London-based brand design and innovation agency Echo has collaborated with Smarties to create new sustainable packaging. The project saw the team redesign Smarties’ Topper Toys – travel-sized games for families – making them 100% plastic-free.

The toys are also now accompanied by a set of downloadable learning resources that “offer children the opportunity to learn through play,” according to Echo, aiming to create an “interactive brand experience that inspires children’s education, with the utmost climate responsibility”.

The sustainability credentials of the toys have been further enhanced by removing printed instructions and game boards which can now be accessed online. The new toy range includes two sets of card games and wooden story dice which look to “tap into the thinker, dreamer, creator archetypes,” adds Echo.

The agency was briefed to extend and relaunch Smarties’ range of toppers for children with its “plastics free commitments front of mind,” as Echo account director Pete Cowie puts it. These broader commitments include a pledge to make all packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. Earlier this year, Smarties packaging transitioned to 100% recyclable paper, being the first global confectionery brand to do so.

The Echo team worked with child development expert Sian Williams to review the possibilities of Smarties’ Learn Through Play range, reimagining it as a multidimensional concept that marries the physical brand packaging with online tools. “The range was then extended to create products that encourage developmental and constructive play, incorporating positive reward systems that resolve the tensions between ‘learning’ and ‘treating’,” Echo explains.

The toys all use the Smarties’ colour palette to keep the look playful and fun, and aid brand recognition. The products will be sold exclusively and in addition to the rest of the Smarties Learn Through Play range in the travel retail sector across Europe and Asia from June 2021.

Creative Boom