Wake up and smell the Scarborough Fair redesign

It’s been around since 2004, but in a bid to further stand out from its competitors on supermarket shelves, the Scarborough Fair brand of coffee, tea and chocolate has recently undergone a design makeover, courtesy of the folks at &Some, or as they refer to themselves, the creative co-conspirators for a connected world.

The Scarborough Fair brand was launched into the New Zealand and Australian markets by Auckland-based food marketing company Lighthouse Ventures. Currently there are 16 different products within its Fairtrade organic coffee, tea and chocolate range, which are distributed across approximately 2500 supermarkets across New Zealand and Australia.

Whereas some companies offer a token Fairtrade-certified product, the Scarborough Fair range is Fairtrade through and through, and according to Lighthouse Ventures’ managing director Andrew Davidson, it was critical this point of difference was communicated.

“We are 100 percent Fairtrade and had to make a strong statement about that through the packaging. It takes Scarborough Fair to a whole new position in the market with regards to what we want to achieve with presence on the shelf.”

&Some art director Rick Foxwell worked on the concept, illustration and design for the new look, meanwhile designer at Image Centre Group, Aimee Carruthers, worked on finetuning the packaging artwork and illustration.

For Foxwell, the end result signals a radical departure from the packaging of old.

“We took license, stylised it a bit and broke it right down,” says Foxwell. “The product had no shelf presence previously. Lighthouse ventures wanted it to stand out more and have a lot more punch. It needed to be modern but still a little bit rudimentary so the whole Fairtrade ethos and idea of care would be retained.”

But aside from elevating the Fairtrade logo to the top right hand side of the packaging, the main body of the packaging has undergone a radical shift from its predecessor. Gone are the old still shots of farmers at work. Instead, an artful image of a farmer takes centre stage, complemented by a much bolder typeface.

“We modernised the packaging by doing a stylised illustration,” says Foxwell. “It has a slightly rough feel about it so that the whole thing doesn’t feel overly processed.”

Foxwell says each stylised drawing is adapted from an original photograph of real farmers.

“We wanted to have a bit of truth about it rather that wistful pictures of people fishing. The people in the pictures are based on real people doing their jobs.”

As well as larger, more stylised illustrations, the font treatment for the Scarborough Fair title has also undergone a bold change, almost quite literally.

While the previous typography had a much more delicate treatment, the new font, called League Gothic, gives the packaging what Foxwell describes as “a lot more punch”.

The remaining text on the body of the packaging utilises the font Neutra in differing weights.

Currently the rebranded coffee has started to infiltrate supermarket shelves across New Zealand and Australia and Davidson says people are taking notice.

“The feedback from category managers has been very positive.”

In another 12 weeks, the new design for Scarborough’s tea range will be making its way onto supermarket shelves. And next in line to get the &Some design treatment is Scarborough’s chocolate range.

Meanwhile Davidson is optimistic about the outlook for the Scarborough Fair brand in general. He says the amount of stores in New Zealand stocking the brand is growing, and the company is also eyeing up other avenues of opportunity.

In Australia, all National Australia Banks are stocked with Scarborough’s tea range and Davidson says the company is currently in talks with an Australian airline for a similar arrangement.

Scarborough Fair's new coffee range packaging


Making its departure, the old Scarborough Fair design

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