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Tropicana's Pulp Friction

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Carton redesign gets squeezed by customer complaints.

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PepsiCo (PEP) might be ignoring customers' gripes about the new logo, but it's giving in to public demand regarding its Tropicana Pure Premium line.

This week, Tropicana announced it will be ditching its new and much-maligned packaging in favor of the classic carton design. The old version will return to shelves beginning in March.

Introduced in early January, the new look featured little more than a tall glass of orange juice against a stark white background. With the beloved straw-speared orange shockingly AWOL, the streamlined, updated look confused loyal customers. Complaints came pouring in.

Some were bewildered as to why the company would change a look that worked; others thought the new carton was indistinguishable from that of generic brands.

Speaking with the New York Times, Neil Campbell -- president of Tropicana North America -- asserted that the decision to scrap the redesign wasn't a response to complaints, since they came from "a fraction of a percent of the people who buy the product." He claimed that the old look was being resurrected because it resonated with his most loyal customers.

Ironically, Campbell had previously stated that, "The straw and orange have been there for a long time, but people have not necessarily had a huge connection to them." Guess he was wrong.

The redesign, along with its accompanying "Squeeze" campaign, cost a reported $35 million - and was better received than the packaging. Campbell says the Squeeze ads will continue until the next marketing cycle.

And for those who grew fond of the new "orange peel" cap, don't worry: It will be carried over into the new Tropicana 50 line.

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