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.
One of the many decisions to be taken by a food producer as their business grows is whether to supply large food retailers with own brand products.
The elements of this decision involve scale, loss of brand awareness, margins, cashflow and dedication of resources to a part of the business which may not be core to their plans in the future.
Not every large retailer is the same and that is part of the complexity. If the decision involves retaining the producer brand as part of the product packaging then that can mitigate that element of the compromise.
This is 2 product shots from the Co-op chain in Sweden (taken while on holiday recently in Stockholm). In each you can see the consistent way in which the producer is named and credited on the packaging – adding to the authenticity of the range. This is a link to the page (in Swedish) on the Prima range which these are taken from.
From that page “We’ve tasted our way to the very best and will start with 50 carefully selected delicacies. All are original label and produced by suppliers with a passion for really good food. Now it’s your turn to enjoy the Coop Prima.”
Like that a lot.
This is the talk I gave at the Foodcamp in Dungarvan (part of the Waterford Festival of Food) yesterday.
Thanks to the people who attended for asking questions and making the session interesting – I enjoyed it and hope you did as well.
For me a food brand is nothing without the people behind it and this batch of packaging designs picks up on that theme as a way of connecting their brands with consumers on the shelf edge.
I have seen this regularly from smaller coffee brands – especially those who work with Fairtrade systems. Very interesting comment on the blog post this came from: “this is ridiculous. designed for a bunch of white people on the netherlands so they can see the “many colors” of the developing world without feeling bad about how people get exploited. commodification at its best.”
Fair point – a quick glance at their website and they do not appear to use any of the mainstream Fairtrade certification although they could still have strong and supportive relationships with their suppliers.
Nice packaging one way or another!
via Lovely Package
Sigtuna by Morkman
Putting it out there – this is superb. A micro brewery close to Stockholm where the Chief Brewer Mattias is not afraid to get up close and personal with his customers. For any and all Irish artisan and local food brands – be bold. This IS about you and don’t be afraid to show it
[note - the brewery concerned do not appear to have a website - this is a good interview with Mattias]
via Lovely Packaging
Sweet and Hot by Ivanna Shashkina
Part of the fun of Lovely Packaging is that they feature student design work regularly. This one is really effective and shows how humour could be integrated with the people theme.
via Lovely Packaging
Nice blend of people and a retro feeling to give these wines a strong visual identity on the shelf. Both the winery owner and the designer have contributed in the comments – here is part of what Sasha from the winery said: “Some context- each year we change the label design (but keep the same typographic treatment of the logo, wine detail, etc). This particular year, 2004, was “a family archetypes”. Hence the names and the pictures of family members.”
This is important – the people concerned are real people and this brings this design execution beyond the realms of just another whim/concept dreamed up by the designer. For artisan food brands that authenticity is so important – and so easy.
via Lovely Packaging
If you liked this check out other packaging posts in this series here.
I have seen their workshops mentioned on Facebook a couple of times but never had a chance to visit their premises close to Tullow until yesterday. Mentioned them briefly here just before Christmas when they had a pop-up shop in Kilkenny.
Jim and Mary Healy have been working on the Chocolate Garden brand for years now and when I last spoke to them a couple of years ago they were finalising their plans to move into a new production premises and visitor centre behind their home and beside Rathwood garden Centre.
What an amazing range of products – and the chance to attend chocolate making workshops as well! These chocolate lolly’s caught my eye, as did the chocolate fountain. A lot classier than some I have seen!
If you are traveling close to Carlow check them out.
This is a superb example of upmarket positioning by this craft brewery which was set up in Germany in August 2010. Take a look at the full post – the detail of every aspect of the bottles and labels is worth a couple of minutes of your time.
Ok – more detail, hmmm. Looks like my post has a very premium positioning theme. And allowing myself a quick mention of their website as well:
That shot and description on their homepage is very evocative and oozes authenticity – the source and production backstory is one every artisan website should get into your face immediately.
Back to the design – “The bottle structure pays homage to the apothecary origins of gin, reinforcing its place in the new speakeasy, while the medallion label – stamped in metal – celebrates the authentic spirit at the core of the brand”. Always important to be clear on what is to be achieved with each aspect of a brand from website to labelling.
Love both of these – this is packaging which is expensive however there are lessons to be extracted for every brand.
Bord Bia have put up the presentations and also links to two related radio interviews on the day.
I was speaking with Conor Hyde in Bullseye Marketing this morning and I will be doing a post soon on the branding and packaging design work they have done in the food space – many, many artisan and local food brands have passed through their hands.
In the meantime he sent me information on this event coming up Wednesday 16th Feb in Inchydoney Lodge. It follows a very successful one last year at which there were 150 attendees.
Some Event Details:
6.40 TESCO IRELAND : Topic: “Local Irish Food opportunities with Tesco Ireland”.
Carmel-Anne Brennan, Tesco Ireland, Commercial Business Manager Dairy, Chilled Convenience, & Local Irish Food.
7.10 LOCAL FOOD PRODUCER : Topic: “How to develop a successful Irish Food Brand on a tight budget”
Sean Og Duffy, Truly Irish.
7.40 LOCAL FOOD PRODUCER : Topic: “Things to know before you start a food business”
Michael O’ Neill, Irish Atlantic Sea Salt & Irish Atlantic Abalone.
I won’t be able to make it but wish I could.
PS – they are looking for foodie bloggers and twitters to help out on the night – I did this at the Tipperary Food Producers event last year and it was great fun. Let Paul www.twitter.com/Omaniblog know if you are interested
Over on the newly launched Bord Bia Vantage forum Stephanie from Bord Bia left this comment:
Bord Bia’s Small Business Division will be organising a food packaging seminar later this year (currently planned for October) to advise companies of everything to consider when developing new packaging. More information will be available on www.bordbiavantage.ie later on in the year.
Must try and get to that
One of the things I have been trying to do for a while over on the Irish Food Base is find a way of presenting information which I come across on the designers who have worked on Irish food brands and packaging.
I have now settled on a relatively simple and visual format for that and I have published it over on this page.
I will continue to add brands and designers slowly over the coming weeks and months – if you have any to add to the list please let me know. Hopefully it will be of some assistance to Irish artisan and local food brands who are considering new projects and who need to find experienced food sector designers to work with.