Hormel refreshes
Hormel Foods is rolling out a new brand mark to increase consumer awareness about the breadth of its product line. “Consumers know and trust the Hormel brand, but may not be familiar with all the products in our portfolio,” says Jim Splinter, vice president of marketing, refrigerated products for Hormel Foods. The new brand mark, created by Minneapolis-based Semmer Group (www.semmergroup.com), was developed as part of a unified packaging system to help Hormel loyalists better identify other Hormel products throughout the store and to drive trial of the Hormel brand across categories. An integrated ad campaign, which includes TV, print and online advertising, along with consumer promotion and public relations, will support the introduction.
Green tea sleeves
Green Tea Shots, a line of four ready-to-drink herbal, vitamin and mineral green tea blends from Manhattan Beach, Ca.-based Robeks Corporation, have launched in tall slender 25-ounce bottles with three-color PETG shrink sleeves by Ameri-Seal Inc.  (www.ameri-seal.com). The beverages come in four “life-enhancing” blends—Green Tea Fat Burner, Green Tea Energy, Green Tea Antioxidant and Green Tea Immunity—and are designed to be consumed as one-ounce shots with smoothies or other drinks. The line ranges from $29.95 to $34.95.
Editor’s Note: This item originally ran in October 2006 and incorrectly identified Ameri-Seal as America-Seal. BrandPackaging regrets the error.
Pepsi restyles
Pepsi-Cola is launching a global restyle of its brand (spanning TV, radio, online, print, and merchandising) with new package graphics on Pepsi cans, bottles and cups. The brand’s globe logo and lettering will remain the same but background graphics are slated to change 35 times this year, marking the first time the 109-year-old company has altered its look so frequently. The packages will also offer exclusive online content and promotions through unique web addresses on each design; the first can will invite consumers to help design a billboard that will run in Times Square in April. “On the surface, this might look like a packaging update, but it’s much more than that. We’re changing the way we interact with consumers,” says Cie Nicholson, senior vice president and CMO of Pepsi-Cola North America.
Chinese import
Two years after it acquired the Chinese beer brand, Anheuser-Busch has started importing Harbin Lager into the United States and United Kingdom in packaging that reflects the host country’s traditions. A transparent rice paper wrap, with Chinese lettering and decorative floral elements, makes an overt connection to the brand’s heritage, while the large 600-mL glass bottle more subtly evokes the Chinese tradition of sharing. “There is an aura about the Far East that connects with today’s upscale consumers,” says Jon Hoffmeister, brand manager at Anheuser-Busch. “From the unique transparent rice paper to the signature deep green, ruby red and gold colors, Harbin’s packaging captures the mystique and intrigue of Asian culture.”
Newfound energy
A unique take on a rapidly growing product category, G Pure Energy has launched to fill the void for high-end energy drinks (who knew?). Created by the maker of Norway’s VOSS Artesian Water—an equally premium water brand—G Pure Energy is a lightly carbonated energy drink housed in a weighty 200 mL glass bottle that nicely conveys its luxury positioning. The brand also suggests an alternate use for the product: as a mixer. Combine it with vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, rum or fruit juices to create energy-inducing cocktails. G Pure Energy is available at select clubs, bar, hotels and restaurants for $2.99.
Fire it up
Stephens & Company recently introduced CharCones, a product that simplifies the process of lighting charcoal briquettes. The single-use container of charcoal is placed directly on the grill and then lit; the bottom portion is molded pulp (virgin and recycled paper) while the remainder is 14-point paperboard with a proprietary coating in a semi-gloss finish. Once ignited, the package is designed to burn from the inside out, creating a chimney effect with the carton that enhances the fire. “CharCones fits perfectly with our strategy of segmenting the outdoor cooking market with unique, disruptive packaging,” says Michael Stephens, company founder and CEO. The concept was developed internally. Graphics are by JHI (www.jhigoodidea.com) in Richmond, Va.