Celestial Seasonings, the makers of your grandma’s favorite teas like Sleepytime and Tension Tamer, underwent a rebranding last year in order to appeal to a hip and young millennial audience. The Celestial Seasonings rebrand affected the company’s logo and box art, and reviews were mixed: “It’s an OK logo from afar but up close it doesn’t hold up,” according to the design site Under Construction. Now, after one year and the righteous indignation of a tea-drinking community resistant to change, Celestial Seasonings has scrapped the changes and is going back to their roots, with a new slogan and a new campaign designed to attract millennials to tea and keep them there.
If you’re not a tea drinker, you need to understand that Celestial Seasonings has some of the best art in the game. Part literal interpretation of the ingredients and part fantastical acid-induced dreamscape, the classic Celestial Seasonings box art was the most memorable part about the entire experience of drinking their tea. The Sleepytime tea, a blend of chamomile and peppermint, featured a bear in a nightgown and red hat, dozing comfortably by the fire, upright in his chair like your Uncle John after Thanksgiving. Tension Tamer, a particularly soothing blend of ginseng, chamomile, peppermint, and lemongrass, purports to uplift and create balance, and was illustrated quite succinctly with a princess in red astride a sassy dragon. They were instantly recognizable, until one day, they weren’t.
Now, after much outcry and hullabaloo from the tea-drinking community, Celestial Seasonings has returned to their iconic images and is instead focusing on getting those sweet millennial dollars by trumpeting “The Magic of Tea” from a newly designed website that gently explains away the sudden about-face thusly: “We’ve brought the classic Celestial look back to our boxes in response to feedback from our passionate fans.” That’s a polite way of saying, “God, we’re sorry, we messed up. Love us and our gentle herbal teas again.”
The new boxes are the same as the old ones, and they’ve even reintroduced flavor from the archives—Almond Sunset, a sweet-ish dessert tea that sounds perfect for lunch, after dinner or, more aptly, breakfast. Never change, Celestial Seasonings. Your faithful fans won’t be able to take it again.