Packaging:

And for a more thorough comparison:

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    It likewise gives the idea that the dishes have been reformulated to match current eatery or basic need patterns, and that makes the rebrand more critical - as it is reporting their new things.
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Reader Comments (11)

OK Brand Refresh, much better progression if I may, I only wish there were more consistent with how they display information on the "exclamation" point device
Not sure if they did a good brand architecture for that device, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt, was it easier to create a style difference between types like all natural and complete meals? same shape of device, but different color fill and texture difference.
March 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Sanchez
Though I'm not a fan of the exclamation point as any part of a logo (as you mentioned), I think what they've done here works. Moving from an all-caps logo to a more organic font feels like a good choice. I also agree with the fact that the "whitening" of their packaging to make it more fresh, may cut down a bit on their recognition in the stores. Overall, I'm a fan of the rebrand.
March 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrad McCall
I must admit, I am not a fan of this at all. I think the logo looks generic and the packaging feels bland. The green boxes used to be a stand-out on the shelf. Now they look just like everyone else in a white box.

There have been a lot of redesigns lately that have thrown away their brand equity (Pepsi and Tropicana to name two). This redesign is doing it as well. Throwing away the equity they built up in the Green Box meaning FRESHNESS. All they really have managed to do is make the packaging look uninspired. And that will translate over to peoples impression of the food.

I always viewed them as a bit of an innovator in they pre-made healthy food aisle. Now they have nothing unique about them.

This move towards lack of design is sad. I am very disappointed.
March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGrant
And for the next upgrade, the stuff inside the packaging will taste like food instead of packaging?
March 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthe whooping crone
Well, I like the logo more than their former logo. I liked the redesigned packaging as well, until I scrolled down and saw the Lean Cuisine example.

Lean Cuisine makes not qualms about promoting their brand first, contents second. Healthy Choices logo is not the first thing I'm drawn to on their packaging, it's the big ass web 2.0-style exclamation point!

If I had to choose between the two, I'd prefer the Lean Cuisine design over both Healthy Choice designs.
March 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKen Kozak
I am from Nebraska, where ConAgra is headquartered, so I was interested to see what Omaha design firm created the logo. I was surprised to find that this nationally recognized brand initially posted this project to an online logo design community. Very surprising/questionable! Now in this designers project description, she states "They did not however use my design. I was chosen because my design was very close to the one actually chosen through a design firm." Seems a little bit too coincidental though. Did they pay her for her design and then have a firm clean it up? Hmmmmmmm......
March 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLance
Lance - this is terrible, but wow, nice digging around. Well, the only thing left to do is to find out the design firm responsible for this. Very interesting. With the potential to be very sad.

Spec/contests only degrade and cheapen what we do.
March 17, 2009 | Registered Commenterjj
Hmm. Well when I first saw the new Healthy Choice commercial showing the new packaging, I first thought it looked interesting. The new logo is nice, having a organic feel. And the large exclamation point to store text is...not bad. But then again, it makes it stands out much more than the picture of the food. That style would fit better if there were no actual photos or there are vectored items. At least that what I think. That exclamation point sticks out more than it should. I prefer the Lean Cuisine anytime.
April 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiane B
I believe Brandimage Desgrippes & Laga had a hand in the packaging redesign. I prefer it to the original design, to be sure, but I don't think it's perfect.
April 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge A.
Brandimage does not appear to be responsible and I'm amazed that whoever is doesn't have the SEM chops to have their work highlighted, especially with a brand of this size. Other possibility is as an earlier poster suggests, they hijacked it and had someone else clean it up; which would be a shame.

Its better but its not genius. The cleaner, brighter approach is a shift in most freezer spaces now taking place but really the exclamation mark? Not working for me as a device either on the pdp or the logo itself.
June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate T
Hello. I'm the jmill that designed the Healthy Choice logo through a crowdsourcing site. I have to say that there is quite a story behind everything, and it could go on forever, but if you go to my link, you can read all that stuff.

Bottom line, I was in a money crisis, and this was literally my last shot to get some before bill were going to pour down. I spent an entire day scratching my brain and sketching like mad until I came up with this idea. I had 18 entries, and the contest had 421 entries total. I had pretty much no feedback, so really it was a lucky shot. When I won, I thought, "this will be the design my freelance can take off from!" I was so excited that people everywhere would see MY logo. That is until I got an email from Terry.

I have to say that I was more than upset to find out that even though I got paid, my work wouldn't get featured as their logo. They were also going through a design studio (I don't know who) at the same time as the contest. He said they were just testing out the contest thing to see what it was like.

So yeah the money was okay, but I felt sick for days haha. I'm over it now though. If you want to know more about it, just ask me.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ-Mill

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