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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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,…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.…

Read More