Where is the Tropicana Orange Juice?
In another brilliant example of throwing design and branding out the window, Tropicana has decided to genericize their brand and the packaging of their top selling product.
And so, I will go on a rant….
Having lived in Florida for over a decade, and graduated from the University of Florida (Go Gators!), I know something about orange juice. I even have friends who have PHd’s in agronomy and who have been taste testers at Tropicana in Bradenton, Florida. I know more about Valencia oranges, brix counts, and soil composition for growing oranges than I should. I even had a fabulous orange tree in our back yard in south Tampa.
With that as a background, I will tell you that I start every day with a glass of orange juice, and 99% of the time it is Tropicana Pure Premium. It is a fantastic orange juice, and you can even buy it in bulk at Costco (2 gallons at a time). And not only is the taste a premium, but so is the price. But I am OK with that because I love the sweet taste of a cold glass of Tropicana Pure Premium in the morning. On a cold winter day in Michigan it transports me right back to Siesta Key.
So I am very disappointed to see the branding geniuses at Tropicana follow the lead of the hacks at General Mills who run branding for Raisin Nut Bran (read my thoughts here) by abandoning their distinctive logo and unique package design for a cold, boring packaging treatment worthy of the cheapest generic juice.
I don’t want to drink “orange juice”. I want to drink “Pure Premium” orange juice.
This new package is boring, unattractive, and completely generic. The distinctive logo is gone. When my kids saw it, their immediate reaction was “What’s that? Where is the Tropicana?”. Not only were they suspicious of drinking inferior orange juice, but there was an underlying inference that Dad bought the cheap stuff.
Why on earth would you destroy your brand equity that way? It makes no sense to me. Someone is trying to make their mark, or is following some design trend philosophy that abandons uniqueness and favors “simple, clean, green” design. Well, its time to wake up and smell the boredom!
Lesson: if you have a premium product that commands a premium price, then you had better put it in a premium package.
The folks at Tropicana did learn this lesson with their new “Pure Valencia” juice. It tastes like it came fresh from the grove five minutes ago. It is a phenomenal juice, and it costs nearly double what Pure Premium costs. And the packaging is elegant, and shows the product beautifully. The kids don’t call Dad “cheap” when we serve that one!