I am an avid muncher of all things in the cookie/cracker aisle. As I’ve been trying to shift my lifestyle from “college” to “grown-up,” I find myself shifting from Oreos and Cheezits to Triscuits and Belvita. My favorite flavor of the wonderfully satisfying Triscuit crackers is the Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil one. It tastes great alone and it leaves a gritty residue on your fingertips, reminiscent of Cheetohs. I also enjoy eating them with a small dollop of cream cheese or slices of american or cheddar cheese. This past grocery trip, I noticed that my beloved Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuit crackers and all her cousins had gotten a makeover! The one on the right is the original and the one on the left is the NEW one:
Let’s discuss, from the perspective of a Millennial (as brands love to call those in my age group), what the differences are in the packaging and their implications. The latest info I can find on Triscuit’s target audience is back from 2010 and 2011 when they ran their Home Farming campaign, and it was targeting the extremely health-conscious consumers who like to grow their own veggies (though I doubt the expansiveness of that market in relation to Triscuit’s widespread distribution).
The product, at its core, is made of three ingredients: wheat, oil, and salt. Lately, all the big brands are targeting Millennials because we are a growing segment and will soon outnumber all the other segments (your reign is over, Baby Boomers). If you are unfamiliar with the Millennial segment and our unique characteristics, I’d say this Forbes article gets it pretty right.
Millennials are more health-conscious than the last generation, and my friends and I are adopting “healthy snacks” much earlier than my parents’ generation did. Often in class, I see my classmates munching on apples and strawberries instead of Famous Amos cookies, and sipping on an iced green tea rather than a Coke. I think that Millennials might be a huge chunk of the new target market that Triscuit is aiming at – I don’t know, I just have a hunch based on the little Pinterest shoutout on the back of the box. Before we get to the back though, let’s start with the front of the box.
The front of the old package design was a yellow background, with the brand name the biggest, and the flavor right under it in a brown box. The picture illustrates the flavor: we have a bowl of black peppercorns (I had to look up what they were called, I was gonna say “seeds”) and some the peppercorns have spilled over and are resting in large drops of olive oil. Next to that, there is a lone Triscuit cracker posing and showing off its back pepper flakes. Above the Triscuit brand logo, we see a darker yellow font with a wheat illustration that says “Baked with 100% Whole Grain Wheat.”
The front of the new package’s background has been muted to a more neutral beige, and a yellow, tilted square is layered beneath the rest of the elements of the design. The Triscuit font logo has been increased in size and the shaping of the letters has been altered (you can see it most in the i’s and the c). The most drastic difference is the photo. Now, we have a stack of the crackers topped with, as it explains in the blurb text next to it, “yogurt, fresh grapes & almonds.” A few scattered peppercorns are placed around the crackers. The flavor is in a box which mimics the shape of the yellow square which is in the background. The flavor text box has retained its original brown color, but now it is in the foreground of the design. The words “Cracked Pepper” are bigger than the words “Olive Oil,” probably to differentiate this flavor since a lot of the Triscuit flavors contain olive oil.
One striking motif that is so different on the new packaging is the focus on toppings. The old package showed the Triscuit cracker as a one-man show, but the new package highlights all the “recipes” you can make your Triscuit cracker a part of. In the front, we already see the yogurt, grapes, and almonds idea, but the sides and back of the new package can’t wait either to tell you more toppings you can decorate your crackers with:
It’s interesting and pretty ironic if you consider the fact that back in 2012, Triscuit apologized for always emphasizing toppings on its crackers and so launched a campaign that showed that Triscuits taste good on their own too, without toppings. Hm.. so why the push back to focusing on toppings? Maybe consumers got bored of eating their Triscuits alone!
Overall, I really like the packaging update that Tricots have undergone. The beige is much more Archer Farms-esque and by that I mean, more aligned with the image that Triscuits really should be promoting to Millennials – a healthy, wholesome snack made from natural ingredients and “foodie-friendly” flavors. The focus on the flavor is important to Millenials who aren’t just happy with plain Mac n’ Cheese anymore (seriously, there’s chain restaurants popping up that serve Mac n Cheese or Ramen dressed up with different toppings and Millennials are diggin’ it!). The photo update is definitely more appealing than the old box photo. The photographer captured the crackers with interesting camera angles and the arrangement of the toppings looks delicious and something akin to an appetizer at a fancy bistro. Good job, Triscuit!