How FitJoy Snacks Takes the Brown Blandness Out of Pretzel Packs and Infuses Them with Joy
by Theresa Christine Johnson on 08/16/2021 | 4 Minute Read
Pretzels are the perfect salty treat, but it’s probably been a while since you actually cared to look at the packaging for the pretzels you popped into your cart. You’d likely find something brown and basic, a bag with a clear plastic section for you to peek inside and see those pretzel twists waiting for you.
But what if your pretzel and snack packaging could induce delight and pleasure?
FitJoy believes that your afternoon snack can bring happiness to the masses and that dietary restrictions shouldn’t limit your options.
“FitJoy recently pivoted from the protein bar space to the snacking category when they launched their first grain-free pretzel. Along with the new offerings, they armed themselves with a new brand purpose and mission,” said Mike Bowman, Senior Account Director at Moxie Sozo, the agency in charge of their packaging and branding redesign. "They came to Moxie Sozo to help redesign their identity and packaging to reflect their mission and cut through the noise of the crowded—and lackluster—pretzel shelf.”
Now that their focus was on vegan, gluten-free, and allergen-friendly pretzels, they wanted to move forward with snacks that didn’t compromise taste. “We want people to think, ‘Hey, these are the best pretzels I’ve ever had, and— bonus— they happen to be gluten-free and free of all these allergens,’" said Charles Bloom, Creative Director and Partner at Moxie Sozo. "The brand happens to be all of this, but the target wasn’t purely for the health-conscious—it was for flavor-seekers, too.”
Moxie retained memorable elements from the old packaging and branding to insert into the new one—in particular, the color palette. Not only do the hues feel bright and cheery, but they help to distinguish the unique flavors and further highlight how there’s a FitJoy product for everyone.
What the brand really wanted with the new packaging was to capture joy. Aside from the myriad of colors, the background features fun illustrations, and there are some actual images of the product. What stands out, though, is the brand mark which Moxie Sozo has packed full of personality.
“Our original thinking was literally to fit as much joy into that square, in both the logo and the packaging, as possible,” explained Cara Berberet, Senior Designer at Moxie Sozo. At first, they leaned heavily into this idea and ultimately felt that the result looked a little too childlike. “So we stepped it back to a much cleaner, clearer place and let the graphics and the colors be that bright communicator of the joy aspect.”
Cara said they went for a slightly cleaner look to let the brand messaging stand out most and, in turn, be supported by playful and bright brand elements rather than have the packaging get buried in too much whimsy. The critical information about FitJoy is easy to find—the allergen info is right on the front, it’s easy to tell the flavors apart, and the packs don’t look cluttered—but the brand sets itself apart from its staid, brown counterparts.
“It was tricky because we started with Sea Salt, which is a bit of a base flavor,” Cara said. “But we superimposed both the pretzel pattern and then the pretzel photography. We really brought up the pretzel photography more than it was previously to give it a hero position. And we did this fun scattering of salt over all the packages that acts as a confetti that conveys that joyfulness, but it’s also a nice extra bit of flavor acknowledgment.”
“We wanted to strike the right balance between joyous and juvenile,” added Charles. “You don’t have to be young to have fun, and again, this is a snack that promises to be fit for all.”
Exploring the boundary between a delicious snack brand everyone can love and something too specific to a single audience kept the Moxie Sozo team on their toes. FitJoy had a specific idea of the particular joy they wanted to capture, so the designers did plenty of exploration to nail it.
“Johnny Heiselberg, the CEO of FitJoy Foods, came in with a ton of experience,” Mike said. “Johnny was very clear and gave us the perfect balance of direction and trust in solving challenges on our own.”
Johnny comes from a background in candy, and he approached Moxie Sozo with the general direction he wanted to take FitJoy. The agency felt very much like they were speaking the same language as the client, and it made the work that went into FitJoy all the more enjoyable.
"Part of the magic of working with Moxie is the seamless integration of everything from strategy to copy to visual expression,” Heiselberg said. “Moxie ‘got’ us perhaps even better than we did."