• The new Bickford’s plant-based milk packaging was designed by Boxer & Co. The PET shrink sleeve was supplied by DFC, with printing by New Solid.
    The new Bickford’s plant-based milk packaging was designed by Boxer & Co. The PET shrink sleeve was supplied by DFC, with printing by New Solid.

Bickford’s, the iconic Australian owned beverage business, usually known for its cordials approached the team at Boxer & Co. to design the branding strategy for its innovative new range of plant-based milks. The time had come to evolve Bickford’s to a new era, relevant for the next generation and a changing world. PKN reports.

Boxer & Co. worked on the project from its initiation through to brand and packaging design, point of sale (POS), digital media and television commercial. The challenge was to both leverage the businesses heritage, while taking it in a new, modern, on-trend direction.

“It was important in this project to have a design that recognised that a heritage brand could exist comfortably in a dynamic, modern category – the team at Boxer did an amazing job of working with us to get that completely right,” says Bickford’s marketing manager – non-liquor Beverley Reeves.

The team at Boxer & Co. undertook its proprietary strategic creative process, working in synergy with the team at Bickford’s to realise a stand-out solution for both the brand and packaging.

Boxer & Co. senior designer Timothy Meredith knew the project required foresight well beyond the pack.

The core ingredient of every milk is front-and-centre of each Bickford’s pack.
The core ingredient of every milk is front-and-centre of each Bickford’s pack.

“Since we knew we would be pushing the brand out into various ATL and BTL touchpoints, we knew from the outset that we needed to create as many distinct and ownable assets as possible so that we had a large suite to pull-from, both on and off-pack,” says Meredith.

“We also needed to take Bickford’s into the modern and on-trend area of plant milks but without losing its significant heritage. These were the two key challenges that made this project unique.”

The design solution involved adorning the packs with pastel hues, creating a milky backdrop for a flourish of lifestyle elements, usage-suggestions and nature, all neatly housed together in a “whimsical crest”.

The pack heroes the core ingredient, making shopper navigation in the supermarket fast and easy, and demonstrating Bickford’s commitment to sourcing the finest plants and grains for their product. Overall, the look aims to reflects Bickford’s existing heritage style but in a more modern execution. The typography is simple and sophisticated, creating a feel that is equally at home either on the breakfast table or a barista’s bar. Subtle gold touches are also scattered throughout to nod to the premium nature of the product.

The design solution delivers a plethora of new and useable elements including a colour palette, a range of ribbons and plaques, birds in various poses, key ingredients, cameos and plants, which have all been created to be used stand-alone or in conjunction with other elements as needed.

Beyond the pack, Boxer & Co. created a communications strategy matrix, which covered off all future messaging at various stages of the purchase journey, and demonstrated how one coherent brand could make use of all the brand’s visual elements at different amplifications to create relevant media for every touch point, from POS to TV commercial (TVC).

Boxer & Co. creative director Mark Haygarth said that when it came to creating the brand, the team envisaged the future use of all the assets being created.

“Not just on pack and for future roll-out, but for other parts of the marketing mix too,” says Haygarth. “When we design, we literally see the brands animating for a TVC or online media in our minds. For Bickford’s it was no different, other than that we actually got to realise this and take the brand right through, executing the full communications suite.”

Boxer & Co. brought in the expertise of Scott Deakin to produce the TVC.

“What’s interesting about creating this TVC was we worked with the brand and packaging creatives all the way through the process, so the vision for the brand was always at the heart of the ad,” says Deakin. “The packaging design truly brought to life the idea of nature creating the plant-milk so an animated ad made total sense. The brief was simple, bring the brand, packaging and product to life.”

The 15-second TVC starts and ends with the packaging. The pack builds in front of the viewer for “ultimate memorability”.

The packaging and artwork was designed by Boxer & Co. Bickford’s partnered with DFC Packaging to produce the PET shrink sleeves, printed by New Solid, with an easy to remove tear-away zipper to separate the sleeve from the bottle prior to recycling.

The bottles begin life as a ‘preform’, before being sterilised, blown then filled and capped on Bickford’s new aseptic filling line, ensuring “superior product quality and shelf life”. The sealed bottles then have the shrink sleeves applied via a fully automated process, ahead of being packed, ready for transport to the supermarket shelf.

Boxer & Co. developed the entire suite of communications.
Boxer & Co. developed the entire suite of communications.

This article was first published in the May-June 2021 print issue of PKN Packaging News, p34.

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