Field Notes: Natural Storytellers

Posted: August 22, 2016 by
Linda Casey

In its aim to develop packaging to better reflect its progressive food values, highlight the stories behind the foods and also revisit some of the inspiration from its original packaging, Kashi partnered with design agency Jones Knowles Ritchie to create a new visual identity reflects the brand’s belief that food should not only taste good but do good.

The new visual identity comprises a new logo and overall graphic design for packages in addition to use of editorial-style storytelling to share its history as a healthy food pioneer for more than 30 years. These stories describe how the food was made and where it comes from and often features the employees, farmers and friends of Kashi who had a deep impact on that particular product. For example, Kashi Dark Cocoa Karma Shredded Wheat Biscuits features the story of Wyoming-based farmer Newton Russell, who was one of first farmers to pilot the Certified Transitional protocol (an initiative to help farmers transition fields from conventional to organic) and grew the wheat featured in the first batch of this new cereal.  Other packaging features Wild Willow Farm & Education Center, a 5-acre working farm in Kashi’s hometown that focuses on educating the community about the progressive food movement and place where Kashi draws inspiration for its own foods. 

Other package design changes include a departure from imagery reliant on farm and field visuals. The new design features food front and center against a clean white canvas and accented with a contemporary design that incorporates clean lines, vivid colors and straightforward typography. “Our new design reflects values of the Kashi Company,” says Tosh Hall, creative director of Jones Knowles Ritchie, the branding agency behind the new packaging and identity.  “The visual identity system and packaging tell the story of the product’s quality, its origins and the dedicated people behind the Kashi brand.”

Jeff Johnson, surfing nutritionist and senior director of marketing and new ventures at Kashi, adds. “The new packaging reinforces our belief that foods should be clean and purposeful—the two ideas simply go together.”

Kashi and its agency are understandably proud of the design and brand strategy, but what do Package Design readers think?


Lovely design. Simple, clean and directly related to their promise. Well done.

George Argyros
partner and CEO, Soulsight


The new visual identity is very inviting, light and freeing now that they have removed the constricting green box and added nice visual movement with the wheat shaft graphic. The packaging design decision of leaving the box white with an extreme close-up of the product really works to keep the consumer focused on the wholesomeness of their products and as the leader in the category. I also enjoyed the use of the editorial-style stories on the packaging which aids in keeping the consumer engaged and does a great job of connecting the consumer personally and confidently with the product origins and quality. They made some bold choices and dispensed the usual health food category devices. It’s paid off beautifully. 

Amy Graver
principal and creative director at Elements