- Hain Celestial's major tea brand Celestial Seasonings is reversing a switch to slimmed-down packaging after consumers complained that the new designs were boring, more difficult to find on shelves and "a watered-down version of its delightfully kooky feel," according to New Hope.
- The brand underwent a packaging overhaul last year, aiming for a "sleek, pared down" look that "maintained a modicum of the original artwork’s most defining features, such as main characters or prominent flavors," New Hope reported.
- Along with the shift back to Celestial's original packaging, the company will run a new targeted campaign, "Magic of Tea," meant to reconnect the brand with loyal fans.
When packaging overhauls backfire, sometimes it's due to a sense of nostalgia about the previous branding and packaging format. Some manufacturers are purposely pursuing nostalgic, classic and vintage packaging to tap into consumers' desire for this type of branding and marketing.
In this case, however, the backlash didn't have much do with nostalgia. Instead, it was more about maintaining what consumers perceived to be the brand's iconic nature. That included the nontraditional artwork, designs and characters that appeared on different varieties of Celestial's teas.
Companies strive to create a sort of connection between their brands and consumers to foster loyalty and brand advocacy. But sometimes that connection can backfire if manufacturers try to make any significant changes to a product's packaging or recipe.
Manufacturers already know how particular consumers can be about changes to recipes and formulations of products. PepsiCo found out last year when it swapped out artificial sweeteners in Diet Pepsi. After backlash from consumers, the company re-released its original recipe under the name Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend earlier this year, while keeping the reformulated version under the Diet Pepsi moniker.