Playing to certain design rules can damage your brand.
Think back a few weeks to ‘Veganuary’.
How was it for you? A great profile raiser for vegan food, for sure, which reinforces the vegan proposition. And great for the vegan 'movement'.
But for non-vegans - where the bigger marketing opportunity really lies - 'Veganuary' may only have been seen as a chance to detox.
And I’m not sure that’s what vegan brand owners would have wanted.
The more you shout 'vegan' or for that matter, ‘free from’ or 'vegetarian', the more your brand will be marginalised.
There is a problem with associating food too strongly with a certain diet or free from promise. And it is often the pack design that is to blame, focussing heavliy on the 'claim' and too little on the 'taste' or goodness . This inevitably suggests some sort of compromise to consumers who simply want to eat less meat or fish; or want to reduce their dairy or gluten intake: or want to try new foods. But ultimately they still want tasty, natural food.
As more of us take an ‘everything in moderation’ approach and become more adventurous with our food, we are more receptive to lots of different foods of varying diets.
This is the opportunity for vegan or free from brands. They do not have to look green, functional, bland or reiterate the politics (associated with veganism) in order to prove their credentials.
This is where branding and packaging plays a crucial role in presenting different diet choices that also do the food justice.
Of course, many brands are now definitely getting this. Quorn – so often a struggler with effective presentation in the past – now has packaging that exudes taste appeal in spades. And Good Life do burgers like, well, really tasty burgers. Yet both still manage to signal their own unmistakable vegan credentials. But not at the expense of the food.
However, not all brands and retailers are quite so successful.
We are currently working with a number of brands such as Marigold Health Foods, Planet Organic and Mortimer Chocolate, where design and effective communication play a vital role in presenting the right balance between the food’s diet credentials and its tasty goodness.
Vegan, vegetarian and free from brands that strike that right 'creds -v- taste' balance will succeed in appealing to the wider, more mainstream, more profitable audience. And it's through effective branding and packaging in particular that will make the difference.
Lawrence Barnett, Managing Director, Wonderlandwpa