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Dec 11, 2018 • By

Muir Glen gets a retro packaging overhaul

A work of art? That could be one way to describe the new packaging appearing across the Muir Glen product line, which includes organic canned tomatoes, pasta sauces and salsas.

“The idea behind the new design really stemmed from the heritage of Muir Glen as the nation’s first large-scale producer of organic canned tomatoes, long before organic was a standard or trend,” says Jake Ellerbrock, senior marketing manager for Muir Glen. “While our previous labels have underscored the quality and rich brand history that lives inside every single Muir Glen product, it didn’t really stand out. We wanted to create a timeless, sought-after design that people would be inspired to save and reuse in their homes.”

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To bring the new packaging to life, the team took inspiration from vintage labels that adorned canned California produce around the 1950s.

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“50s-era California produce packaging had a wonderful feel to it, with realistic illustrations of beautiful fruits and vegetables. We drew inspiration from that look, but added a contemporary twist,” says Ellerbrock.

The result is a contemporary take on that vintage inspiration. A beautiful, handcrafted and timeless design that celebrates the brand’s star ingredient – the tomato – and gives a nod to the brand’s California heritage.

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Through some common design elements, including the three hero tomatoes, the entire line works together to help the brand stand out on shelf. The team also hopes they can inspire people to recreate the same shelf display at home in their very own pantry.

In this audio clip, Ellerbrock talks about the redesign process, the new artwork and the team’s goals for the brand’s fresh look.

“We know millennials are flocking to the kitchen to make and create whenever possible, carefully curating quality ingredients that also have on-shelf curb appeal. We hope our new packaging will help more people rediscover the great taste and quality of Muir Glen tomatoes,” continues Ellerbrock.

It starts with a great tomato

Taste is truly a key differentiator for Muir Glen, which has been widely recognized over the years for being among the best tasting canned tomatoes. The brand has received countless accolades from some of the tops in foodie culture including Bon Appetit, NPR’s The Splendid Table and The New York Times, to name a few.

One of the things that makes the Muir Glen brand such a stand-out was the founding belief that organic farming produced a better tasting tomato.

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The year was 1991, a time when organic was still unproven territory. Muir Glen’s founder Craig Weakley chose to grow Muir Glen tomatoes in the rich growing conditions of the Sacramento Valley. To learn more about how Muir Glen started, check out the brand’s origin story, here on “A Taste of General Mills.”

Today, Muir Glen continues that California heritage and works with about a dozen hand-selected organic farmers in the area. The tomatoes are harvested and then canned in eight hours or less. These organic farmers are committed to regenerating the natural resources of California to ensure long-term prosperity of the land.

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The California State “button” that appears on the new Muir Glen labels.

In August, a team from our Minneapolis and Berkeley offices visited with grower Scott Park (shown below) on an organic tomato farm in the Sacramento Valley.

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Park has been farming organically for more than 30 years and is currently leading research in water conservation and soil health in California.

Looking for recipe inspiration for entertaining during the holidays? Check out these two easy yet elegant Muir Glen recipes on Food52

And look back at a few Instagram highlights from Muir Glen’s partnership with Feedfeed at the Food Loves Tech Expo on November 2 and 3, 2018, in Brooklyn, New York, where the brand debuted its fresh look.

Have an idea for a story you’d like to see on “A Taste of General Mills”? Email us at contact.blog@genmills.com.

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