Pasta & Rice

Black power

Black pasta packs on shelf and Yoghurt container with black details

During a recent Private Label analysis I was impressed by the number of ways that the Tesco ‘finest’ brand has found to use the colour black. Hundreds of items in diverse categories throughout the store managed to declare their superior quality. In this way it’s easy for the shopper to identify the store’s premium offer,…

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Manga style

Visiting supermarkets in far away places is at least as much fun as going to local art galleries, even if the display values aren’t always up to the same standards. Nowhere is this more true than the noodle aisles in Vietnam, where there must be 100 brands of assorted styles of this staple food, taking…

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Boy and girl fun

Forget gender-political correctness – they’re different. 100% of parents and teachers, and nearly all objective scientific studies agree – boys and girls think differently, play differently, choose products differently. Boys are predominantly visual, so don’t expect them to read anything. They’re also highly physical, so no point in reaching out with emotional cues – just…

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Grains of truth?

With well over 20 brands available in this store, Saudi rice consumers (penetration: close to 100%) are not short of choices. Whilst these real sacks might stand out as incredibly natural and authentic on a European shelf, here they blur into one and feel quite cheap and generic. More premium offers use elaborate print techniques…

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Middle England

Waitrose Cooks product range

In cooking aids, Waitrose’s degree of overtrading (its market share of one sector versus its share of all groceries) is now quite spectacular, due mainly to these stylish packs with an irresistible story: “I’m a proper cook”. With their chatty titles that take you half way into the recipe you’re going to use them in,…

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Metaphorically speaking

Pot Noodles packaging on shelf

One of our mantras at OP is that you can judge a book by its cover, but this example reminds me of an equally powerful principle: you can judge a story by its title. (Well, the story’s intent, if not its quality, but let’s not split hairs). In stories we all love a good metaphor,…

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Window shopping

Range of products using window on their packaging

The idea of letting your product show through a window in the packaging is a great temptation to producers and designers alike, provided it doesn’t affect shelf life and that the product ‘looks the part’. Stories that work with windows are usually about product pride or authenticity, but there’s always the risk of accidentally shouting…

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