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A Flavorful Refresh

Injecting a bite of personality into a deliciously different brand.


Distribution at Publix
Increase sales
New regions added
at Whole Foods

The Ask

Pancho's, a beloved restaurant turned heritage queso dip brand, had recently redesigned their packaging with another agency and released in market with some not-so-great customer feedback. Consumers – new and old – felt the redesigned packaging lacked personality and found the product photography bland and unappealing (not ideal for a food brand with a rich history of flavor and word-of-mouth marketing).

When they saw the numbers begin to drop, they reached out to Gel to help realign their package design and prepare the brand for a national rollout.

The Challenge

As Gel dove into the discovery phase of the project, we found that when Pancho’s had updated from their original design, they had abandoned a more than problematic mascot for today’s culture. In the rush to update, they had changed the color, logo, and layout of the product.

However, after debuting this new design, there was an outcry  from their consumers that they had gone too far. They could no longer connect with anything authentic in their beloved Pancho’s brand and felt that they had been robbed of their beloved restaurant queso

The Solution

With this new knowledge at hand, Gel’s team got to work designing Pancho’s refresh and turned to the brand’s origin for inspiration. We found that Pancho’s started as a respected restaurant in Memphis and is rumored to be the genesis of the very first Queso Dip. As the brand evolved into products in your local grocery store, there still needed to be a tie back to that story.

As a restaurant, Pancho’s evoked a comforting sense of authenticity and belonging for all who came. Gel’s strategic designs attempted to recapture that nostalgic feeling for the customer. We designed the logo, typography, and even background imagery based off of references to the original restaurant (and original packaging). We then reinforced the taste-appeal by creating a hierarchy that focused on showing how delicious the product looks, and used key illustrations to highlight each flavor of the product line.

Something old, something new

When redesigning Pancho’s mark, we pulled inspiration from both the newest logo design and the restaurant’s original logo to make for a powerful combination of local legend meets national icon. This helped retain feelings of tradition, history, and belonging while appealing to the broader masses with this bold, stand out logo.

Chip Chip

While updating the packaging, we knew we wanted to highlight the mouth-watering nature of the product itself. We conducted a product photoshoot, that captured the gooey and tasteful aspects of the product, then highlighted them as the hero on each of the product’s labels.

Aggressively Good

We brought our strategy to life with a brand identity that is eye-catching, modern, and brimming with personality. Mouthwatering macro-shots of the food maximize taste appeal and make a hero out of the snacks themselves, displaying pride in their products. Typography, color, and personality were all “big-ified” to match our bold new tone.

Spicing it up

While we brought back elements from the original brand identity, we didn’t want to entirely disregard the most recent packaging. Our new package design offered a step forward for existing customers, but also created a cohesive system rooted in story and taste appeal for new customers to enjoy.

Food front
and center

We wanted to put forth the same fresh, vibrant appeal when expanding the branding beyond the package. This meant putting the food front and center, supported by colorful textures and illustrations that could easily be applied across all sorts of brand collateral.

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