tropicana shelf

The Tropicana section of the orange juice aisle has been completely taken over by the old carton design.   The only new design left was the orange juice I buy, so I get to hang on to the new design for at least one more week.

tropicana high pulp

Alex Bitterman, a former design professor of mine, sent me an article by David Kiley at BusinessWeek’s Brand New Day blog.   Kiley quotes Advertising Age:

After its package redesign, sales of the Tropicana Pure Premium line plummeted 20% between Jan. 1 and Feb. 22, costing the brand tens of millions of dollars. On Feb. 23, the company announced it would bow to consumer demand and scrap the new packaging, designed by Peter Arnell. It had been on the market less than two months.

Now that the numbers are out, it’s clear why PepsiCo’s Tropicana moved as fast as it did. According to Information Resources Inc., unit sales dropped 20%, while dollar sales decreased 19%, or roughly $33 million, to $137 million between Jan. 1 and Feb. 22. Moreover, several of Tropicana’s competitors appear to have benefited from the misstep, notably Minute Maid, Florida’s Natural and Tree Ripe. Varieties within each of those brands posted double-digit unit sales increases during the period. Private-label products also saw an increase during the period, in keeping with broader trends in the food and beverage space.

Wow, Tropicana lost $33 million in sales by redesigning their cartons.   I guess I would be hard-pressed to argue for keeping the redesigned cartons, too.   Yikes.   I think I may have been one of only two people who actually switched to Tropicana because of the new designs.   But I certainly didn’t buy $33 million worth of orange juice to make up the difference.