/ THE SITUATION
In 2012 my employer, Nature’s Path bought Que Pasa Mexican Foods from its founders. The brand was a local favourite despite its terribly underwhelming packaging. After culling the product line, my employers decided to overhaul the brand in hopes of rolling it out nationwide.
It was decided that the name would stay but everything else would be replaced.
Each designer on our team was given the opportunity to develop a new Que Pasa. One that would be more modern, organic and premium-priced.
/ THE SOLUTION
Looking at the snack category and especially tortilla chips, I discovered that the smaller, more expensive brands often used kraft paper bags vs the shiny plastic bags from the big brands, store brands and cheap brands. Kraft conveyed a sense of warmth while plastic felt more cold, mass-produced and cheap.
Many used Mexican-inspired imagery and visual cliches (donkeys, sombreros, cactus etc. While the more premium brands went further into Mexican folklore, folk art and symbols. I researched colours, symbols and patterns and found some interesting visual starting points.
A Handmade Look
In order to convey the perception of “artisan”, I decided to work with kraft paper as the packaging background. It would be the perfect ground for colour to pop off of and it would feel like it came from a smaller, more cost-conscious company.
And in order to convey the fun of snacks. (snacks should be fun right?) I decided to build the entire identity and packaging with hand-drawn type and graphics. No actual fonts. Hand-drawn type.
Who Knows Corn
Tortilla chips are made from corn and because the new QP chips were to be organic and contain a minimum number of ingredients, a focus on corn made sense. And who knows corn better than crows? I developed a friendly but simplistic crow mascot who would speak from the bags and a gecko who would talk about heat on the QP Salsa line.
/ THE RESULT
The resulting comp designs tested well with consumers and felt accessible, fun, and premium. The look was unlike anything on the shelves.
Unfortunately however, a few key decision-makers could not get past their own biases and felt uneasy. They were uncertain about handmade type and crows they felt were “vermin” and not suitable for food brands.
Management then reached out to a large American branding company and developed the look on store shelves today.