The story

Former NCAA Division I athletes Shane Emmett, Dan Gluck and Nick Morris started the Health Warrior brand, which launched at the end of 2011, to help fix the U.S.’ packaged food industry. Americans get more than 70 percent of their diet from prepared foods, many of which are high in calories and low in nutrition. The co-founders, inspired by Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run, detailing the 100 mile treks of the Tarahumara tribe, created nutrient-dense Chia Bars as an answer to the empty products lining store shelves.

The challenge

After the huge success of the 100-calorie, snack-sized Chia Bar, Health Warrior was ready to launch a more substantial version, targeting active adults looking to consume even more protein. The brand’s new addition, Chia Protein Bar, is roughly double the size of the compact Chia Bar. It contains 10 grams of protein derived from plant-based sources, three times the amount of the original product, and amaranth and quinoa accompany the chia.

Denver-based advertising/design agency LRXD needed to create an eye-catching identity for the Chia Protein Bars, one that could serve two polar objectives: a) differentiate it enough from the original, still produced Chia Bar to convey this was a new and distinct offering, and b) retain enough visual cues to position Chia Protein Bar under the Health Warrior umbrella. The creative needed to appeal to female buyers and reflect Health Warrior’s spirited, authentic, aspirational, passionate, gritty and humble core values.

Since all Health Warrior products use real food as the primary ingredients, the agency’s main goal was to illustrate this vital brand attribute in packaging that fits today’s grab-and-go lifestyle. LRXD also needed to identify Health Warrior as the brand because many shoppers believed it was “Chia Bar.”

The firm chose a design that would bridge the aesthetics of the ancient and modern worlds. The finished packaging reflects both the wisdom of Mesoamerican cultures as well as the latest nutritional discoveries.

The solution

LRXD designed a visual language that conveys a “modern primitive” aesthetic. Single-sale bars are encased in wrappers that evoke natural fibers and graced with primitive printing. The typeface is modified from an existing font, and the agency used all-caps reminiscent of ancient Greek lettering, which appears both classic and modern. It’s slightly distressed to give the impression that packages were inked using a hand-carved wooden stamp.

The ecru-colored canvas is decorated with minimal bursts of colored text and swipes in vibrant hues (gold, turquoise, terra cotta) that coordinate with the product’s four flavors: Dark Chocolate Coconut Sea Salt, Peanut Butter Cacao, Lemon Goldenberry and Almond Honey. Color also communicates benefits of the bars, which are gluten free, omega-3 rich and high in fiber.

LRXD’s packaging helped Health Warrior’s Chia Protein Bar stand out on store shelves, look mouth-wateringly delicious and come across as the most nutritious protein snack on the planet. It also unified the bars under the Health Warrior brand name without sacrificing the benefits of chia. The firm achieved this objective by placing Health Warrior’s name and logo above the Chia Protein Bar label at roughly the same size, and separated copy units with a color-coordinated perforated line. To further tie the products to the true brand name, LRXD rotated the words “Chia” and “Bar” 90 degrees, which gave “Health Warrior” and “Protein” a subtle yet direct visual connection.  



1. LRXD strove to create a look that reads as modern yet hints back to the Aztec and Incan inspiration for the brand and product.

2. The agency establishes hierarchy through the design to eliminate past consumer confusion about the brand’s name.

 3. The secondary packaging makes use of bold ingredient imagery and highlights the product name with a color coordinating to one of the dominate flavors.