What They Do
Chocolate bars. That’s it for the moment – a focused brand
Where They Do It
Ghana is the home of the Cocoa beans and the UK is the primary consumer market. However they also have a US, Netherlands and Scandanavian presence. Manufacturing is carried out in the EU although I could not see where on their site.
Who Are They
Unusually (and great to see) 45% of the ownership sits with the producer coop in Ghana. The MD of Divine is Sophi Tranchell.
The Ethical Bit?
As you saw above the producer co-op owns 45% of the shares in Divine and is strongly represented on the board. That Fair Trade ethos is the dominant ethical focus of the business and other elements such as organic are touched on but are not a core driver.
Love this business and enjoy their products. Will this scale much beyond its turnover of £12M? Possibly not – the focused approach sees it do what it does really well and the goals of the business maybe achieved within the current operation.
Their website is full of relevant content and really informative – check out the timeline here for example. So many ethical food businesses forget to be open and complete about their operations – not through maliciousness but by not understanding the importance of communications to a brand.
Links To More
Interview with MD – www.smarta.com/advice/general/sophi-tranchell-divine-chocolate
UPDATE 4th November – Sophi Tranchell is one of the key speakers at a Social Enterprise Conference in Bristol on 10th November 2012 – details here.
What they do
Sustainable, socially responsible fast food.
Where they do it
LA is the location of their first branch. Top marks if you guessed that
Who are they
The polar opposite of hippies. Mike Roberts and Sidwell are an ex McDonald’s COO and an investment banker who sat down one day and decided to build an ethical fast food business which would scale.
The management team is chokka full of management capability and VP’s. If anyone can scale this crew can.
The ethical bit?
On the suppliers side this is from their website:
- Look to serve organic foods whenever commercially viable
- Monitor how quickly product arrives at LYFE Kitchen to guarantee freshness and flavor
- Maintain that all meats must be antibiotic and hormone free
- Ensure that all meats and chicken are Global Animal Partnership approved
It is always hard to compare a business like this with Rapunzel for example. The latter is clearly driven by personal ethics whereas Lyfe could be a positioning exercise chasing a market opportunity. However this Wired article does point to ethical leanings during Mike Roberts time in McDonalds so maybe.
One way or another if there have to be fast food chains then this one is nicely positioned to make the supply chain a lot more ethical than the norm.
Links to more
What they do
They manufacture a wide range (over 400) organic, vegetarian and fairtraded food products. They also have a food ingredients division in Germany and offer an own label manufacturing service.
Where they do it
Just over half of their products are manufactured in Germany where they also have the widest distribution. Outside of Germany there are 30 countries worldwide where their products are available.
Who are they
Set up by Joseph Wilhelm and Jennifer Vermeulen in 1974 they now employ over 300 people.
The ethical bit?
Clearly defined ethics are deeply routed in the business. They operate their own organic certification scheme (Hand in Hand) together with producer partners in many countries.
They have a clear and fascinating mission statement and goals covering the environment, staff and independence from banks and other financial institutions.
With a turnover of > €100M this business has successfully scaled while maintaining a rigorous set of criteria which guide its operations. The passion and personal ethics of 2 individuals has lead to a powerhouse of organic food production and I am in awe of that.
This is not a sexy brand and they do not “do” social media that I can see. It is a solid and reputable brand.
I am familiar with a number of their products which make their way onto the Irish market and I am going to look out for more now!
Links to more
One World Award (Joseph is on the jury)
What they do
They have created a food brand which starts from the point that food is fundamental to life – and whole, healthy, delicious food can make life better for people all over the world.
Where they do it
They started in France and in 2010 expanded into the US with a separate entity and a funding round there.
Who are they
Tristan Lecomte in France, Mathieu Senard and Edouard Rollet in the United States and Ilse Keijzer in Australia.
The ethical bit?
They work directly with the producers who grow and process their products. Fairtrade, carbon neutral and organic. Check out this product information page which gives a great view of how they communicate comprehensive information on each product.
Couple of great images from their site give an overview of their ethos
It is so difficult to do what they have done and are doing – running a business is a compromised activity at the best of times without the apparent constraints imposed by deliberately not following the standard commercial arrangements.
Having been a consumer of organic and fairly traded products for over 25 years it is a joy to see high quality products which hold their own in terms of taste and presentation – a million miles away from the badly presented and barely edible products of years ago
I have never seen these products on my travels but will keep my eyes open for them from now on.
Links to more
Been a long while since I last posted here and in the meantime have been working in my other life on some interesting online projects.
Picking up this blog and starting again – with a twist. The same core emphasis on food the way it should be – describing it as artisan, local, slow, organic, ethical seasonal or small (beag). But now moving beyond the producers whose passion and energy drives all of this and into the world of the larger businesses which support that passion.
They could be online retailers, real world brands, distributors or ones which blend the older business models and bridge the gap between consumers and producers. In all cases it won’t just be about food – they will all have at their core good food produced properly.
Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto
As part of this revitalised focus I am really looking forward to being part of the Irish Slow Food contingent in Turin, Oct 2012 – the Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto event. Check out this video.
The first time in public & from the award winning artisan organic Kilkenny based Highbank Orchards comes this new product.
Drivers Cider – an alcohol free cider drink. Check out the front label – a lovely zero alcohol visual in the style of a speedometer. For more check out their site: www.driverscider.com
This bottle is in the fridge to chill it, tasting later
Thanks to Julie & Rod for sending the sample in to me.
That was a great weekend and after the Foodcamp on Friday I relaxed a little and just enjoyed walking around and chatting to the artisan food producers around the market on the Parade.
This is a view of the market from one of the surrounding buildings. Against the backdrop of the Rose Garden and the Castle over 70 passionate food producers gathered to share and sell their wares. For a change this post focused on those people and not brands or packaging.
First up in this post – Mag Kirwan and Marian Flannery. Mag is a food producer, member of the Savour Kilkenny Committee and co-organiser of the Foodcamp with me. Marian is the person primarily responsible as festival organiser for the delivery of the event. Both did amazing work.
Moving on 4 sets of couples who work together in their businesses – and really lovely people to chat to as well. Julie and Rod Calderpott have an organic farm for many years and Julie came up with Orchard Syrup last year. Another apple based product about to launch too – but Mum’s The Word.
Audrey and Norbert make chutneys in Dunhill, Waterford and as with the 2 above I have never seen them without a smile on their faces.
A steady stream of people queued to taste the 2 beers on tap from Grainne and Tim Walsh from the Metalman Brewery in Waterford. Very tasty pale ale.
Michael and Paul are another organic business and brand and so well respected in the food sector for their range.
And Now. The Award Winning Helen Finnegan – voted Supreme Cheese Maker……stop – check out this post for more. It was lovely to hear John McKenna on Friday evening talking about how he had come across Helen 8 years ago when she was studying cheesemaking and just how special it was to move in that short space of time to winning that title against tough competition with over 600 unique cheeses to battle against.
One of the nice things about starting this blog (nearly a year ago now) is constantly coming across really strong brands which I had never been aware of. Gee’s Jams is one of those, started by Helen Gee 12 years ago.
A mere 6 years old is Tess’s Homestyle Baking, a Kilkenny based business and this is Paul Doyle who is one of the co-founders.
Cakes, cupcakes and various other delights are the speciality of Mary McEvoy. She was a little shy around the camera!
A completely new brand to me at the market was Prue & Simon’s and this shot is of Prue Rudd with a customer.
That’s it – the best part of artisan food festivals for me. Chatting to and hearing the stories of the producers. I missed loads of them in that round up!
This tweet caught my eye today – it was put out by Cornelius Traas twitter.com/theapplefarmer
Any beverage makers out there interested in starting an association? Irish Artisan Drinkmakers Association? Contact me if interested.
So that is interesting – and no better man that Cornelius to get it started, even as a foodie I am aware of the amazing reputation he has amongst his peers. Go check out his website and if you are in the business send him an email.
Have suggested to him that it might be useful for him to grab a speaking slot during Foodcamp and explore it there. Will keep updated on that
With a number of guest posts in the pipeline Liz Maybury (who featured in May with her Mella Fudge work) popped into my inbox again yesterday so here she is – thanks Liz.
This came about via a quick chat with Ed at the Taste Council event in Wicklow which was the first time we had spoken properly and when he happily told me who had done the design for him.
This is Elizabeth
and this is her second guest post:
Bacon jam is “the porkiest, pokiest, tangiest, most tantalizing sweet/sour chutney you’ve ever tasted” created by Ed Hick of Hick’s Traditional Pork Butchers in Dun Laoghaire. It can be used as a relish, on eggs, stirred in as a dressing, spread on a sandwich, or even eaten by the spoonful. Ed gave me the task of designing a label for his creation, which, being a bacon jam fan, I was only too happy to accept!
The brief for the design was fairly open, so I came up with several concepts to present to Ed before we settled on the chosen idea. It wasn’t a requirement to match the label to the existing Hick’s branding, but the little pig illustration alludes to it.
I drew the pig using simple geometric shapes. The typography is set at an angle to continue the geometric theme. I chose a soft and friendly typeface as a contrast to ensure that the whole design didn’t look too angular and severe in combination with the capitals of the text and the straight lines of the illustration.
The descriptive words in the product information are bold to highlight and bring some points of interest to what would otherwise have been just a large block of text. The size of the label was also important, as if it’s too long it gets difficult to wrap around the jars, so this also had to be considered.
As a result the most challenging aspect was fitting in the nutritional information, ingredients, best before, batch number and barcode into a small area without compromising legibility. I left a space beneath the best before and batch numbers where the information can be overprinted during production, as these figures aren’t constant.
The label is self adhesive and printed on a gloss stock. It comes in rolls, which can then be run through another printer to overprint the appropriate best before and batch numbers before they are finally applied to the jars.
Bacon Jam is available from Ed at Hick’s stall in Temple Bar Food Market every Saturday and from Sheridan’s Cheesemongers.
Thank again Liz. You can see the other posts in this Food Brand Design Guest Post series here.
While I was in Dingle last weekend as part of the Dingle Food Festival I got to visit the newly opened Dingle Brewing Company whose single brew – the Tom Crean lager – is already being brewed at full capacity despite only being launched in July. The brand and its application across a variety of media is really impressive.
What follows is the story of that brand development by MidPoint Creative in Tralee – written by Steven Ruane. It is long and comprehensive so thanks to Steven for taking the time to share it.
History of Client:
As a start-up this company had no history as such
Initial Brand Status:
We met with the owners of the Dingle Brewing Company at the very start of the project. They informed us of their plans regarding the product, the premises for their business and their business plan.
Objectives of the client:
On meeting the directors of the Dingle Brewing Company we soon discovered that they had a very clear vision. They wanted to produce a premium lager that would appeal to a wide market. One product made right. They wanted their product to be truly Irish and for the Irish. The pub trade in Ireland has been suffering for a number of years and they wanted to produce a product that would bring people back to their local pubs, a product that would be enjoyed in good company and in the warm friendly atmosphere of the local.
They made it clear to us that they were going to produce the product naturally, using only the finest ingredients and with the minimum intervention in the brewing process. They had acquired a premises in which to brew, a premises which was full of character and history and which would fit in perfectly with their values and vision.
Scope of Project:
Create and develop brand identities and supporting material for the overall business and related product(s).
Carrying out research into the brewing and craft beer industry was a big challenge but one we were prepared to make the sacrifice for. Purely for research purposes we had to spend a lot of time in bars. We spent a lot of time staring at beer mats, beer taps, different brand marqs and imagery used in other breweries. We also asked the opinion of bar workers. As the product was going to be only available in bars it was vital that we got their insights into independent breweries and how their customers reacted to same.
Brand Marq Design
At our first meeting we had a long discussion with MD of the Dingle Brewing Company, Jerry O’Sullivan. On that first meeting we also got a tour of the site, ‘site’ being the operative word. We were shown around what used to be the Dingle Creamery building by Jerry. During the site visit, Jerry explained to us his plans for the business and the premises. It was very clear from listening to him speak that he had a crystal clear vision for the project. From a brand building point of view this is the best foundation you could hope for – a strong clear vision. On leaving the site that day we had no doubt that if we could express that vision in a creative way that this would be an extremely interesting project.
With this initial stance we prepared a brand platform document outlining the vision for the venture and setting down the foundations for how we were going to portray and develop this, both strategically and creatively.
As well as this we spend time online researching the brands that had been identified by the stake holders as competitors and benchmarks. We also had the very welcome opportunity to spend a lot of time in Dingle, soaking up the atmosphere and environment of where the brewery would be based
Putting together and distilling all of the information we had gathered on the brewery we were left with the following key impressions
Adding this to the other general research we had done on how other brands visually present themselves we got busy sketching. The image of the brewery building, being situated as it is, at the foot of the Conor Pass in Dingle was hard to escape. Other striking aspects of the brewery were the rich, dark wood casks that were part of the brewing kit and the sound of babbling water for the stream which flowed at the side of the brewery building. These images seemed to encapsulated the feel of the brewery.
The brand marq is made up of representative imagery. The client liked this and felt it fit in better with the ethos and feeling of the brewery. We used simple representations of the major features of the brewery, mainly the landscape and the brewing cask. We wanted to give the overall impression that this was Dingle itself being passed through the brewery and brought, via the lager, to the end customer. We kept the imagery simple and uncomplicated to reflect how the Dingle Brewing Company intended brewing. We also had to keep in mind that this brand marq was going to be scaled up and down for use on everything from large outdoor signage to small merchandise items. With one or two small adjustments the client was happy with the brand marq.
With the brand marq signed-off we started working on developing he identity. As mentioned one of the memorable images we had of the brewery was the dark wood that the casks were made of and which was accented as part of the brewery building itself. We decided to use an image of this wood as a backdrop for the brand marq and as a background for the associated marketing material. It worked well with the darkness of the wood providing a good contrast against the mainly white brand marq. It also gave a good indication of the atmosphere of the brewery for those who would see the material without having visited the brewery.
We also got to work on other supporting material, from outdoor and ambient signage to flyers and brochures right across the board to t-shirts and other merchandise that would be available in the brewery gift shop.
At the moment we are just finalising the web site design and hope to have this online in a couple of weeks. We, and more importantly, the client, are very happy with how it is shaping up and are looking forward to seeing the reaction it gets from users.
The guys at the brewery had a very simple business plan. Instead of going fo a range of products they were going to produce one product and put all effort and concentration into making that product a premium one. They had decided to brew a lager and they were going to name it after local hero, Tom Crean. We were delighted with this name. Through his many feats of bravery and endurance Tom Crean had reached almost mythical status. The fact that he was from nearby Annascaul, Co. Kerry gave the name all the more relevance and resonance. We felt that there would be great creative scope here to create a really memorable identity for the lager and the supporting material.
Tom Crean’s Premium Irish Lager
The Dingle Brewing Company wanted an image that would reflect the care and effort they were putting into getting the lager just right. They also have a great deal of respect fro Tom Crean, the man, and wanted this respected to shine through in the identity.
We set about researching the man. There was so much to this quiet, stoic, character who went from the village of Annascaul to being a valued member of expedition teams for both Scott and Shakleton and ended up being heralded as having carried out the greatest feat of human endurance. After his naval career he quietly retired to his home village where he owned and ran the South Pole in until his death in 1938.
There was a lot we could have worked with but sticking to the ethos of the brewery and the character of the man himself we wanted to make the identity simple, uncomplicated, understated and interesting.
We had thought about a hexagonal shape for the identity, based on the shape of the Polar Medal, 3 of which were awarded to Tom Crean for his various feats. We had not seen many bar taps or identities of this shape and thought it would be a nice way to honour the hero.
As a second option we thought of an explorers compass. The circular shape of a compass also sat well with the brand marq for the brewery.
After discussions with the client we developed the ‘compass’ option. What could be more evocative of discovery and exploration?. We went through many versions of a compass graphic, some too complicated, some too modern. We eventually settled on a very simple version with only the North and South points showing. We placed the compass slightly off centre in a nod to a ships chronometer and to give the feeling the the needle was moving back and forth.
For the name of the lager we wanted to accentuate ‘Crean’s’ It was the vision of the Dingle Brewing Company that the customer would walk in to the bar, nod a t the barman and ask for ‘a pint of Crean’s’ To this end we made ‘Crean’s’ the focus of the identity, with the first name Tom resting in smaller type on top. For the typeface we wanted to used an old fashioned, classic looking, serif font, as would have been seen in newspapers and posters of the time. we felt that using all uppercase letters spoke to the strength and unwielding nature of Tom Crean.
Once we had the main elements decided on we added some distinctive character elements. On reading accounts of Tom Crean there were many comments on how he never asked for much and how much he would enjoy his pipe. We wanted to incorporate this in some way and after playing around with it for a while we used a pipe graphic as the apostrophe in Crean’s.
Another little fun item we added is the 18/35. This has already proved to be a great conversation starter when people see the identity or as they are holding the glass. Was it the year he was born/died? Was it the year of any of his voyages or the year he retired?. In Antarctic conditions and surviving only on 2 sticks of chocolate Tom Crean set of on a 18 hour trek over 35 km, a feat of incredible endurance and all to save the life of his 2 colleagues. We had to mark this in some way, so without much fuss or fanfare we nestled the numbers under his name. It still gives us a kick to see people noticing the number for the first time a theorising about what they mean.
For the colour palette, with the imagery of medals being in our minds we stuck to silvers and golds. We felt these also added to the premium feel that the client was hoping to achieve.
Once we had the 2 identities finished we set to work on all manner of support material. Beer mats, bar taps, exterior signage, flyers, tent cards, posters, t-shirts, merchandise, web and social media, even right down to working with the clients on choosing and branding the glass.
Tagline and ‘Footprint’
For the supporting material we need a strong but engaging tagline. Given the provenance of the name of the lager and all that entailed coupled with the entrepreneurial spirit of the guys in the brewery we settled on ‘Discover Crean’s’. Simple and effective, it evokes the imagery associated with exploration while letting people know that this is a new lager worthy of discovery.
We also need a primary image to accompany this tagline on the marketing material. Given Tom’s amazing trek, we decided on using a footprint in the snow. The client was very happy with the footprint image. in one simple image it evokes the mammoth task which Tom crean undertook. The bleakness of the footprint in the snow contrasts nicely with the warm hue of the lager.
it all came together for us when the lager officially launched. The Dingle Brewing Company were aiming for the first brew to be ready mid July and it was. As if fated, Tom Creans birthday is on the 21st of July so after putting our heads together with the client we decided that the only place in the world that this lager should be launched is in the South Pole Inn Annascaul. So on 21st of July 2011 the first pint of tom Crean’s premium Irish lager was poured from the taps in the South Pole Inn, once owned by the great man himself, and the time of the first pour.. well that was twenty five to seven of course i.e 18.35.
Thanks for that Steven. You can see the other posts in this Food Brand Design Guest Post series here.