Fall 2019

Annie’s

The founder Annie Withey believed that it is possible to build a socially conscious and successful business. This was her goal when she started making and selling mac n' cheese from her car trunk when she co-founded the company back in 1989. Nearly 30 years later, Annie’s values still serve as the foundation for everything we do.

Problem

When you walk down the aisle to the macaroni and cheese section the only differentiation between the brands is the labels. All of the boxes are the same size and shape. Also, the box is designed with an easy open tab that is actually extremely difficult to use.

Solution

Design new packaging labels and shape that will stand out on the shelf next to all the other brands. Ensure that the packaging is easy to open as advertised.

Brand Audit

Values

We focus on organic ingredients because we believe they’re better for you and for farmers, animals, and the environment.

When you eat organic food, you are caring not only for your family’s health and wellness, but that of the planet and everybody on it. We each play a role. Together, we’re making an impact.

Organic farming practices can help mitigate impacts from climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon in the soil.

Our mission is to cultivate a healthier and happier world by spreading goodness through nourishing foods, honest words and conduct that is considerate and forever kind to the planet.

Problem

No Shelf Definition

The boxes all look the same. When you walk down the Mac ‘n’ Cheese isle of a grocery store all the boxes look the same.

Packaging Not Functional

The boxes have a cut out on the side for “easy” opening. However, it’s extremely difficult to push through, especially for young children with weaker hand strength.

Lack of Brand Value Reflection

Annie’s values are providing organic products to their customers and making the world a better place. Their values aren’t reflected in the packaging as well as they could be.

New Shape

Best Practices

Our team found various products that achieved aspects of a package with similar goals that we are attempting to accomplish with our design. We primarily looked into food package designs that separate ingredients.

Sketches

With our best practices in mind, we began sketching potential package shapes. All of our options had a separate compartment to store the cheese.

Final Sketch

We decided to move forward with a cylinder shape. It increases shelf definition and correlates with the organic values of the brand. Another challenge we wanted to address was the ability to open the product. We introduced the tab which will be easily torn, allowing the top and bottom to be easily separated.

Renders

We worked alongside a student from the Product Design Engineering Technology Program. He was able to create a realistic 3-D rendering based on sketches and dimensions we provided him.

Physical Prototype

Our Product Design Engineering Technology Program teammate also assisted in making a physical version of our new packaging.

New Packaging

Die Line

We created a die line to ensure the correct layout of the final physical package. It served as a diagram that marked all folds and cuts off a package in a flattened form.

Label

We cleaned up the design and added more white space to open up layout. We also put more focus on promoting the recyclable aspect of the product.

Product Mockup

After completing the label design, our team member from the Product Design Engineering Technology Program was able to apply them to the mockup he had created.

Shelf Presence

One of the main problems was the lack of differentiation on the shelf. Annie’s new cylindrical packaging stands out against all the other boxes.