Vancouver, BC (May 26, 2009) – Happy Planet, known for its premium food and beverages, announces an occasion-based range of all-natural shots, their first entry into the functional shots category. Determined to make its mark and to innovate the category, Happy Planet selected Subplot Design Inc. to create the complete packaging design for its new range of shots. Happy Planet Shots officially launched in late April at the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC.


Tired of typical Energy shots that currently dominate the market with their toxic taste and less-than-credible-ingredients, Happy Planet has brought their reputation and knowledge of healthy natural beverages to the emerging shots category. Happy Planet Shots are formulated to address four specific occasions: Energy+, Immunity, Detox and Glow. By infusing specially-selected herbal wonders from around the world with key vitamins and minerals, and with a premium fruit juice base, each shot provides a total net effect that both tastes good and that works. With no added sugar, no preservatives and no artificial ingredients, each 75 ml is a shot of pure concentrated goodness.


With so many people leading a fast-paced life where they work and play hard, Happy Planet Shots provides a healthy solution,” commented Randal Ius, Happy Planet’s Vice President, Brand Development. “Depending on what life throws you on a given day, Happy Planet Shots can help re-charge your battery, help battle a cold, provide some post-party detox or help with some emergency skin nutrition.”


Subplot Design’s strategic role involved an extensive audit of the current shots and functional beverage category as well as liaising with Vancouver’s InQuest Consumer Insights & Planning, who conducted in-depth positioning consumer focus groups. Subplot then worked with Happy Planet to create a solid brand positioning strategy, followed by bottle and packaging design.


“In helping to express the Happy Planet brand through this new range of products, we realized that Happy Planet fundamentally defied the category conventions on every level”, says Roy White, Subplot Principal and Creative Director on the project. “This category was begging for a healthy alternative”.


With the vast majority of shots currently in the marketplace concentrating solely on “Energy” and with a combined taste and design profile resembling a “toxic explosion”, Happy Planet identified a gap in the market for a healthy alternative that addressed the many other occasions in consumers’ fast-paced lives.


Happy Planet’s reputation as “natural, pure and organic” was a direct fit with the “all-natural” attributes of the product. This needed to be balanced with the young, active shots demographic, without “trying too hard” to be “hip and cool” or too “masculine and aggressive”, so as to alienate Happy Planet’s existing consumer, skew too young or reflect negatively on the existing juice portfolio. Research pointed to a clean and modern aesthetic that bridged the gap between “natural” and “contemporary”.


“Our first task after the positioning work was to create a bottle that was unique and stood out from the standard PET moulds currently used by most of the competitors”, adds White. “A lot of time was spent creating a bottle that was not only unique, but also environmentally-responsible and cost-effective. The result is a tall, slender, square-sided bottle with a full shrink-wrap film, enabling total coverage of the bottle with graphics.”


The double challenge was to create a cohesive family of products while still giving each occasion a unique, ownable and relevant component specific to the key benefit of that particular shot. The resulting illustrations clearly depict the benefit of the shot; a shield for immunity, a sun for glow, a first-aid cross for detox and a lightening bolt for energy. All occasions are wrapped in a common silver wrap, and the design platform embraces a minimal, clean aesthetic which appeals to the active-lifestyle consumer. Given the small nature of the bottle, it was decided to run all type vertically on the cover panel to maximize legibility on shelf, and to leave room for the many legal packaging considerations that come with Natural Health Products packaging.


Happy Planet Shots will be sold at retailers across Canada including: Canada Safeway, Loblaws, Whole Foods Ontario & BC, Capers, Choices Market, Shell Canada, Husky, Mohawk, Chevron, FAS Gas Short Stops, Mac’s Convenience Stores, Sunoco, Quickie Convenience Stores and MacEwens.


Grip Limited of Toronto is responsible for the consumer marketing campaign, including the website, online marketing including a Facebook initiative, national hoarding postings and sampling at events in key Canadian cities throughout the summer.



About Happy Planet

Happy Planet is Canada’s leading natural and organic food company. Started in 1994 in Vancouver, BC, the company sells premium juices, smoothies, and organic soups and has now introduced a line of all natural herbal, vitamin/mineral Shots across Canada. All Happy Planet products come from 100% natural ingredients from the best sources on the planet and are made without preservatives, artificial ingredients or colourings.


About Subplot Design Inc.

Subplot Design Inc. is a leading brand design firm with international experience in creating category-defining corporate and consumer brands. We specialize in powerful ideas that build intelligent, relevant, stand-out brands and communications in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace. From our Vancouver, BC owned and operated offices, we do this with breakthrough creative brand design including Logomarks + Identity, Brand Packaging, Product Design, Print Communications, Annual Reports, and Retail Identities + Environments.