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Alien soup

Cantonese Soup Packs on Shelf in Asia

Ah that’s better, a shelf full of products I can’t read and don’t recognise. There’s something deeply symbolic about Chinese characters (that’s what they call a truism!), but especially when hanging vertically. I asked a friend of mine for further explanation and learned that this is the traditional way of writing, though the horizontal option…

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Talking about flavour

Cup a Soup packs on shelf in The Netherlands

Here’s a perfect example of the food shot dilemma – is this a stronger brand when we don’t see the final product steaming in the mug? Instead of showing us how good it will taste, a smiling mug tells us a story of how we might feel about this flavour – ‘Ooh la la’ in the…

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Back to basics

New Covent Garden pioneered the soup carton, borrowing a metaphor from milk and juice to communicate freshness – at that time a real innovation for soup. Nowadays most competitors seem to favour tough-as-old-boots plastic cups, but NCG sticks to its guns admirably. Graphics tend to change pretty often though, and in the latest design we see a…

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Factory Food?

Several soup brands in Canning Jars in a Dutch supermarket

Here in Holland’s ‘marqt’, a knowingly cool modernisation of the Dutch for ‘market’ (markt), pretty much everything on shelf is from small, specialist, often organic brands. As an authentic Dutch staple food, soup is a prime candidate for the ‘made with love from the best ingredients story’, and as with my old favourite Bonne Maman…

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Typeface soup

I’ve always thought that the characteristics of soup (a mixture of lots of different vegetables, herbs, colours and textures) lend themselves perfectly to a mélange of typefaces. The impression of a placed paper label seals the deal, and gives oodles of standout. Exactly the same idea as New Covent Garden, but even in this rather…

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“Easy, tasty, makes me smile”

Here’s a truly charming design, telling the brand story with wit, appetite appeal, clear variety coding and plenty of impact. In truth it’s really a product story since the Cup-a-Soup ‘brand’ is virtually generic, but perhaps the little Batchelor’s flag saves the day.

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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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