Jell-O's First Rebrand In 10 Years Is Giving Gen Z

First launched in 1845 and once an icon of mid-century Americana, Jell-O is getting a decades-in-the-making makeover in 2023. The company has now unveiled a rebrand, complete with new logos and graphics, that was done in an attempt to appeal to a wider, younger demographic. The changes represent the first time the company has revamped its look in 10 years, and, according to a press release, helps "positions the brand for relevance today and in the future amongst the new generation of parents."

Starting with a new logo, it has a more colorful, blockier look that's distinct from its previous thinner, sparkling iteration; it's meant to still be recognizable but visually call out the "O" in Jell-O. The art on the new packaging — for both gelatin products and pudding cups and boxes — also notably omits literal images of fruit and dessert, replacing them with more creative, artier interpretations and jiggly Jell-O shapes. As well, the text on applicable boxes also updates to the term "zero sugar" instead of "sugar-free," following terminology other major brands have started to use.

The changes to the Jell-O brand are the latest pivot of parent company, Kraft Heinz, to update its long list of products, including 18 other redesigns within the last three years, also including Kraft Mac & Cheese and Shake 'N Bake. 

Jell-O's new direction is more colorful and playful

While Jell-O has a long and storied history within the American kitchen, in more recent years the jiggly dessert has been more synonymous with nursing homes and hospitals than home refrigerators. "Jell-O is kind of associated nowadays in our culture with illness and frailty and vulnerability," Rachel Herz, a neuroscientist and the author of "Why You Eat What You Eat" observed in an interview with CNN. The outlet also reports that, during Jell-O's last brand redesign in 2013, sales had fallen to $753 million, while in 2022 sales had dropped off even further to $688 million. 

Marketing agency Brand Opus assisted Kraft Heinz with the redesign, and in a statement from Creative Director Rebecca Williams, she expressed that the mission of the new art lies in "bringing back the jiggly fun and harnessing the wonder that the brand brings to adults and kids alike."