OPINION BY ARMIN
Established in 1892 when it first sold canned peaches, Del Monte is a brand of fruits, vegetables, and, most famously, tomato delivered in cans and jars while also offering broths, sauces and condiments, fruit cup snacks, and frozen treats. Del Monte is owned by Del Monte Foods and, according to their company fact sheet, their fruit and vegetable products own the number one market share position while their tomato and broth products own number two. This summer, Del Monte will begin rolling out new packaging and a revised logo, both designed by San Francisco, CA-based PhilippeBecker.
First introduced in 1909, Del Monte’s iconic shield has always guaranteed the company’s commitment to quality. PhilippeBecker’s strategy was to simplify and amplify while defining the brand mark’s role within the context of the new positioning. The artwork was simplified by removing extra rules and drop shadows, and the leaf shape above the brand name was better defined. Meanwhile, the brand message was amplified by bringing the “Garden Quality” promise to the logo.
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I love me a good logo evolution — I had never realized how consistent Del Monte has been over 100 years — and this latest iteration of the tomato-encapsuled logo is a great chapter for the visual history of this brand. The new “Del Monte” blackletter, drawn by John Stevens, is a more consumer-friendly version than all the previous ones, softening the hard edges of most characters but definitely retaining its original feel. Removing the green stroke around could be lauded but, let’s face it, it should have never been there in the first place. The softer shadow underneath it is now enough to make it stand out. The “Garden Quality” text now doesn’t fit on the bottom of the tomato as before when it was just “Quality”, which crowds the main name a little bit but I do prefer the smaller text giving more prominence to the name. The shape of the tomato is nearly untouched but about 20 lbs. have been taken off in weight by removing shadows and thinning the strokes. In terms of the packaging…
I wish I could be as effusive about the packaging as the logo but mainstream consumer packaging for any product in any leading market-share positioning always seems to have a way to be graphically disappointing with far too many sales-driven ploys: Show a photo of the actual product! Show an illustration of an idyllic birthplace for the product! As much as the logo simplified its predecessor, the new packaging seems to overcomplicate things. Wouldn’t it have been awesome if the new design looked more like the 1911 version shown above? Based on what we have to see, the fruit cans feel much better resolved than the vegetables, with better integration of all the elements and the big cases are not all that bad. Overall, a great logo evolution and just about an unexciting and expected packaging evolution.