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Ready Meals

Can convenience be crafted?

Indian Food Crafted Packaging at Waitrose

If as I have suggested craft designs are trending because people are seeking a connection with a pre-industrial past, then it might be surprising to find them on something as modern as a ‘ding dinner’. In the UK we are the undisputed European champions of ready meal consumption, eating more than double the volume of…

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Fresh thinking

Frozen Pizza at the Supermarket

Vacuum packing is making a bit of a comeback in chilled foods, saving a lot of plastic in the process. The trouble is that the effect can look quite technical or even worse a bit weird, to those of us not familiar with another hot trend – cooking food ‘sous vide’ in a warm water…

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Is this a brand?

What’s the first thing you see here? I’m seeing the first slice of a delicious pizza, and a clever design system that enhances the mass display effect. Differently shaped wedges for each recipe attempt to ‘keep it real’, and a faux signature suggests there may be a real person behind all this; someone called Amy,…

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Blue-collar hero

Hungry Man Ready Meals on a Supermarket Refrigerator

Ah, the Ready Meal or TV dinner as it was once known. Over the years the meaning of this concept has shifted from convenient luxury to a symbol of our double-income-no-time lifestyle, though in upscale chillers the dishes on offer have become remarkably good. Here in the US freezer aisle there’s a refreshingly down to…

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More is less?

Ready meals on shelf

With perhaps the biggest surface area of any piece of food packaging in the supermarket, fresh pizza can do poster-sized product visuals to tempt our tastebuds from 5 metres. Of course we still want to see the uncooked real product inside the box, so we can check on the level of exaggeration. How can a brand…

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Brasserie Carrefour or Restaurant Tesco?

The UK loves its ready meals, mainly because people have to work so long and commute so far that cooking has become a weekend leisure activity, not something you can do every day. Marks & Spencer made the ready meal respectable decades ago, but now all mainstream food retailers sell the idea of dining out at home. Both…

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Wall of colour

Old el Paso section

Ah, unique colours, the nirvana of shelf impact. Everyone wants one, but they don’t always want to accept the consequences: 1 Truly unique colours like Cadbury purple and Milka lilac are nothing to do with category language, because they were created before there was such a term. Relatively few brands have changed to a new…

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McPassion fact – or fiction?

McDonalds Sandwich packaging

I’m hoping that I can prove my wife’s assertion – that McDonalds owns Pret à Manger – to be plain wrong. Even if she’s right, it’s still plain wrong, because the two brand stories couldn’t be more diametrically opposed. I’m not one of those with a knee-jerk detestation of McDonalds and all that it does.…

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