Tropicana recently underwent a package redesign in late 2008. The new packaging replaces the straw-in-orange on the front, changes the typeface, and also turns the word “Tropicana” sideways. At the same time, the 1.89L carton’s cap changes to a curvy orange twist cap.
After about 4 months, Tropicana has decided to revert back to the old packaging. It appears that complaints have sprouted up immediately following the news of the redesign. Critics deadpan that the new packaging is a big mistake and makes the market leader look more like an upscale private label brand. The new twist cap also received complaints as being less user-friendly. Supermarket shoppers looking for Tropicana even inquired as to whether the grocery store was out of stock of the product!
Some feel that Tropicana redesigned for the sake of redesigning. It appears that the old packaging – the straw-in-orange packaging – conveys the juice’s main selling proposition: freshness. Whereas the new packaging – a glass of juice – doesn’t showcase the product’s main benefit. Also, a curvy twist cap is definitely less user-friendly than the old cap.
In consumer products it can be a double-edged sword when updating the product packaging. On the positive side, consumers will relate better to the product with the new design’s imagery, fonts, and shape. Also, this is a good way to introduce an innovation to the market with the support of the entire brand backing it. However, the negative side can see consequences similar to what Tropicana suffered here. Consumers confused over the brand’s identity and the product’s functionality reduced. Looks like the Tropicana executives are going back to the drawing board.