Co-op’s Playful New Baby Range

British consumer co-operative the Co-op has introduced a redesign of their baby care private brand. The new branding designed by Robot Food brings new life to the baby care category by creating an adorable package design solution with bold colors and playful characters.

Bundling adorable charm and millennial values, the new range looks to put a smile on the faces of parents and their little ones.

Co-op wanted to embrace with a new generation of parents and rebrand its baby care range. The new range needed to provide customers with a credible private brand and encourage a wider shop, the aim being to grow category sales and engage shoppers.

Taking a closer look at the baby care category, the team found that it was out of touch and failing to cater to a new type of parent. Research showed that the majority of new parents were millennials, yet most brands hadn’t moved on much from when said parents were in diapers themselves. In private brand, an abundance of cutesy sub-brands and ‘me-toos’ seemed content to follow conventions of the leading brand names, competing solely on price with busy packs cluttered with claims and familiar color schemes. Many across the category also appeared to generally support a sanitized, unattainable ideal of ‘perfection’ – something far from the experience of most new parents.

An opportunity to create a fresh, modern take on baby care was identified. The team focused their strategy on the realities of being a parent and looked to spark an emotional connection with the audience, built on the joyful (and not so joyful) moments that come with parenthood.

The new designs flout category norms and expectations of ‘perfect parenting’. Rather than airbrushed studio shots of smiling babies, the team commissioned children’s book illustrator, Jim Field. Famous for best-selling titles including ‘The Lion Inside’ and ‘Oi Dog’, kids and adults love Field’s colorful and humorous illustration style. Animal drawings replace babies on front of packs to communicate the relevant age and improve navigation, while rhyming product descriptors offer a storybook style tone of voice, completely unique to Co-op.

New packs say less but communicate more through a simple, stripped back hierarchy and clever use of iconography to simplify and amplify key pack messages without the clutter. The final result is a look and feel that is contemporary and relevant to modern parents, tied together with a tasteful color palette that looks just as good on nursery shelves as it does in store.

Brooke Fletcher, Packaging Design Manager at Co-op, said, “As well as helping us raise the bar for the entire category, Robot Food’s work is also raising plenty of smiles. Playful, clever, effective – the range is absolutely spot-on for what we wanted to achieve. We now have a strong, cohesive, beautiful baby-care range designed for a new generation of parents that’s easy to navigate and encourages consumers to consider a wider Co-op shop. We’re looking forward to seeing what Robot Food does next.”

Julia Allan, Senior Designer at Robot Food, said, “We wanted to be on the same side as mum or dad. A lot of us our new parents as well and have all felt the pressures that come with the role. The last thing we wanted to do was project this unrealistic expectation of ‘perfect parenting’ – the category needed a wake-up call.”



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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.