M&M’S, a Mars Wrigley Confectionery brand, has earned one of Nielsen’s Design Impact Awards, which recognize successful package redesigns in the consumer packaged goods space. 

Over the past three years, the Nielsen Design Impact Awards have gained distinction within the design community for underscoring the measurable business value of outstanding package design. Building on the success of these awards within the U.S. market, this year Nielsen opened the award entry door to include global submissions, netting 10 winning brands from around the world. 

“Great package design can be found in every market, yet it rarely gets the recognition it deserves,” said Kyle McKinley, v.p. of Nielsen BASES Design Solutions. “We created the Nielsen Design Impact Awards to honor brands that are elevating the role of packaging in the marketing mix, bringing light to the tremendous contribution effective package design brings to a brand’s bottom line.”

Mars Wrigley Confectionery began a packaging redesign initiative in the U.S. after research showed candy ranked last in consumer ease of shopping. 

“We wanted to improve the shopper experience and enable consumers to identify our products faster and easier, and so began the ‘M&M’S stand-up pouch aisle transformation,’” said Allison Miazga-Bedrick, M&M’S brand director. 

The transition to standup pouches was designed to bring new and lapsed users back into the chocolate category and improve the shopping experience for consumers.

“The primary communication objective was to showcase the M&M’S brand in a more prominent manner — standing face-forward at shelf rather than bags laying down,” Miazga-Bedrick said. “This allowed faster findability for consumers, helping to create a more enjoyable shopping experience in the candy aisle.”

Internationally, Mars Wrigley Confectionery has been an industry leader in the category transition to standup packs in the U.K., Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. The redesigned packaging helped shoppers understand which pack is right for them and their usage occasion. 

With a 7 percent lift in sales, consumers were clearly able to better identify the products faster on shelves. The resealable package and usage occasion labeling invited the new design to be preferred 2.5 times over the old one. It’s important for any brand to stay true to its winning identity, but especially large brands. For this redesign, 89 percent of consumers said the new package fits well or extremely well with perceptions of the M&M’S brand.

For this year’s contest, hundreds of CPG brands and their design agencies submitted their best entries for product package redesigns that were successfully launched between Jan. 1, 2016, and Jan. 1, 2018. Nielsen reviewed in-market performance of all submissions using Nielsen’s Retail Measurement Sales data, identifying brands that experienced a demonstrable increase in retail dollar sales and units during the year that followed the redesign launch. 

Complementing sales data, Nielsen also conducted a survey of thousands of consumers to assess how well each redesign addressed its core communication objectives and to gauge purchase preference for the new packages over the old ones.

The winners represent a diverse range of business situations across food, beverage alcohol, personal and home care. They include:

  • Nice! (U.S.; Parent Company: Walgreens; Design Agency: Soulsight)
  • M&M’S (U.S.; Parent Company: Mars Wrigley Confectionery; Designed by: Mars Wrigley Confectionery)
  • Icelandic ProvisionsTM Skyr (U.S.; Parent Company: Icelandic ProvisionsTM; Design Agency: Moxie Sozo)
  • Hess Select (U.S.; Parent Company: The Hess Collection Winery; Designer: Michael McDermott)
  • Alpura (Mexico; Parent Company: Alpura; Design Agency: Foic Lecanda)
  • Arawana Oil (China; Parent Company: Yihai Kerry; Design Agency: Dongdao Creative Branding Group and Posher Design)
  • MAQ (South Africa; Parent Company: Bliss Brands; Design Agency: Fountainhead)
  • Playboy Deodorants (South Africa; Parent Company: Amka Products; Design Agency: Sainsbury Design)
  • Prestígio (Brazil; Parent Company: Nestle; Design Agency: DBA B+G)
  • Satis! (Brazil; Parent Company: Ajinomoto do Brazil; Design Agency: Arcwwbrasil)

“Brands who are winning with design are designing with a hyperfocus on the ebbs and flows occurring within the business and consumer landscape," McKinley said. "They are leaning into design to stretch beyond a category norm, using design to address white space or leveraging design to respond to shifts in consumer preferences and behavior whether that’s the growth of health and wellness, increasing screen time or changing retail platforms. Ultimately, this year’s winners were best in class at creatively using their pack redesign as the vehicle to effectively address the evolving needs of today’s consumer.”