Prior to my last post on food styling, it had been close to two years since my last post. There are a number of reasons of for this, the biggest being that we have simply been busy just getting the work done.
Any small business owner will understand what I am talking about here, we all know we need to promote, engage and service new and existing clients to continually improve our business operations, but finding the time to do this can be a challenge when you have plenty of work on your plate. Nonetheless, here I am trying to practice a little more of what we preach, and hoping what comes next makes the wait worth it.
Over the last 4 or 5 years, design for packaging has been at the forefront of our business, and more recently, design for food packaging. The icing on the cake came late in 2014, when Dessein was asked if we would like to design the food packaging for one of the UK’s most famous celebrity chefs! Our ears pricked up and our minds raced – who could this be…. a few more clues… SHE is among the top chefs in the UK, has more than 20 years experience under her apron, published some 37 books to become the UK’s number 1 parenting author, was once a talented musician AND has been awarded an MBE for her work in the field of child nutrition. WOW!
Pardon….. Would we like to? Believe it or not, we hesitated. This was not a task to be taken lightly.
According to www.telgraph.co.uk…. “If you’ve had a child during the past 20 years, chances are Annabel Karmel had a strong influence on what you fed it. Even if you didn’t buy one of her books (four million sold), her views on child nutrition have fairly saturated the media via her Twitter feed (17,000 followers) and website (three million unique users annually).”
Annabel Karmel is a household name across the UK and around the world, and now, her food was going to be made here for the Australian market. With both Woolworths and Coles expressing a keen interest to stock the 30+ range of frozen ready meals, this was going to be the next big thing since sliced bread! Why wouldn’t we want to do it! Well, I have to be honest here and say that we did think twice about taking this on. The ambient range of Annabel Karmel meals in the UK had just gone through a rebrand, and at first, we thought we would be following this existing style and the scope for creativity would be limited.
It didn’t take too long for these doubts to be pushed aside and replaced with excitement at the possibilities ahead of us. This range of food for babies and toddlers really is exciting and truly tastes delicious. I can tell you this with all honesty, as I had the privilege to taste the range with Annabel herself, and I am positive that once Australian families taste them, they will feel the same. The range of food has been prepared for the different stages of child development and begins with a selection of fruit and protein pureés designed for babies 4+ and 6+ months respectively. The pureés are sealed into convenient ice-cube trays and feature an easy peel and pop action for quick access and storage.
The next stage is for toddlers 1-4 years with 11 varieties of ready meals and flavour combinations to match. Also designed for 1-4 years are 4 varieties of Annabel Karmel bites – little bite-sized pieces for independent eaters. The final stage, for older children 3+ years introduces newer flavour alternatives in larger portions for kids with bigger appetites. 6 desserts designed as exciting toddler treats complete the new product launch for Australia.
This brings me back to the food styling and the design. After exploring a few design concepts, the client fell in love with this one… where the food playfully interacts with illustrations of cows, chickens, veggies and fish. Where little hands reach for little bites and spoons with sweet treats turn into sparkling wands, butterflies and aeroplanes!
The design of these little gems was a collaborative effort of many talented people. Dessein worked very closely with the Diana Stalteri from Vesco Foods (the client) and photographer Rob Frith from Acorn Photography over a few fun-filled days to capture the beautiful faces of the children featured on the 1-4 years toddler meals…. phew, my smile muscles were sore after those few days! Geoff and Leanne ventured off to Melbourne for a week long photo shoot with Dan Magree Photography and one of Australia’s most respected food stylists, Sue Tilly from Susan Tilley Food Art Australia. The combination of these contributors brought together the packaging in a way we believe, looks as stylish and enticing as the foods itself.
Additionally, Dessein created the celebrity launch invitations, an all-hands-on-deck effort of hand crafted die-cut shaped spoons & fork invitations silver foiled, wrapped and boxed with Annabel Karmel ribbon.
Dessein also designed a style-guide for the initial campaign and the Annabel Karmel display space for The Essential Baby & Toddler show in Melbourne, where families sampled the food for the first time. The full range is now available in Coles supermarkets, make sure you keep an eye out for them and tell your friends with little ones how great they are.
To view the full range of Annabel Karmel packing, visit the Dessein website http://www.dessein.com.au/annabelkarmel-pack.html