The Total Package: Check out Market Pantry’s New Look

February 3, 2016 - Article reads in
Four red and white boxes of Market Pantry crackers featuring the new packaging designs

Target’s Market Pantry brand has become the go-to for busy guests and their families. It’s got just about every food product found on a grocery list, with trustworthy ingredients and affordable prices. In the 15 years since it first landed on our shelves, Market Pantry has grown into Target’s largest owned food brand, and one of our 10 owned brands that bring in $1 billion or more in annual sales. But two years ago, when our teams asked guests what they thought of the brand’s packaging, their answer was a bit … ho-hum.

“Turns out, guests loved Market Pantry’s great taste, quality and low prices, but they thought the packaging designs fell a little flat,” says Amanda Irish, vice president merchandise manager, Owned Brands. “Target’s known for great design, but the current, generic look and feel of Market Pantry just wasn’t reflecting that.” 

Words like “basic,” “generic” and “plain jane” came up when guests described the current designs. It was a lightbulb moment for the team—they realized that reinventing the brand with a modern upgrade could make things a lot more inspiring. So a team of designers, merchants, engineers and marketers set to work giving the brand’s signature packaging a makeover. The goal was to create a new look that guests felt proud to showcase in their kitchens and lunchboxes. But how to make the 1,900+ products across 100 different categories stand out, while also hanging together visually as a brand?

The answer was to listen to our guests, because they had some pretty solid ideas. For example: They told us that images of the foods on packages are really important when deciding what to buy, and the Market Pantry product photos weren’t as delicious-looking as they could be. (“You can’t tell how it tastes from looking at this package,” said one guest.) And consistency was key—they looked for a brand’s color scheme and trusted logo displayed prominently on packages to help them pick it out on the shelves.

A tub of the old Market Pantry ice cream packaging side by side with the new.

It was also important to take different kinds of foods and their packaging needs into consideration. With so many types of packages to consider—boxes, tubs, bottles, bags—the brand’s visuals would need to be versatile. That meant building a far more expansive creative tool kit than what currently existed.

Ultimately, the team decided on a bolder, more joyful look for the new packaging. They incorporated bright colors against a consistent red and white base, and varied background patterns that can be customized to fit packages of all sizes and shapes. They also used fresh, crisp photography and more expressive fonts. And guests told us they love the custom recipes we put on each package from the culinary experts in Target’s Test Kitchen—so those aren’t going anywhere.

A box of our old Market Pantry fruit snacks package side by side with the new.

“The new Market Pantry packaging allows us to communicate better with our guest through design,” says Amanda. “Not only is it more attractive, it gives guests easier access to the information that’s most important to them.” The results? Safe to say these products really pop. Check out more of the new packages here:

Excited to check out Market Pantry’s new look in person? The first redesigned packages are hitting stores now in the Dairy section, and the rest will continue to phase in throughout 2016. 

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