May 14th, 2009 by Ace
Caught our fine friends at Nabisco (subsidiary of Kraft “no, we’re not owned by Philip Morris anymore” Foods) in the much-practiced but little-acknowledged act of brand repositioning, so egregiously that I couldn’t help but document it. In each of the pictures below, the box on the left is the old Triscuit box; the box on the right is the new Triscuit box.
- The transition from the curved County Fair-like logo with hard edge and bold-accented font, to the flat-line, soft-haloed, blog-like font with wider spacing;
- The artsy all-caps with “scratch” border added to the “Original” designation;
- The similar change in the style of the heart, plus its reduction to a minor presence in the layout;
- The elimination of the “Made with 100% whole grain” and “0g Trans Fat” designations from the heart;
- The shift in the depicted food layout from the Midwestern picnic-style white plate with cheddar and grapes to the herb-accented cutting board and marbled cheddar (LOL!);
- The overall moderation of the color palette, especially the change from the yellow stone-like background to the brown-golden parchment-like one.
- The complete replacement of any sort of nutritional, health or weight management advocacy with the “romantic” tableau, depicting the product in context with a wine glass and cloth placemat, and used as the foundation of a more complex cuisine;
- The use of the descriptive text to create associations of comfort and luxury.
- The alteration of the description of Triscuits as involving a “process” that creates a cracker one can “feel good about eating” to asserting that Triscuits are “carefully woven” and “baked to perfection”, creating associations of artisanship, and derivative implications of connoisseurship on the part of the purchaser;
- The removal of the “Low Saturated Fat”, “No Cholesterol” and “Sugar Free” designations;
- The change of the associated cross-brand catch phrase from “Sensible Snacking” to “Sensible Solution”, presumably to avoid the negative connotations associated with “snacking” and substitute a more pro-active sounding term;
- The removal of the secondary product shot in favor of short how-to recipes for the Triscuit-based items pictured (including tie-ins to other Kraft products, naturally);
- The change of the Web tie-in from the complicated and nutritionally associated Nabiscoworld Sensible Snacking subdirectory to the straightforward and brand-focused Triscuit dot com.
Might we logically conclude from this that Nabisco is seeking to position Triscuits in such a way as to appeal to a more affluent, worldly, possibly younger and less health conscious strata of consumer, one that places emphasis on cultural sophistication and upward mobility?
Bonus!: SIDE 2 (Nutritional Panel)
- The conversion from the exclusive use of soybean oil to soybean “and/or” palm oil;
- The change of the Saturated Fat content per serving from 0.5g to 1g. (While this might be the basis of the removal of the “Low Saturated Fat” designation on the other side panel, the total fat cited in that designation [4.5 grams per serving] remains constant. Also, the sub-types of fats listed on the original panel only add up to 4g total, making it unclear whether there was a numerical error that has been corrected on the new panel, or an unlisted type of fat was replaced by more saturated fat [such as that in palm oil]);
- The change in the RDA% of sodium from 7% to 8%, despite no change in the milligram content or RDA statistics (by the math it’s 7.5%, so maybe they’re rounding up);
- The inclusion of a potassium RDA%;
- The correction in the RDA% of dietary fiber from 13% to 12% (now mathematically accurate);
- The mysterious halving of iron RDA% from 8% to 4% (difficult for me as a layperson to get a comparison of iron content in soybean oil vs. palm oil without subscribing to an academic nutritional or chemical analysis journal, so don’t know if that’s it);
- The disappearance of monoglycerides (also weird on every level, as they’re commonly used as binders or emulsifiers between ingredients, and there were supposedly only three ingredients to begin with; are those ingredients now getting along? Does the palm oil do whatever the monoglycerides were doing?)
- The removal of Kraft Foods Global to Northfield, Illinois, where the rent is probably a lot cheaper than in East Hanover, New Jersey.