R&K Foods (Sodo Snax)


New packaging for better shelf presence

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Packaging

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R&K Foods has been distributing natural foods throughout the Pacific Northwest for nearly 40 years. The company’s line of dried fruit and nuts, sold under the Sodo Snax label, is available in several well-known grocery stores here in the Seattle area—including PCC Community Markets, Metropolitan Market, and others.

The competition on store shelves is fierce; what’s on the outside of the bag or box is almost as important as what’s inside. Sodo Snax branding was clearly due for an update when R&K found Chalkbox, and the company wanted to develop new packaging before it was time to reorder stock.

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Visibility with flexibility

We were confident we could develop a compelling look for Sodo Snax, because we’ve successfully designed packaging for previous clients. We hadn’t worked on food labeling before, however, and quickly learned about unique challenges such as strict requirements regarding type size on nutrition labels.

The diverse lineup of Sodo Snax products posed another challenge: In addition to meeting all of the rules that come with food labels, our design needed to accommodate a wide variety of different names and descriptions.

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Research—including field trips!

After asking R&K about the company’s overall business goals, audience, and what they wanted the new branding to accomplish, we set out to do some competitor research—as we always do. But in this instance, instead of searching online, we got to do some rare field work. We wanted to see for ourselves what Sodo Snax were up against on the shelf.

Quite a few competitors used bold type and colors on their packaging, making their products stand out. Next to these, Sodo Snax sort of faded into the background.

Unfortunately, this issue undercut R&K’s strong differentiators: The company provides high-quality food and hand-packages its products. It is local, and has had a presence in the area for a long time. Its values are right in line with the preferences of many Northwest consumers.

We needed to create packaging that would make those consumers take notice.


In search of a SoDo solution

R&K Foods is located in SoDo, a neighborhood south of downtown Seattle with a diverse population, a long history of industry, and a distinct visual presence. R&K wanted a look that pointed to quality, organic foods, while also capturing the feeling of the historic buildings and colorful signage in the area.

Our design process began as it usually does, with sketching. Because the company had not yet decided on how the packaging would be produced, we ended up offering two approaches—one with significantly limited color, the other with greater flexibility. Then we worked with R&K and potential vendors to find the right production method, which determined the design approach that ultimately would be used.


Bright and bold, with a sense of place

Our final design incorporated visual elements that might be found in the SoDo area, along with touches reminiscent of the wood or stained glass in an old farmhouse. This not only referenced where the product was packaged, but also the setting where the food itself originated. The new labels are bright and vibrant, with bold and confident typography; they also feature a “window” so consumers can see the fruits or nuts in each package.

Sodo Snax products now stand out on the shelf in a grid of colorful tastiness. But the branding still follows the company’s simple-and-delicious philosophy. These products look appetizing and healthy, giving customers confidence about bringing them home to their families.

Do you need to stand out?

Whether your competitors are online or on the shelf next to you, you need branding that grabs the attention of potential customers. We can help. Get in touch with Chalkbox today.