Update: Hawaiian Punch design, formula refreshed

Hawaiian Punch has undergone a design makeover, refreshing the look of their packaging as well as their iconic mascot, Punchy.

Hawaiian Punch - New Design
New Design: Hawaiian Punch (2011)

Taking a look at a 2010 bottle vs. 2011, the change is obvious. We’ve moved from a clip-art feel to a fully-rendered scene. The Wall Street Journal covered the change in a January 2011 article, noting that Dr Pepper Snapple Group is trying to “appeal more to the drink’s target audience of 13-year-olds.”

<Hawaiian Punch - Punchy (2010 vs. 2011)
Punchy: 2010 vs. 2011 Versions

One of these changes is implementing more of a CGI-style on the art. Again from the Journal, “‘Punchy is very Hanna-Barbera,’ said Jaxie Alt, Dr Pepper Snapple’s vice president of juice and juice drinks, referring to the animation studio behind the “Flintstones” and “Scooby-Doo” cartoons. ‘But we live in a Pixar world now.’”

Hawaiian Punch - Old Design
Old Design: Hawaiian Punch (2010)

Additionally, the formula for the drink has changed, now adding sucralose to the high fructrose corn syrup sweetener. This change was designed to cut down on the calorie count. Here at BevReview, we didn’t have a bottle of “old” Hawaiian Punch accessible, so we are unable to compare the taste changes. Interestingly enough, “panels of “flavor experts,” as well as moms and teens, couldn’t tell the difference between the new and old formulas,” according to the Journal article. Frankly, we find that a little hard to believe with a straight face.

We’re interested in seeing how these changes affect the broad array of Hawaiian Punch flavors that can be found regionally, beyond the core Fruit Juicy Red flavor. According to the official Hawaiian Punch website, those flavors currently include Lemon Berry Squeeze, Orange Ocean, Green Berry Rush, Polar Blast, Bodacious Berry, Berry Limeade Blast, Berry Bonkers, Berry Blue Typhoon, Lemonade, Lemon Lime Splash, Mango Passionfruit Squeeze, Mazin Melon Mix, Wild Purple Smash, and Fruit Juicy Red Light.

Apparently the brand has done well during the recession, which is why DPSG is putting more money behind it, as non-carbonated drinks are still in sales growth patterns while classic carbonated beverages decline.

Frankly, we find the design a bit too busy, as there are a lot of elements now in play on that label, including the logo, Punchy, fully-rendered ocean, bunches of fruits, etc. Many of these elements were present on the previous packaging design, but they were more clearly defined at a glance.

And for the record, we happen to be fans of Hanna-Barbera.