Whole Foods tapped into the expertise of its in-house design team to execute the highly successful packaging redesign of its 365 by Whole Foods Market brand.

The redesign resulted in great feedback from its merchants and customers and was a big factor in the retailer winning the Vertex Award for 2021 Retailer of the Year for the Americas.

Three Whole Foods executives outlined the successful redesign process during the virtual My Private Brand Design Summit, in a conversation with Christopher Durham, President, My Private Brand.

Updating the 2010 Design

The new design, unveiled in 2020, updated a look created for the brand back in 2010.

“This was a great time for a refresh and we were ready,” said Brianna Blanton, Senior Leader, Package Design and Compliance.

Durham called the result “almost a perfect example of how a private brand can change how a store feels. All of a sudden, the store feels a little fresher, a little more playful and younger.”

Going In-House for Design

Jennifer Light, Whole Foods Team Leader, Package Design, said that although the retailer works with terrific agencies, it decided to bring this redesign process in-house.

“We have a great in-house creative team at Whole Foods, including our designers and copywriters, so we wanted to take advantage of that,” she said.

The creative process led to a design concept choice that “felt so different,” Light said. It focused on new directions in areas such as color and illustration.

From Concept to Build-Out

The next step was moving the development to the packaging team and focusing on execution details such as printing.

“We wanted to make sure it would print the way we wanted to,” Light explained. The retailer leveraged its team of print producers and project managers.

After that, Whole Foods designed about 3000 packages — featuring a wide range of unique illustrations.

“We created simple shapes we built off of, like puzzle pieces extended out across the brand to keep it cohesive,” said Light.

Impact on Stores and Consumers

The internal and external responses to the redesign were highly positive.

“Our global category merchants very excited to see the new design and super proud of the work of the design team,” said Thomas Crookham, Director, Exclusive Brands, Whole Foods.

Blanton said the Consumer Insights team at Whole Foods was able to get great focused responses from customers.

“Customers really feel great about the new look, which was very important because we wanted to make sure they were along with the change.”