CASE STUDY

Karuna

OVERVIEW
OVERVIEW

After commisioning a New York agency to handle their branding Karuna [kuh-roo-nah], a St. Louis-based beverage startup, decided to go back to the drawing board. I worked closely with Upstart Food Brands and the Karuna team to design a packaging system that would arrest attention on the shelves and exemplify the storied roots of the brand.

After commisioning a New York agency to handle their branding Karuna [kuh-roo-nah], a St. Louis-based beverage startup, decided to go back to the drawing board. I worked closely with Upstart Food Brands and the Karuna team to design a packaging system that would arrest attention on the shelves and exemplify the storied roots of the brand.

karuna_beverage_joy
karuna_beverage_harmony
karuna_beverage_mindful
karuna_beverage_wisdom
karuna_beverage_essence
karuna_beverage_allure
STARTING AT SQUARE

It was agreed from the start that the brand was lacking clarity and definition. Before the conceptual phase began we led the client through a brand development phase and produced a report detailing the target market, audience demographics and interests, competition, mission and values, brand story, talking points and elevator speech, and product classifications of Karuna.

It was agreed from the start that the brand was lacking clarity and definition. Before the conceptual phase began we led the client through a brand development phase and produced a report detailing the target market, audience demographics and interests, competition, mission and values, brand story, talking points and elevator speech, and product classifications of Karuna.

It was agreed from the start that the brand was lacking clarity and definition. Before the conceptual phase began we led the client through a brand development phase and produced a report detailing the target market, audience demographics and interests, competition, mission and values, brand story, talking points and elevator speech, and product classifications of Karuna.

It was agreed from the start that the brand was lacking clarity and definition. Before the conceptual phase began we led the client through a brand development phase and produced a report detailing the target market, audience demographics and interests, competition, mission and values, brand story, talking points and elevator speech, and product classifications of Karuna.

It was agreed from the start that the brand was lacking clarity and definition. Before the conceptual phase began we led the client through a brand development phase and produced a report detailing the target market, audience demographics and interests, competition, mission and values, brand story, talking points and elevator speech, and product classifications of Karuna.

karuna_brand_story_beverage_branding
A NAMING CONVENTION

For a beverage line with a formulation as unique as Karuna’s, based in science and ancient Eastern medicine, a standard name wouldn’t do. Inspired by the 7 Factors of Enlightenment, we worked to define each beverage’s benefits and compositions in a logical, clean, and beautiful way. We also chose to display the carefully-chosen, functional and flavorful ingredients on the front label.

karuna_joy_crystal
7_factors_of_elightment_karuna
7_factors_of_enlightment_mindful
karuna_case_study_enlightenment_wisdom
essence_karuna_water
7_factors_of_enlightment_beverage_naming
Karuna_beverage_label_design_wisdom
joy_karuna
JOY : PLANT-BASED JUICE : MUNG BEAN SPROUTS, ARONIA BERRIES, LEMON, WATERMELON, MONK FRUIT.

This rejuvenating juice features two powerful superfood ingredients–aronia berries and mung bean sprouts–which have long been used as folk remedies by Native Americans and herbalists in the Far East to treat a variety of ailments. Together, they deliver function to the body and joy to the soul!

JOY : PLANT-BASED JUICE : MUNG BEAN SPROUTS, ARONIA BERRIES, LEMON, WATERMELON, MONK FRUIT.

This rejuvenating juice features two powerful superfood ingredients–aronia berries and mung bean sprouts–which have long been used as folk remedies by Native Americans and herbalists in the Far East to treat a variety of ailments. Together, they deliver function to the body and joy to the soul!

harmony_karuna
HARMONY : PLANT-BASED SMOOTHIE : BLACK SOYBEANS, QUINOA, GOLD FLAXSEEDS, BANANAS, DARK CHERRIES, MONK FRUIT.

Traditionally reserved for royalty, Chinese black soybeans (different from American soybeans in almost every way) balance in perfect harmony with nutrient-dense quinoa and gold flaxseed to create a functional, whole plant smoothie that not only tastes great, but is easy on the waistline! With complete essential amino acids, balanced protein, and complex carbs, this superfood blend is perfect to grab and go.

mindful_karuna
MINDFUL : PLANT-BASED COFFEE : COFFEE, BLACK SOYBEANS, RED DATES, COCONUT CREAM, TUMERIC.

Our proprietary process for fully dissolving turmeric into this special whole plant brew creates a distinct and flavorful coffee drink that energizes the body, while also focusing the mind. With anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, and a creamy, complex taste, you can expect a lot more from your morning coffee!

MINDFUL : PLANT-BASED COFFEE : COFFEE, BLACK SOYBEANS, RED DATES, COCONUT CREAM, TUMERIC.

Our proprietary process for fully dissolving turmeric into this special whole plant brew creates a distinct and flavorful coffee drink that energizes the body, while also focusing the mind. With anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, and a creamy, complex taste, you can expect a lot more from your morning coffee!

wisdom_karuna
WISDOM : PLANT-BASED SMOOTHIE : QUINOA, GOLD FLAXSEED, MUNG BEAN SPROUTS,  ARONIA BERRIES, PINEAPPLE, MONG FRUIT.

With wisdom, we make increasingly smart choices in our lives. This nutrient-rich, low-calorie whole plant smoothie nourishes the body and soul. Most importantly, because we reuse the pulps and hulls left over from the making of Karuna Joy, we squeeze every last drop of goodness from every single ingredient; a wise and responsible choice, indeed!

essence_karuna
ESSENCE : PLANT-BASED SMOOTHIE : QUINOA, CHESTNUTS, GOLD FLAXSEEDS, APPLE, PEAR, MONK FRUIT.

The nature of this functional whole plant smoothie–its essence–comes from naturally sweet, creamy wild chestnuts combined with nutrient-dense quinoa and gold flaxseed, creating a powerhouse of essential nutrients at a calorie count that allows for an uncommon, guilt-free indulgence.

allure_Karuna
ALLURE : PLANT-BASED ELIXIR : LONGAN BERRY, RED DATES, APPLES, MONK FRUIT.

This ancient healing elixir features a shelled tropical delicacy, called a longan fruit. It was viewed as an alluring “beauty fruit”, and was served exclusively to the emperors and royal families of China. When combined with goji berries and red dates, this naturally sweet, fruity elixir was used to improver sleep quality, boost endurance, protect eyesight, and enhance beauty from within. This mysterious, functional refreshment is no longer just for the elite!

KARUNA-colors-label-design
karuna_packaging_illustrations
COHESIVE DIFFERENTIATION

Hitting the right visual notes can be a challenge for a genre-defying beverage. We wanted the medicinal influence to come through but not overwhelm. We also wanted the beverages to feel credible and healthful.

 Each color palette, illustration, and finish were pulled together to exemplify to the vibes, flavor notes, and ingredients of each. The Mindful Coffee is creamy with spicy warm tones. The Allure Elixir is light with hints of individual flavor; it’s complexity rules the day. The Joy Smoothie is berry-forward but deep and rich. In the end, they come together to define Karuna as a whole.

Hitting the right visual notes can be a challenge for a genre-defying beverage. We wanted the medicinal influence to come through but not overwhelm. We also wanted the beverages to feel credible and healthful.

 Each color palette, illustration, and finish were pulled together to exemplify to the vibes, flavor notes, and ingredients of each. The Mindful Coffee is creamy with spicy warm tones. The Allure Elixir is light with hints of individual flavor; it’s complexity rules the day. The Joy Smoothie is berry-forward but deep and rich. In the end, they come together to define Karuna as a whole.

karuna_all_beverages
SERVICES USED

Brand Strategy
Packaging Design
Production
3D Mockup Creation

SERVICES USED

Brand Strategy
Packaging Design
Production
3D Mockup Creation

COLLABORATORS

Upstart Food Brands