A package redesign of HI-CHEW has earned the candy a 2020 Global Nielsen BASES Design Impact Award, an award that recognizes impactful package redesigns in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space. Among the 2020 winners was the 100 g HI-CHEW Original Mix peg bag, recognized for its success in increasing retail dollar sales and units during the year that followed the redesign launch. This is believed to be the first time a Japanese brand has won this award.
The team’s main objective for the HI-CHEW Original Mix redesign was to capture the bright, fun and colorful essence of the fruity, chewy candy brand. It was also important that the product's unique traits and benefits of delivering true-to-life fruit flavors and a long-lasting chewy texture were clearly communicated and well represented on the design as well as on the store shelves. The new design rollout showcased HI-CHEW's commitment to growing the brand in the U.S. while also providing the brand with a story to share with the industry as well as consumers. The updated packaging provided the team with an exciting incentive to push harder for new retail opportunities and elevate the sell-in strategy for more distribution opportunities.
The candy’s rapid growth in the U.S. meant that it was important for the team to clearly understand how consumers perceived the current package and product. To uncover this information, HI-CHEW focused its brand and product marketing strategy on more research and consumer-driven insights. As HI-CHEW began collecting data, the brand quickly realized that there was a misalignment between the product design and HI-CHEW's identity. The new packaging design is a direct response to these findings — a flavorful and vibrant evolution.
"For consumers who were not familiar with our brand, we found that the packaging didn't quite showcase how premium and unique HI-CHEW is," says Jennifer Moling, product marketing manager. "We knew that by utilizing consumer input at the helm of the redesign strategy, we would be able to create a new package that would align with our product attributes and what consumers love most about our candy."
Since the parent company of Morinaga America, Inc., Morinaga & Co., first launched HI-CHEW in Japan in 1975, the candy has been created in over 200 flavors. HI-CHEW flavor experts continue to develop flavors and eye-catching packaging through detailed research into consumers' palates, preferences and trends.
The company plans to expand its flavor portfolio with several 2021 launches.