Stone Straw's authentic commitment to sustainability

the challenge

StoneStraw is North America’s largest manufacturer of straws, stirrers, and foodservice solutions. In recent years, the movement against single-use plastics has garnered widespread attention with viral videos showing the impact plastic straws have on wildlife. 

As a result, Stone Straw developed Back to Earth, a compostable straw. They needed a way to brand the product to signify that it was environmentally friendly, working within the limited size constraints of a straw wrapper. Stone Straw also struggled with finding a way to promote their Back to Earth straws and commitment to sustainability in an authentic way.

our process

step 1

Candybox creates a custom approach to branding for each business based on their goals. In Stone Straw’s instance, we began by identifying how the branding would be utilized and what it aims to accomplish. 

Candybox is a partner to our clients. That’s why we conducted a brand exercise with Stone Straw’s team, to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard. From there we dived into designing based on the decisions made through collaboration.

We recognized that while Stone Straw was a B2B company, the branding of Back to Earth straws needed to appeal to customers, not businesses. Why? Because consumers are the ones who push companies towards more sustainable practices. With this is mind, we set out to create the perfect logo to appeal to Back to Earth’s target audience: millennials.

step 2

We began by drawing inspiration from different sources, including Stone Straw’s clients. In order to convey a complex concept on such a tiny straw wrapper, every element of the logo had to be intentional. Candybox design experts settled on natural earth tones and organic shapes to portray the compostable nature of the straw. We produced multiple variations based on this core concept, ensuring that all elements told the same story, and presented our ideas to Stone Straw for feedback.

step 3

During our brand pitch, we focused on the big picture. We not only did we present a variety of options, but we also facilitated the decision-making process. At Candybox, we understand that company branding is a big commitment, which is why we took every step to help Stone Straw make the best decision for their brand.

We offered expertise and opinions to guide them in the right direction, challenging ideas when necessary.  We always kept in mind the impacts of the decisions made. Empathy and patience were key during this process. In the end, we were able to decide on a single brand identity for Back to Earth which perfectly captured the products’ value.

step 4

Stone Straw wanted a video to highlight the features of their Back to Earth straw with no sound so that the video could silently play on their website. This presented Candybox with the challenge of conveying feelings through visuals alone. 

The video production team at Candybox spent a large portion of time in pre-production to ensure a seamless experience once the shoot began. This included ideation, storyboarding each shot, pitching, along with significant amounts of research. We worked with a research firm to make sure that the contents of the video complied with legal requirements. We avoided buzzwords like “biodegradable” and opted for more authentic verbiage that customers would trust.

step 5

The other hurdle we encountered was the pandemic. Given the lockdown restrictions, Candybox did not have access to sets and was unable to hire actors. However, our video production team modified the shots and transitions to compensate for the limitations and asked family members for assistance to replace the missing actors.

step 6

In the editing process, we smoothed out transitions and rendered a virtual straw from scratch for the slow-motion shot of a straw being thrown into the trashcan. During the time of video production, the straw packaging was not yet available so we had to superimpose the final Back to Earth logo into the straw wrapper in the video. With creative problem solving and attention to detail, the final result is a seamless video with no evidence of filming restrictions.

the solution

Through the use of custom fonts and colour, Candybox created a simple logo that conveyed a complex concept on limited space. We carried over the earthy, organic feel of the logo to all other brand assets to create a unified brand identity. We created a looped, silent video that highlights the features of the Back to Earth straw in an authentic way that resonates with customers and businesses alike, while also adhering to legal requirements. With a new brand identity and video, Stone Straw is able to showcase their commitment to sustainability to the world! 

merging branding with website design.

Before Candybox | After Candybox