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Disrupting the plant-based world with an Annual Gold Winner | #BehindtheBrand

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For this week’s behind the brand, we’re focusing on a concept that took home a coveted Gold at last year’s Creativepool Annual Awards.

This was a project consisting of a nine-month design sprint from start to finish where Elmwood London helped craft an entirely new brand identity and packaging range for a client in the plant-based category by disrupting the traditionally negative lexicon in this space.

The Flavourist was a new-to-market plant-based start-up looking to challenge the dominant narratives in the plant-based category. The campaign was led by Kyle Whybrow, a Creative Director at Elmwood London. Kyle is a creative with a strategic-led approach to design and a belief that beautifully crafted big ideas can move brands forward with a positive cultural impact on society.

We caught up with Kyle to learn more.

What was the brief?

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The Flavourists is a new-to-market plant-based challenger brand who identified the need for a brand to help everyone enjoy the feel-good factor of cooking and eating more plants.

Prior to coming to us, the brand was still in the concept stage and the team were looking for help in turning their idea into a brand in full bloom. Our help was enlisted to turn the seed of their idea into a new brand, from name to visual language, in a nine-month design sprint.

How did the initial pitch phase go?

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The team were looking to work with an agency which has experience creating new challenger brands, of which we have a lot, so it felt like a natural opportunity for both of us.

We love working with client partners who want to innovate and disrupt their category narratives and The Flavourists’ messaging was in line with this. Since this was a new-to-market product, we had a lot of freedom in delivering an exciting, bold, and inspirational visual identity which disrupted the traditional lexicon of the plant-based category.

How did the concept come to life and why was it the right choice?

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We initially looked at the brief the team presented us and made sure we fully understood the industry we were looking to play in. We identified that the plant-based category was not only a huge opportunity with rapid growth potential, but we were also playing in a category in which two established narratives dictated how most brands were currently showing up.

This was our chance to disrupt these narratives and appeal to foodie flexitarians. It felt like the right choice in regards to the bold ambition the team had, the creative heights they were looking to achieve, and the disruptive nature of their product that we wanted to bring to life. 

What was the production process like?

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It was a nine-month design sprint, so a very fast production process! In particular because we had to create everything for the brand, from choosing a name through to developing the visual identity and packaging design.

I really enjoyed the project and seeing just what our team was capable in achieving within such a short time frame, and the result speaks for itself.

What was the biggest challenge?

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The current design codes within the plant-based category range from stripped back simplicity to bold and punchy, so it was about identifying where in this realm we wanted to position our visual identity to reflect the messaging that The Flavourists wanted to translate on and off-pack.

I think we found a unique territory which delivers an iconic visual identity that embodies this inspirational approach and is a digital-first brand which can move effortlessly across all touchpoints.

How long did it take from concept to delivery?

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We aimed to deliver the full brand to the client within a nine-month period. The Flavourists team were looking to work with a group who wanted to get stuck-in with their brand-new brand and create something aspirational and which pushed the boundaries. I believe we delivered that.

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

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I hope it changes the conversation and narrative around plant-based food to one which brings the joyful side of it back to the conversation. Our visual identity captures the passion for flavour and reinvents the design language around this category to offer a far more positive interpretation of the delicious potential of plant-based food.

Hopefully we’ll see the shift in narratives within this category moving away from everything that the food doesn’t have, to everything it does.

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