Back in August of last year, I received a call from my mother asking if I’d seen or picked up the new Walgreens “Nice!” branded candy. At the time I hadn’t, but a few months later while back in Nebraska for Christmas I decided it was time to grab as many of these wonderfully-designed packages as I could. Today I’d like to share them with you.
Before I get to these Walgreens Nice! branded offerings, I’d like to provide a little background on bagged store-brand candies.
Within the candy business the term “Private Label” is used to describe repackaged candy for specific stores or chains. Many times it involves packages of plain-label candies with no credited manufacturer, but just as often you can find brands like Brach’s, Ferrara Pan and others within these assortments. Sometimes single private label packages can contain products from multiple manufacturers.
And though it might seem like private label would be an afterthought, for some of the smaller family-owned candy companies in America the private label segment is a significant and important part of their business. During the same trip back to Nebraska where I picked up today’s Nice! packages, I also picked up a package from a local Hy-Vee grocery store, and it turns out that it was a private label package produced by Palmer, yet it contained Ferrara Pan Atomic Fireballs. Palmer, best known for their holiday offerings, has a pretty robust private label business.
Walgreens launched its private label brand Nice! in 2011, and when they brought their new branding to candy, in my opinion their packaging designers hit it out of the park.
Each package graphically invokes its individual confectionery contents, though not always in a direct or literal way. A package for licorice twists features a 50’s style dance-step graphic of “The Twist” while the package for the classic Smarties features the taped-up eyeglasses of someone who we assume is the “smartest” kid in his class. Beyond the clever graphics, these share the clean, unifying look of the Nice! brand.
Here are the pieces I’ve picked up for my collection:
This next and final package for Strawberry Twists licorice was sadly damaged in my attempt to separate it from its tasty contents. Licorice can create quite a bond with packaging like this and even with the care I used, it took a destructive act to get the twists out of there. At some point I’m going to have to try again with this one as I would like to have a more intact example of this neat piece of packaging.
The Walgreens Nice! private label brand covers quite a manner of grocery products at their stores and they all share an appealing design sense, but I think it’s these candy packages that stand out as the best-looking of the bunch. I look forward to tracking down more of them for my collection as the line continues.
And that’s it for today’s post. See you next time!