Generations of consumers have proudly been sporting purple mustaches since Welch’s first debuted its 100% grape juice at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Since then, investing in product innovation has led to a variety of successful juices, jellies and snacks. Now, 4sight Inc. (4sightinc.com), the New York-based design and innovation firm has collaborated with Welch’s and the Graham Packaging Company, L.P. (grahampackaging.com), to create a distinctive PET bottle for the launch of a delicious new line of 100% juice, Farmer’s Pick by Welch’s. The rectangular, 46-ounce bottle addresses consumers’ desire for a premium looking, easy to pour container while improving operational efficiencies.
Welch’s, based in Concord, Massachusetts, is owned by a cooperative of 1,000 family farmers that plant, care for, and harvest the Concord grapes used in Welch’s juices and other grape-based products. Welch’s has been a family favorite for generations and today continues to command a majority share of the bottled grape juice market.
“Farmer’s Pick by Welch’s is made with unfiltered juice to deliver fresh-picked fruit taste to the shelf-stable juice aisle,” says Brad Irwin, CEO, Welch’s. “We needed a bottle that communicated the innovation and key attributes of this new product line in a contemporary, modern way.”
4sight was challenged to design consumer inspired bottles that would also enhance Welch’s supply chain capabilities. They worked with consumers to uncover meaningful imagery attributes for Welch’s, then transformed those attributes into concepts. 4sight’s ethno-ideation research process included bringing designers and researchers into consumers’ homes to provide contextual interactions with Welch’s and other beverages. 4sight further built designs through multiple phases of consumer research, including N-GageTM brainstorming which called on designers to draw bottle shapes as consumers described what was important to them. These shapes and concepts were then further developed by Graham Packaging into a functional design.
According to Stuart Leslie, president, 4sight inc., “We applied a new visual language to communicate the vibrancy, distinctive flavor and the ‘straight from the farm’ equities that truly represents the Welch’s brand.”
The rectangular footprint is reminiscent of a carafe shape while beveled corners add a crystalline, premium touch. The upper neck narrows for better gripping when taking the bottles in and out of the refrigerator and pouring into a glass. A spiral detail along the neck swirls elegantly from the label to the cap providing added energy and visual interest. “This detail subtly suggests a reference to the vines from Welch’s most essential ingredient, Concord grapes, but could also be interpreted as a swirling wave of fun and flavor, making it equally appropriate for any flavor of juice,” notes Jason Billig, design director, 4sight inc.
To help solve the Welch’s team request for a label that would help improve plant performance, a wraparound film label was used that is easy to handle and premium in appearance. The label was also shifted to a higher position than competitive brands in the category for a more distinctive, contemporary shelf impact while the shape of the bottle facilitates the full-wrap, providing a better canvas for branding. Labels featuring luscious, real fruit imagery and a ‘fresh from the farm’ graphic style were created by LAM Design.
The new design also helped Welch’s reduce the weight of both the bottles and the case for an overall reduction in packaging materials. “The collaboration between 4sight and Graham proved to be the winning formula,” says Karen Mitchell, director of marketing strategy at Welch’s. “4sight’s research with consumers helped us to understand their needs and create a winning design. Graham’s development expertise helped us bring 4sight’s art to life and successfully commercialize this new bottle.”
Farmer’s Pick by Welch’s, a line of 100% juice that contains nothing artificial and delivers fresh-picked fruit taste, is available in the new 46-ounce bottle and 3 delicious flavors (Concord Grape, Mango and Blackberry).