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Bumble Bee packaging goes retro, marketing does digital


In recognition of shoppers’ desire for clean foods with minimal ingredients, Bumble Bee has introduced a new “Heritage Pack” with labeling reminiscent of the 1950s. Retailers may be inclined to say, “so what,” but there are several interesting aspects to the initiative.

Packaging changes among CPG companies are common in an industry where genuine innovation is hard to come by. So a new label, color scheme or pack size tends to elicit a big yawn from retailers.

The new Heritage Pack from Bumble Bee could be accused of resorting to that strategy too except the initiative appears to be rooted in a solid shopper insight and is being supported with some interesting digital initiatives.

“The Heritage Pack is a fun way to introduce Bumble Bee to younger millenials looking for meal solutions that are high quality, delicious and packed with natural ingredients, and also to reconnect with Boomers that have fond childhood memories of eating Bumble Bee products,” said Bumble Bee president and CEO, Chris Lischewski. “This back-to-basics approach is a focus for Bumble Bee as we continue to provide the highest quality seafood with wholesome, clean ingredients.”

It doesn’t get much cleaner than Bumble Bee’s solid white albacore or solid light yellowfin tuna which are packaged with spring water and a bit of salt.

To support the Heritage Pack launch, the company is employing interactive digital, radio and in-store activations, including a remake of Bumble Bee’s 1970s commercial featuring a larger-than-life Bumble Bee Balloon and a classic jingle. Creative partnerships have led to humorous video shorts with Richard Simmons and Mike Epps, plus health and wellness tips from LL Cool J. The company is also making available recipes, product information, Bumble Bee jingle ringtones and other content at

At the end of the day, the Heritage Pack may be just another packaging change, but there are several interesting aspects to the initiative to engage with new and existing shoppers to drive sales.

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