The Chia Co. has launched Chia Pods, a gluten free, vegan snack that contains a full serving of sun-ripened chia with real fruit and coconut or almond milk. Each Chia Pod provides 3g of omega-3 ALA and more than 6g of fiber, with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. John Foss, Founder and CEO of The Chia Co, says that Chia Pods are changing the way the world eats by offering a fun way for commuters to discover a new healthy meal or snack option on-the-go.

The unique packaging, which was designed in house, is 100% recyclable and made from 30% recycled product. The Chia Co’s COO April Helliwell and CMO Teresa Aprile designed the very unique packaging for the brand.

“Teresa and I worked in the packaging industry in Australia together; I was at Visy and Teresa was at VIP Packaging. I worked across consumer insights and trends and was very fortunate to get to travel the world looking for the best in packaging innovation to share with our customers, says Helliwell.

Launched in March 2013, the Chia Pod was based on five key global trends:

• Health and wellness 
• Convenience 
• Sustainability and ethics 
• Premiumisation (consumers wanting luxury products) 
• Value for money

“The challenge we set ourselves was to create a product that meets all five without compromise. We used a number of traditional market research methods. For example, we purchased data and market reports that helped us decide our product would be non-dairy, as the market for non-dairy products was growing so fast,” says Helliwell.

Helliwell went on further to described the research behind the package. “But the most important part of our innovation process was spending time in supermarkets and watching how and when people eat. When considering the design of the spoon, we spent hours watching how men ate yogurt (very quickly, by the way). We took care to design a spoon that fits comfortably into a man’s hand, allows them to eat as fast as they like and is still beautiful from a design standpoint—without sharp edges on the lips, every surface is smooth and contoured.”

“We also sat in office foyers watching what food people take to work with them and what they eat in meetings. We decided to design a package that would become as socially acceptable for both men and women as taking a coffee to a meeting, and could be returned to a purse or laptop bag without making any mess (and then recycled later),” she said.

Designing the logo

The Chia Co. logo design was created by Founder John Foss. The three leaves represent economic, social and environmental sustainability. The internal team made tweaks to the original design, but worked to keep the essence of what he had envisioned. Foss wanted the most premium packaging to match the best quality chia. The team thought the color should be bright and bold to reflect the pioneering nature of the brand. The “chia orange” chosen is inspired from a palette of natural soils from Kimberly, Australia.

 Since launching Chia Pods last March the company has already updated the labels to improve the readability and better differentiate between the flavors. They’ve also redesigned the lid so it stacks better. More recently, the team worked with an external designer, Anthony Nguyen, on the new Chia Pod Oats, Chia Pod Bircher Muesli and the brand collaboration with Intelligentsia Coffee.