Branded Sustainability

April 2020

You have seven seconds to make a (sustainable) first impression.

Your business strategy isn't the only factor that determines your brand's socio-economic footprint. Most importantly in food packaging, brands are seeing a resurgence of trends in creative design, material selection, and composition lifespan. As EBS is connecting with more founders in the food industry (both for humans and pets alike!), we're sharing our notes on some of the key factors in making strategic decisions to build sustainable brands.

Package with personality.

In a world that has become way too vanilla in our opinion (p.s, there's nothing wrong with a good vanilla ice cream), personalities have become quieted to voices that seem all too dull to compare. With companies elevating their focus on sustainability, personality-packed packaging reigns high! Take Hummingbird Porridge for example. Rated by DesignRush as "creative, playful and whimsical," Hummingbird's paper packaging combines illustrative nature graphics with a color-coded system to distinguish each of its offerings.

Hummingbird Porridge Packaging Design GIF
Source: DesignRush

Sustain your story.

Proclaimed by Forbes as the "new start-up that... is poised to lead the comeback of aperitif culture,"

Haus is breaking the mold in every best way possible. What started out as a 3rd generation winemaking family who didn't feel that the alcohol offerings were just right, Haus is making an impact through sustainable design. Through its use of clean types, Haus' branding is described as earthy, classy, and timeless. Unlike the other common notion where packaging needs to be bold, bright, and daring, consumer good packaging is bringing a new trend with neutral tones, clean lines, and an award-winning website. No matter what side of the spectrum you're on, from serif to san serif and everything in-between, packaging trends resemble a more put-together design to showcase its sustainability through its story and design.

Source: AdWeek

Tingle through transparency.

"I’ve seen many “trends” come and go during my time in the food industry, but there have a been a few significant movements in food that have shifted consumer preferences and behaviors over the past decade, including the rise of the conscious consumer, mainstream knowledge of functional foods and meaningful sustainability," notes Rizal Hamdallah, Ocean Spray's global chief innovation officer.

We've heard the word "transparency" time and time again, but this time, it's bringing in a huge impact. Conscious consumerism is a thing. It's so much of a thing that publications like Conscious Company now focus their branded content and practices to effectively do better business. Not only are they taking business strategy into consideration but they're bringing the potential after effects to the forefront to lead sustainable businesses for generations to come.

But who's doing transparency right - and tingling the tastebuds of their audiences?


With their unique startup story that started in "Jake's garage in Palo Alto," their branding is pithy, catchy, and most of all, as real as it gets. What makes it even better? Their color selection, their typography, website, and oh... did I mention those seamless interactions?

Source: Cann Website

Consider the outcry.

Sometimes you can have the best intentions for your business but they just don't translate on the consumer side.


The company recently signed with 181 others to refocus their corporate purpose on the interests of employees, not profit shareholders. This included a company-wide "embracing (of) sustainable practices," announced Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder.

This change was catapulted based on alleged company controversy within. Back in February 2019, The Washington Post unraveled Amazon's troubling switch from cardboard packaging to plastic mail envelopes. Amazon's rationale seemed somewhat reasonable at first glance:

Pack more mail order envelopes into delivery trucks to get more orders out to consumers.

This backfired and resulted in an upswing in garbage being jammed at recycling facilities.

The cause? Amazon's new mail order envelopes. They needed to be recycled separately... and their consumers had no way of knowing these new requirements.

Source: The Washington Post

Put yourself in your consumer's shoes.

Your end consumer will either make or break your brand. As you consider their business strategy, story, marketing and branded packaging, consider your consumers' decision making process:

Source: Moo

I love working with food startups - and yes, I will accept free samples! If you're launching your food brand or are considering a revamp, let's connect!

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