steamy and functional

here’s an example of how good design must address function as well as form. a couple years ago, the name brands came out with frozen vegetables that could be microwaved directly in the bag they came in. (great idea!) Publix followed along recently with this line of steam-in-bag vegetables.

in my opinion, store brands typically give even less attention to packaging function than they do to what the packages look like. publix, though, clearly spends more time than most on its packaging. i would imagine it pays off for them, too. if customers feel just as comfortable — if not more comfortable — with the store brand, they will buy the store brand more often and also shop at the store more often.

as for this bag’s looks, it’s not bad at all. it uses the photo approach commonly seen on this kind of product, and again puts typographical emphasis on descriptive words rather than product name. i wonder why they didn’t choose to focus on “california blend” since that’s the description that sets the product apart from others near it on the shelf. however, since the bag is in and of itself a selling point, perhaps they wanted to use the type to advertise it.


one thing i appreciate (there are so many things i appreciate, sure, but this is one) about the editorial staff at publix’s design group is how tastefully they use puns. so many generic brands attempt to make their product name a knockoff of the name brand name’s name. (think of how many “dr. somethings” there are in the generic dr. pepper category.) while publix has done this in the past (i think there may have been a dr. publix at one point, but correct me if i’m wrong), these days they seem to focus on the products themselves instead of cheesy titles. (speaking of cheesy…)

anyway, this post’s featured product, Crunchy Rice, is a fairly new version of Kellogg’s Special K. here at the PublixPackaging household, we’re excited. special k is one of our favorite cereals, but we’re frugal shoppers and special k is expensive. i picked up a box of CrunchyRice recently, and it’s not bad. frankly, it’s not as good as the brand-name counterpart in my opinion, but it’s similar.

packaging-wise, the emphasis the title places on the descriptive words “crunchy rice” works for me. i suppose it’s still technically the descriptive word, but when you’re in an aisle full of a single product category, it makes a little more sense to emphasize adjectives rather than the nouns themselves. i guess. my jury is still out on that one. thoughts?

it’s good AND good for you!

this little gem is my husband’s new favorite food (yep, that’s right, there’s a Mr. PublixPackaging now!). well, truly the vanilla flavor is his all-time fav, but the Publix I stopped at on my way home today was all out. Personally, though, i prefer the blueberry on the rare occasion that a yogurt mood strikes me.

the packaging design is an example of one of the first layouts we saw several years ago. it lacks the “punny” tagline, and instead relies upon a sketch of the item’s primary ingredient (in this case, a trio of blueberries). it’s also an example of Publix’s tendency to focus on the item’s descriptive word instead of the item name itself. i realize several very educated and experience people likely articulated a system long ago for choosing which words to highlight; i just don’t get it. in this case, i think i would have focused on yogurt — or maybe “blueberry yogurt” — and relied on consistency of design in the rest of the product line to immediately convey the rest.



gimme the premium juice


Tonight I spent a fair amount of time juicing oranges from my in-laws’ orange tree with a manual juicer. Don’t get me wrong; the process yields juice unlike anything found in stores. But as I squeezed citrus fruit tonight, I couldn’t help but think how easy it would have been to have purchased the newly packaged premium Publix orange juice.

In fact, just a week or two ago, I had on my grocery list Simply Orange. It’s a great juice. Very natural. But on that shopping day, I noticed that Simply Orange used fruit from Brazil. Publix premium OJ, however, was all American. And so I purchased Publix premium OJ.

They’ve recently begun a redesign of the Publix premium line. Makes it a little easier to buy the products, IMHO. What do you think?

Yes, it’s worth mentioning again


To our loyal fans, we offer a long-overdue apology: It’s been more than four years since we last posted. (Can you believe how time flies?!) moving forward, we promise frequent posts about a campaign that still stops us in our tracks as we meander through the aisles of America’s best grocery store. We’ve also got plans to add a bargain-watch/couponing section in the near future, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

So for this first post back after a long hiatus, we want to again draw attention to the box of a certain cheese-flavored cracker. (Yes, it’s worth mentioning again.) Publix calls them Cheddar Cheesy’s. We say that’s WRONG, Publix, WRONG! Where are your grammar nerds?! Where are your editorial geniuses?! Every other package we’ve seen from you is a work of art… But this one commits apostrophe abuse. The crackers don’t belong to a character named Cheddar Cheesy, do they? It’s been five years since we first posted on this topic, and still the glaring error remains. Every time we’ve shopped in the last five years, we’ve stopped by the cookie and cracker aisle, just to see if it’s fixed yet. But alas, no. Please, Publix… Fix this error!