Opinion Archives - Buttermilk Creative


Our Face Special Holiday Packaging from 2020

Our favorite Special Holiday Packaging from 2020

With the holidays very much upon us we wanted to take a look at some of our favorite limited time holiday packaging designs for this year. Creating unique, limited time packaging for the holidays gives your customers an opportunity to give your products as gifts as well as makes the products feel extra special and stand out from your everyday look and feel.

As you will see below, some brands deviate far from their everyday looks while others choose to incorporate something as simple as swapping out a label design. Whatever you decide is appropriate for your holiday strategy, rest assured if you take the extra step and create unique packaging for this time of year it will help garner attention and drive sales for customers hungry for gift giving ideas.

Whitleys Holiday Packaging

Image courtesy of Whitley’s Peanut Factory

First up is our very own design for our client Whitley’s Peanuts. As part of our complete redesign of Whitley’s packaging, we wanted to create something for their holiday packaging that would be familiar to their customers since there was going to be so much change design-wise across the brand this year. We landed on a snowy background featuring rolling hills, deer and a cozy little cabin with the fire burning. 

Our inspiration for the typography came from vintage typefaces and designs that utilized ornate scrolls and decoration. The holly details give you all the holiday feels and if you zoom out, the frame shape looks like a vintage ornament. 

Whitely’s customers LOVE giving their products out as gifts so we wanted to create something that feels special, familiar and nice enough that you don’t have to wrap it! We think the design checks all those boxes, all the while feeling fresh and new.

2. Native

Native Holiday Packaging

We spotted this line up doing our 100th Target run this season: Native’s Holiday Scents. We appreciate Native’s everyday design aesthetic – clean, simple, bold. Definitely a look that sets them apart from the swooshy flowy style often associated with body care. 

For their limited edition holiday design they replaced their usually stark white background with three unique and festive patterns. Each one evokes the feeling of the flavor: stripes for Peppermint, star anise inspired for Vanilla Chai and a fun icing-design inspired for Sugar Cookie.

We love how these special designs fit into the overall brand and family of products, but still feel special and stand out.

Anchor Brewing Holiday Packaging

Image courtesy of Anchor Brewing

An annual tradition around our house is picking up a few six packs of Anchor Steam’s Christmas Ale, or as I like to call it “Christmas in a bottle”. From the design to the special blend of flavors, the brew evokes a feeling of chilly nights by the fire and Bing Crosby crooning White Christmas

The design differs from their everyday by shifting the brewery name to the bottom of the label allowing the main message “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” to take center stage. The label’s limited color palette of earthy green and red strays from the normally colorful label design of their everyday line up as well. The final custom touch is the unique annual evergreen illustration featured prominently on the label. This year the drawing is of The Three Graces; three iconic towering sequoias from the Mariposa Grove in California’s Yosemite National Park. The brewery says they represent radiance, joy, and flowering – all things we can use after a year like 2020.

Poppy Holiday Packaging

Image courtesy of Atlas Branding

Next up is a design from our friends at Atlas Branding for Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn. Every year they knock it out of the park with their holiday designs for Poppy – and this year is no different.

We love the vintage inspired illustrations for each flavor. They strike a perfect balance of harkening back to the design sensibilities of the 50’s and 60’s while also looking decidedly modern and contemporary. 

And if you look closely you’ll notice the illustrations are repeated on each flavor – however they’ve swapped colors so creatively they feel unique to each flavor. You don’t even have to wrap these little canisters up, just pop them under the tree and let the design do the talking.

Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters Holiday Packaging

Last up is another design we created for our clients and friends at Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters. For their first holiday blend they wanted something that felt cohesive with their existing aesthetic yet with a holiday twist.

We created a special holiday label which fits within their existing packaging architecture, swapping out the everyday white in their label(see our case study here) with a festive deep green. Where there is usually a tropical foliage illustration behind the coffee name, we chose a pine cone.

By making these strategic and effective holiday upgrades, Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters are able to keep printing costs low and avoid impacting their production workflow. Proof that you don’t have undergo a large scale redesign to give your customers a special look and feel for the season.

Holiday labels can be complex and elaborate or simple and minimal, but they all have one common thread – they make your products feel special and giftable. Whether you’re giving a festive facelift to a best selling product or highlighting a special seasonal SKU, holiday labels create buzz and drive sales. Nothing creates a sense of urgency with customers like a special limited edition release!

Did you like this? Help us spread the word.

5 of Our Favorite Places to Eat When Attending the Summer Fancy Food Show

We’re headed to the Speciality Food Association’s Fancy Food Show! There are over 2,300 exhibitors at this year’s summer show in New York. Now, where do you go to decompress after the show floor closes for the day and the last session lets out? We want to take the guesswork out of where to go for dinner after the show and share five restaurants in and around Manhattan that we love to check out when visiting New York.


We would love to grab a bite with you and discuss how we can amplify your brand and packaging. Click here and we will reach out to set something up!

1. Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs


Looking for a unique, intimate dining experience? Look no further than Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs. Much of the original materials have been restored in this 3-story townhouse from 1810 in Tribeca. It might be tiny in size, but offers a welcoming, hip vibe, top notch eats, and superb service. Dining outside on their adorable patio makes dinner super special. The Burrata appetizer is one of their specialties and a must order!

2. Kashkaval Garden

      Hell’s Kitchen

In the mood for Mediterranean? Kashkaval Garden is the place to go in Hell’s Kitchen, especially yummy if you love cheese like us! It is a sibling of popular cheese market and wine bar, “Kashkaval”. Their menu features Mediterranean favorites like lahmajun (Turkish flatbreads), truffle fondue, and and array of skewers. For dinner, we highly recommend the fondue entree, it is a bit unexpected and melts in your mouth. We can tell this is a neighborhood favorite—there are more locals than out-of-towners in the restaurant, which is always a plus in our book when traveling.

3. Gallow Green


If you want to get out of the hustle of the city without actually leaving the city, head to McKittrick Hotel’s Gallow Green. As soon as you step foot on this rooftop secret garden, you feel transported into an old speakeasy from the 1930’s. Gallow Green is nestled above Sleep No More, an award-winning film noir-inspired production. Gallow Green offers exquisite views of the city as well as delicious cocktails like no other. Always a sucker for a great rooftop bar, this is one of our favorite places to have a nightcap and process the day’s events.

4. Gran Eléctrica


This mexican hot spot is worth the trip to DUMBO. We love Gran Eléctrica’s fresh, authentic tacos and quesos fundidos. We especially love the back patio for al fresco dining with live music and the great neighborhood vibe. If you’re feeling adventurous, they also offer a full tequila menu.


BONUS: while in DUMBO, make sure to visit Thea Grant, a charming store that specializes in high-end, handmade jewelry and metal pieces. But beware, you might not be able to walk out of there without buying a few uniquely beautiful pieces.

5. Eataly

      2 locations: the Financial District and Flatiron

We love shopping the market at this well-known, culinary staple. Our favorite thing to do at Eataly is to collect speciality breads and crackers, unique cheeses, salty nuts, and dried fruits to make a custom, impromptu cheese board. We love picking out some unique eats for an on-site lunch (something different than the traditional, ho-hum convention center food). They also have AMAZING Italian chocolates to satisfy your sweet tooth. Not in the mood to find and forge your own meal? They have three on-site restaurants with traditional menus if that is more your speed.

Wow, now we’re hungry!

Tip: call ahead for most of these restaurants and get a reservation. Many of them are small, neighborhood finds and fill up quickly.

We can’t wait to see you at the Summer #FancyFoodShow. Drop us a line and we would love to meet up at one of our favorite places, or try one of yours.   Click here to learn more about what we will be doing at the conference or use the form and we’ll reach out to you!

Looking for things to do? Make sure to also check out our 5 favorite hot spots to visit while in New York.

Want to set up some time to chat?

Did you like this? Help us spread the word.

5 Things to Do When Attending the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York

We’re New York City bound for this summer’s Fancy Food Show! Are you? Do you want to go somewhere new while in town for the show? We wanted to share five of our favorite places to visit when we’re in NYC. Try one or a few of these hot spots while you are in town––we promise you won’t regret it!

We would love to meet up during the show and chat about how we can extend your on shelf presence. Click here and we will reach out to set something up!

1. Thea Grant

Whether you are looking for a unique gift to bring home, want a one-of-a-kind statement piece of your own, or want to be inspired––head to Thea Grant in Brooklyn. This charming design-and-lifestyle store is family-run by a talented husband and wife team and offers high end, handmade jewelry and intricate metal pieces. They specialized in uniquely beautiful antique and estate pieces that tell a story, you never know what gem you will find. We could not leave without purchasing a custom stamped brass keychain that they made right in front of us.

BONUS: While in DUMBO, make sure to check out mexican hot spot Gran Eléctrica. We love their fresh eats and unique cocktails, especially on a hot day in the city. If you’re feeling adventurous, sample a few of their speciality tequilas and unwind while dining al fresco.

2. Two Kids and a Dog

While in Brooklyn, stop by Two Kids and a Dog at the Pearl Street Triangle. We stumbled upon this sweet children’s store when searching for the perfect authentic (yet fun) souvenir for our son––a NYC garbage truck toy that was a HUGE hit! The store is perfectly curated with unique toys, children’s clothing, gifts, and speciality items.

3. New York Water Taxi

Looking for a different way to explore the city? Head to the water! The New York Water Taxi to be exact. This is the perfect way to see different parts of the city and its surrounding areas, especially if you are short on time. We suggest buying an all day pass to explore and stop along the way, then hop back on and venture to another part of the city. Our favourite route is to go from Midtown/Hell’s Kitchen to Battery Park to view the exquisite gardens, then head over to South Street Seaport for waterside shopping in unique, restored wharfside buildings from the early 1800’s. From there, we like to head to Brooklyn/DUMBO for some more great shopping and good eats. Then, travel back up to Midtown via the State of Liberty and Ellis Island. Pro tip: bypass the long lines to see the Statue of Liberty, and drive by it while on the water taxi. You get super close and stop for about 10 minutes for some quick photo opportunities. The water taxi guides are very friendly and provide a wealth of knowledge about NYC while ferrying around the city.

If you want to explore art galleries, we love to start at 28th Street in Chelsea and snake our way between 10th and 11th Avenues taking in the different art along the way. The galleries are free to enjoy and most are open Monday through Saturday. Make sure to check out this interactive gallery map to see which artists are showing and plan your trip. The last time we gallery hopped, we happened to stumble upon a Damien Hirst exhibit by spotting one of his famous formaldehyde sharks in the gallery’s front window. Cue fanboy/fangirl moment! You never know whose art you will run into. This is a great way to recharge and get inspired by all of the creativity around you.

It’s hard to believe that the High Line was set to be demolished in the 1990’s! During the 1930’s, the city built this elevated freight rail line above the streets of the West Side in response to the dangers of pedestrians walking on the street level tracks. After dwindling train usage, this space became an unused wasteland. Thankfully, the community pulled together to save this now beautiful 1.45-mile public space that is home to over 500+ species of plants and trees. We love getting fresh air along the greenway and stopping for refreshing treats such as an Italian ice or even pop into a local bar for a quick pint.

We can’t wait to see you at the Summer #FancyFoodShow.

Drop us a line and let’s chat about how we can help amplify your brand’s voice and on shelf presence. Click here to learn more about what we will be doing at the conference or use the form and we’ll reach out to you!


Wanting to try somewhere new to grab dinner after the show? Check out our 5 favorite places to eat while in New York.

Want to meet up and talk branding?

Did you like this? Help us spread the word.

Expo Insights: Our Top 3 Trends from this year’s Expo West

Early in March i made my yearly pilgrimage to Expo West, the largest natural products trade show. I go to discover new products, get inspired by innovative packaging design and meet the amazing folks behind some of our favorite brands. Below is a recap and insights of some of my favorite finds – enjoy!

1. Kombucha is still king (or queen)

We saw (and sampled) a lot of the fizzy stuff. What we’re noticing is flavors are getting more subtle and nuanced and the potent “vinegar” reputation have all but gone away. Kombucha brands are innovating and really growing into their own. This is partly to push the boundaries of how we define kombucha but also to differentiate between the insane amount of brands on the market.


The packaging design of Better Booch is what caught my eye. The colors were very inviting and looked great as a family. As I sampled the flavors they were all quite tasty but my favorite is Golden Pear flavor. I also really appreciate the use of the boston round bottle (a familiar sight in the category) paired with their solid branding.


The folks at Flying Embers were great to chat with while I sipped on their tasty Ancient Berry flavor of hard kombucha. Their perspective is as millennials become more and more focused on health and wellness (but still want to have a good time). They’re looking for alternatives to beer – enter hard kombucha – a light fizzy probiotic way to get a buzz. Based on the rising popularity of ciders I think they’re onto something. Design-wise I love their can design with the bold foliage illustrations along the top and bottom of the can.


Wild Tonic was the first hard kombucha out in the market we sampled at last years Expo so it was fun to check in and see what they’re up to. They highlighted their new seasonal selection: Strawberry Blood Orange – super refreshing and tasty. Wild Tonic’s design is very distinctive and recognizable – from their bold logo to their blue distinct bottle.

2. Unique & ownable vessels

As I walked the show I was stopped in my tracks by some amazing packaging substrates. These ranged from little pots containing plant based yogurt to baby blue powder coated bottles. These brands understand that it’s a crowded and busy world out there and if you want to stand out you need to look different on every level.


Culina Yogurt was by far my favorite product of Expo. I literally was stopped in my tracks when I saw these little crocks that look like pots for plants. Not only does the little pot look amazing and so different from other yogurts, after you’ve eaten the tasty plant based yogurt you can use it as a planter!


As I approached the Sunwink Beverage booth I was drawn in by the baby blue bottles assuming they were just full wrap labels. However As I was chatting with them and sampling their tasty tonic I learned they were powder coated! They really went above and beyond with this treatment and it matched their minimal flavor illustrations perfectly. I’m not sure how scalable powder coated bottles are but here’s hoping they can make it work.


It’s hard to top all the great chocolate bar packaging at Expo however Elements Truffles definitely showcased an innovative but also handmade packaging in their Ayurvedic Inspired Chocolate bars. Embellishing each kraft box is a hand stitched fabric label highlighting the item name and a nice little illustration. Having the hand stitched label really drives home the attention given to their products and their specialty nature.

3. Redesigns

Expo is a great time to spot redesigns and new looks launching and a few caught my eye. What struck me about these particular redesigns is the boldness in each – stepping out of their brand’s comfort zone and creating something that is quite exciting.


If you are a fan of bitters I’m sure you’ve come across Hella Cocktail Co and their bespectacled bowler hat packaging design. I’ve always enjoyed their old-timey barkeeper look however their redesign is a big jump into a more serious, established brand that is an authority in all things cocktail. From their refined chiseled logo to their flexible design system across their family of products the new look is a great upgrade and helps to build their reputation.


Compostable picnicware is not a category you’d think would be all that exciting – necessary and extremely important- but not super exciting from a packaging point of view. Well the redesign of Repurpose is here to blow all our minds and make us question why we’ve accepted boring packaging from picnicware all these years. Their old packaging was fairly basic and standard for the category, but their redesign features bold colorful illustrations and clever copywriting (Strong as F*rk, Kind to the Earth is the item name for Forks.) Repurpose shows us that you can have asense of humor and save the world at the same time!


I’ve loved Sir Kensington’s ever since they came out with their dapper packaging and their redesign is paired with the launch of some new products including a line of Vinaigrettes. The redesign focuses the attention on the iconic Sir Kensington with a simple bold blue background, fun ingredient illustrations, and simple clean typography. It’s great to see an established brand with a great personality continue to evolve.

Did you like this? Help us spread the word.

Story Telling with Merch

Brand Storytelling with Merch

Using Your Merch to Help Tell your Story

Whatever kind of product you create, developing a merchandise strategy for your brand is universal. Merchandise, or “merch” is an easy affordable way to provide different opportunities for your fans to connect with your brand and share with their world. The best brands tap into trends and pop culture (think about the current hot trend of enamel pens) to create buzz (and sales!) In the post below you’ll learn about two brands we’ve helped craft their merchandise strategy and extend their brand.

Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters Merch Story

Coffee brands are masters at harnessing the power of merch. From t-shirts, mugs, and headwear to custom grinders and kettles there are tons of ways for rabid coffee fans to show their love to their favorite roasters.

The team at Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters have a very clear vision of the types of merchandise they wanted to explore. They wanted their products to play off their easy going, unpretentious island vibe. The products designed for them are very approachable, not only from a look stand point but also cost and put the brand front and center.

For the hats they wanted a trucker hat because they knew folks would likely be wearing these to the beach and wanted something that would dry easy and wasn’t too fancy. The two color ways reflect a laid back surfer vibe while still feeling part of the brand family.

For their coffee mugs, Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters were very clear about sourcing a diner mug. Not only is the shape timeless functionally it feels good in your hand. The diner mug also reflects the blue collar hardworking aspect of the brand – solid, consistent, no fuss. We took advantage of multiple imprint areas to not only represent the logo but also call outs featured on VICR’s packaging which repeat brand qualities like small batch and direct sourcing.

T-shirts are very popular among coffee brands so it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. We wanted the Sober Pirate shirt to be a bold statement. The bananaquit bird atop the skull and crossbones is a strong image that not only looks cool but echoes a major element of their primary logo. And because the shirt doesn’t hit you over the head that its for a coffee brand it transcends audiences – whether you like birds, pirates or coffee – the shirt speaks to you.

Having Fun with Fire Cider

For Fire Cider, the merch strategy was built around a bold statement they use in their branding, “Feel the Tonic Boom!” This statement represents the feeling of taking a shot of their signature tonics. It also reflects the personality of the brand – a little loud, irreverent, and in your face.

The t-shirt utilizes the bold statement and another element of Fire Cider’s iconography – the flaming shot glass. We wanted to create an image that would grab peoples attention. We layered white type onto of the black shot glass to create contrast. The result is a fun shirt design the feels a little punk rock.

Fire Cider’s tote bag carries the statement and flaming shot glass but in a different layout to not only take advantage of the different format bit also take into account the limitations of one color printing. The design is still eye catching within the different layout but clearly communicates the brand and consistently carries the overall look and feel.

Do you have a brand and need it reimagined into merch and need a strategic partner to help? We’re here for you.

The Fresh Market Simmer Sauces

Behind the Design: The Fresh Market Simmer Sauces


Cooler weather has us thinking about warm dishes. Our design for The Fresh Market Simmer Sauces captures the homemade artisan feel of the product. The flavors are inspired by global flavors like Mojo Verde.

Dishes are prepared in a skillet so we utilized the shape as a frame to contain the item name and important information. Combining the skillet shape and the large color field creates an eye catching billboard for these products on the shelf.


Handmade Elements for a handmade product

We’re always looking for opportunities to add handmade elements and qualities to our designs, and this label is no different. We feel like these elements create depth and creates interest in the shopper inviting them to pick up the product.

We added texture to further enhance the homemade quality of the sauces. Hand-lettered item names give the product an approachable scratch made feel. The typography is also fun and energetic inspiring home cooks to grab it and go home and create a tasty meal by simply adding to one of their favorite ingredients.

Educating with icons

Because we knew the target customer for this item might be a less experienced cook wanting to explore new flavors we wanted to give hints and educate on the packaging. To accomplish this we created a “Great with…” icon set for each flavor giving cues for which ingredient to use with each sauce. The icons need to be read quickly and easily from the shelf, so we intentionally designed them to be very simple and recognizable.


Color story

Bold colors help the Simmer Sauces stand out on the shelf and grab shoppers attention. The colors were inspired by the different flavors; orange is roasted garlic, red chipotle adobo, and green is mojo verde. It was important to create a family feel to the three sauces, but also creates a strong identity so each can stand on their own.

Do you have a simmer sauce (or any product) and need a strategic partner to help? We’re here for you.

Our insights from this year’s Expo West | Sustainable Innovation

About a month ago we attended Expo West in Anaheim to walk the many aisles and see innovative & inspiring products. The following posts run through our insights and finds we’re excited to share.

Expo West is one of the largest, if not the largest, trade show for the natural products industry. With over 3000 exhibitors and estimates of 80,000 – 100,000 attendees it can be an overwhelming and claustrophobic experience – but it can also be very helpful and inspiring.

We went this year and spent 3 days soaking up all the emerging trends, innovative brands, and inspiring entrepreneurs who move the needle for the industry. We’re excited to share our insights and discoveries with you below.

Sustainable Innovation

We saw a bunch of neat and innovative sustainable products – both in the products and the materials used. As we learn more and more about how our actions are changing the planet, these products and innovations are going to be more critical and important to work into the packaging we design.


Remember Tofurky? What used to be a bit of a joke (at least for non-vegetarians) has quietly become a leader in plant based protein innovations. Plus they have a great, contemporary take a vintage 60s era design. Plant based protein will become a larger part of our diets as we move away from the non-sustainable practices of mass farming for protein – and Tofurkey makes it look and taste good!


Asarasi blew us away with how good their flavored waters are – and then we heard about how the actual product is harvested. It’s a by product of the maple syrup industry. We thought “tree-filtered” was a gimmick, but no way – the water is literally filtered through the trees created a pure, natural resource. The process doesn’t hurt trees, so it’s a sustainable way to retrieve water. We also really liked their subtle design and color family.


This Bar Saves Lives is an awesome story – combating malnutrition in other countries with each purchase domestically. They recently redesigned and we love the collaged bold use of pattern and color along with flavor cues. These bars have a very serious mission, but on the shelf look like a party and make you smile.


Bee’s Wrap is probably our favorite product overall from Expo West. A reusable replacement for saran wrap or aluminum foil, it sticks to itself or other surfaces to make little snack bags or save leftovers. Think of how much waste can be saved by just cutting those two things out? The design is very on trend with the natural products industry with heavy use of kraft an subtle earthy colors. The actual product has a nice honeycomb pattern randomly placed which gives it a nice natural look and feel.

Enjoy our other stories from 2018 Expo West:

Our Favorite Finds

Color Stories

Special Printing Effects

Did you like this? Help us spread the word.

Our insights from this year’s Expo West | Special Printing Effects

About a month ago we attended Expo West in Anaheim to walk the many aisles and see innovative & inspiring products. The following posts run through our insights and finds we’re excited to share.

Expo West is one of the largest, if not the largest, trade show for the natural products industry. With over 3000 exhibitors and estimates of 80,000 – 100,000 attendees it can be an overwhelming and claustrophobic experience – but it can also be very helpful and inspiring.

We went this year and spent 3 days soaking up all the emerging trends, innovative brands, and inspiring entrepreneurs who move the needle for the industry. We’re excited to share our insights and discoveries with you below.

Special Printing Effects

If you command a high premium price for your products, then they better look like it- and with today’s technology specialty printing and materials are well within the reach of big and small brands. We saw lots of interesting products at Expo – here’s a few:


Omiberry, a subtly sweet sparkling berry drink, captures your attention with a beautiful gold and rose gold foil effect. Also there are mysterious die cut holes throughout the label that make you want to pick the product up and look around it.


Holy Kombucha takes advantage of foil label printing with nice shimmer on their logo and item name. And even though they have a lot of color coverage the label still shines because of the foil underneath. All of it reinforcing the “holy” aspect of their name.


Lovingearth chocolate bars utilize embossing to create interesting textures on their products and reinforce the beautiful simplistic illustrations created for each item. The colors are very nice and deep as well. Another great example of actual visual texture that engages the shopper from the shelf.


K’ul Chocolates go all out for their chocolate bar packaging. From custom shaped boxes and windows, foil printing, multiple types of materials, and a beautiful foil label that seals everything up – the whole experience is rich and gives the shopper an idea of the quality within. We love seeing a specialty company embrace this level of of specialty.

Enjoy our other stories from 2018 Expo West:

Our Favorite Finds

Color Stories

Sustainable Innovation

Our insights from this year’s Expo West | Color Stories

About a month ago we attended Expo West in Anaheim to walk the many aisles and see innovative & inspiring products. The following posts run through our insights and finds we’re excited to share.

Expo West is one of the largest, if not the largest, trade show for the natural products industry. With over 3000 exhibitors and estimates of 80,000 – 100,000 attendees it can be an overwhelming and claustrophobic experience – but it can also be very helpful and inspiring.

We went this year and spent 3 days soaking up all the emerging trends, innovative brands, and inspiring entrepreneurs who move the needle for the industry. We’re excited to share our insights and discoveries with you below.

Color Stories

Color plays a huge role in the decision to buy a product, so it’s no surprise we’re seeing bold, bright colors on a lot of the products featured at Expo West. Here’s some of our favorites:


UnReal makes yummy, guilt free riffs on traditional snacks like M&M’s. The candy space is very colorful, and UnReal does an amazing job creating a billboard of bold bright colors with striking design to complement. In a world of bubbly letters and swooshy effects, UnReal takes a different design stance, just like their products.


Sun & Swell Foods is on the other end of the spectrum. Soft, warm subtle colors that evoke their name and origin in Southern California. These colors feel very natural and let your eyes rest when you see them on a shelf of loud, bold snack & energy products.


Serenity Kids Baby Food takes the high road with their design and color choices instead of falling into the usual traps of baby food design – cartoony, bubbly silly design with bright, garish colors. We love the sophisticated and understated color choices and these will absolutely standout amongst other baby food brands.


Thunderbird Bars was by far our favorite color story. They do a great job of picking up queues from the natural energy bar space utilising warm earthy textures and then take a complete 180 and throw in a bold neon green. Or they embrace their origins and throw a bold bright Texas flag across the packaging. Each bar has a different vibe and feel, but the thunderbird shape is always consistent.

Enjoy our other stories from 2018 Expo West:

Our Favorite Finds

Sustainable Innovation

Special Printing Effects

Our insights from this year’s Expo West | Our Favorite Favorite Finds

About a month ago we attended Expo West in Anaheim to walk the many aisles and see innovative & inspiring products. The following posts run through our insights and finds we’re excited to share.

Expo West is one of the largest, if not the largest, trade show for the natural products industry. With over 3000 exhibitors and estimates of 80,000 – 100,000 attendees it can be an overwhelming and claustrophobic experience – but it can also be very helpful and inspiring.

We went this year and spent 3 days soaking up all the emerging trends, innovative brands, and inspiring entrepreneurs who move the needle for the industry. We’re excited to share our insights and discoveries with you below.

Our Very Favorite Finds & Discoveries

We always do a ton of research before the show and map out the exhibitors we know we want to see and meet, but there are always folks we discover on the fly wandering the aisles.


Soma Kombucha, one of the many kombuchas we tasted, is our favorite. The flavors are super subtle and very tasty. Design-wise we are impressed with the gold accents on the label and the bottle is custom – even with a design in the bottom of the glass. We really appreciate all these amazing details.


The Bitter Housewife is the whole package – bitters bottled in a flask shape with cool retro custom shaped diamond labels. The colors and typography used also have a vintage feel.


Blume Honey Water was one of our favorite unique products. A subtly sweet and refreshing drink with interesting flavors like Vanilla Citrus and Ginger Zest. We also really like the bee/honey dipper character that appears on the labels.


Tea Drops is one of our favorite whole package products – cool packaging design and an innovative product. We like the playful, whimsical feel of the packaging which matches the light fun brand personality. The product is very cool – the tea isn’t in tea bags, it’s made into “drops” that dissolve as the tea brews so there’s no waste.

Enjoy our other stories from 2018 Expo West:

Sustainable Innovation

Color Stories

Special Printing Effects