Client Need: Brand repositioning and new packaging for multiple product lines.
Background: Café Spice is a client of ours located in New Windsor, New York. The company is owned by the Malhotra family and produces and markets authentic (and very appetizing) Indian cuisine to Whole Foods, independent natural and gourmet grocers, Costco, and an assortment of foodservice venues – including its own QSR restaurants and kiosks.
The company has been successful, but in order to grow further, it needed to improve its brand image and shelf appeal, and also, ensure branding consistency among all product lines.
Our Approach: The soul of the Café Spice brand is spice. Both taste and experiential spice. As a product, flavors are aromatic and savory. And unusual too, especially with exotic product names like Curry, Vindaloo, Tandoori, Tikka Masala and others. More than taste though, Café Spice promises an enriching new experience, a new discovery. Something that’s exciting, stimulating, and cultural. Something that will transport you to new culinary adventures, and figuratively, to faraway lands. And that’s what led us to the brand’s strategy: Café Spice is a taste experience that will add spice and richness to your life.
At BrandWerks, we find that visual metaphors help immensely with creative direction and design. Indian cuisine, as enriching and spicy as it is, is like Indian culture, fashion, and life: Colorful, uplifting, even spiritual. There’s brilliance and vibrance. Authentic, timeless color combinations. Symbols. And design elements like flowers, stars and paisley.
Packaging that Invites Purchase
To be successful at retail, your brand must stand out and give consumers a reason to buy. Promising a unique and uplifting taste experience required elevating the brand’s packaging. Café SpiceWith strategy and metaphors in hand, BrandWerks and Steven Blumenthal Graphic Design got to work…
For Café Spice’s Indian “Meals to Go” product line, a new die-cut paperboard sleeve says, “premium” and allows for additional space for imagery and messaging. Bright, complementary (Indian) colors provide shelf impact and product type variation. A “star anise” screened back on the yellow background and shadowing to the center, lotus flower shaped red color panel adds depth and dimension.
Extending the new packaging to other meals types within a line and to other product categories, like the Company’s Naan Sandwiches, required creation of a packaging design system. Here, for the sandwiches, a new, “cloud-like” shape for the center color panel provides needed differentiation.
…or an “Aztec-like” shape to ensure that the future Hispanic “Meals to Go” line stands apart.
For the Indian soups, shown here in a plastic tub, extending the design system created some challenges, but also the opportunity to add creatively to the image of the brand. Colorful flower petals add feeling and emotion to “enrich” consumers. With its new design system, Café Spice now has brand consistency across all product lines, and the ability to extend its products and grow as opportunities arise. And that’s enriching experience!