Australia grocer Coles has introduced a new range of private brand products inspired by world flavors. The new products are designed to help shoppers imagine themselves smack-bang in the middle of the world’s most vibrant food stalls and night markets.

As a strategic brand partner to Coles, agency Elmwood undertook the huge task of redefining the retailer’s own brand architecture. In the process, the team identified an opportunity to create a range of global food products with more authentic flavors and recipes.

In a category cluttered with uninspiring, private labels or high end ‘artisan’ offerings, the work identified a gap in the market for food that is both authentic but approachable made from authentic recipes. The team collaborated to create Coles ‘World Flavours’.

The search for inspiration took developers “to the streets” of the world’s great food cities. The lead creative territory, which felt fresh and authentic is flexible enough to include foods from a host of regions and countries in the future.

The team was inspired by street food around the world and the vibrant laneways it’s often found in. All the sights, the sounds and of course, mouth-watering aromas. They aimed to capture the vibrancy of street food culture in these great food regions.

In the process, nothing was missed by the keen-eyed designers: Wall textures inspired by local buildings, typography from market stall signs, authentic language, iconic patterns and colors, even the shadows created by sun-drenched street furniture.

The new range was designed to spark the senses and help shoppers imagine themselves on a bustling street filled with delicious treats.

To help with shopper navigation, each pack includes a unique design path for each country, which stemmed from the overarching creative territory.

The Mexican range includes vibrant hand-painted signage found everywhere on the streets of Mexico. To achieve this typographic treatment, the agency commissioned award-winning designer Andy Smith renowned for a typography style that feels tactile and hand-printed. The Italian range was inspired by the sun-soaked cobblestoned streets scattered all along Italy’s coast. Designs also drew inspiration from rustic, hand-painted majolicas from the Renaissance period, which were modernized and incorporated into designs.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.