Finding Balance Within the Smarter Snacking Market Thanks To Gwell
by Chloe Gordon on 10/08/2021 | 4 Minute Read
In Welsh, Gwell means "better," so it only makes sense that wellness brand Gwell would have the one goal of inspiring others to their best, healthiest life.
The female-founded and Black-Owned business aims to enable consumers to live better through what they eat through a healthy balance. With a range of products, from Tea Cookies and Fruit and Nut Bites to Granola Clusters, Gwell's products are all powered by functional foods so you can snack guilt-free.
Fawziyya Sugai, the brains behind Gwell, was the first-ever recipient of Pop Up Grocer's Fund. Pop Up Grocer narrowed down candidates to concentrate on BIPOC owned businesses in the CPG sector. But they also wanted to guarantee that the brand that received this grant would benefit from the services given and impact them personally.
While Gwell hosts an eclectic range of products, they're all packaged in the same pouch with an image of what's inside on the front, designed by Sharon M. Taylor of Ink & Mortar. Furthermore, each product has a unique color system for the packaging representing the flavor within. While simplistic, the packaging design is entirely compelling and feels as balanced as the brand wants you to feel after munching on their products.
We had the opportunity to ask Sharon M. Taylor a few questions regarding the packaging system for Gwell, and Emily Schildt, founder and CEO of Pop Up Grocer, on the bigger picture for the "smarter snacking" market.
What was your main goal when creating the Gwell branding system?
Sharon: Our main goal was to bring clarity and cohesion to the brand while elevating the identity to align more with Gwell's vision for the future. Our first action was to streamline the product assortment, so we had only eight products, each with small and large bag sizes. That helped us create a more cohesive packaging and brand story and start a brand system that could expand into all future products. The packaging consistency gave us the foundation for a branding system that could evolve as the brand grows, adding life into the designs on social, the web, and beyond.
Can you explain how you chose the details in the packaging?
Sharon: We set out to update the brand and packaging to feel warm, energetic, and elevated, but also align with Fawziyya's goals and stand out from competitors. We started by redesigning the logo and giving it a much bigger presence on the package, aiding in brand recognition on the shelf. We also created more consistency in product names, descriptions, and the Gwell story, giving us a new hierarchy of content on both the front and back of the pack.
The original packaging had a window for the product, but it didn't allow the consumer to see the quality of the ingredients. We partnered with Aaron Bernstein of Hungry Boy to shoot the product photography and bring it to life, allowing us more room to share health benefits and Gwell's mission. That also helped move the eye across the package and allowed us to see what product we were picking up in-store much more quickly.
For the color palette, we wanted a colorful neutral as a base for all flavors to be used as a consistent element throughout, and the light sage green became the perfect base. It helped us keep the product line cohesive and allowed the photography to pop off the package. Fawziyya loved the previous color palette, so we infused those original colors as the top color block for each product.
How do you use packaging to attract people who are already on their health and wellness journeys and those just starting?
Emily: Regardless of where one is on their health journey, they want what they eat to bring them joy. Food is a pleasure, or it should be. So much of the approach of healthier packaged foods in the past has been about deprivation and restriction. It has been about amplifying calorie counts and diet language: skinny, slim, lean, etc. Now, across the board, brands are using their packaging to draw people in with optimism—vibrant colors, playful typography, illustrative characters, and language around added benefits.
What do you think the "smarter snacking" market needs more of in terms of packaging design?
Emily: Well, for one, we would love for good packaging design to be more accessible. That’s what we aim to do with The Fund—bridge the gap between the brilliant entrepreneurs with exceptional products and the resources they need to bring their ideas to life. But, we would also love to see more of the same care and consciousness for sustainability that we see in products in packaging materials. We understand that today, unfortunately, doing so may drive the cost up prohibitively. But, we are certain that people smarter than us can sort it!
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