This Brand of Meatsnacks Gets an Adventurous New Look

by Natalie Mouradian on 12/04/2017 | 5 Minute Read

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Pearlfisher defines a new creative vision, architectural strategy and packaging expression for the Meatsnacks Group, Europe’s largest manufacturer of meat snacks.

The Meatsnacks Group, founded in 2015, is the leading producer and distributor of biltongand jerky in the UK, and a major proponent of the emergent popularity of meat products asa healthy and sustaining snack. Having risen to market dominance through acquisitions, thegroup’s portfolio of brands had become fragmented and incohesive, and was in need ofalignment and strategic direction.

Following a comprehensive category audit informed by a deep-dive exploration into thefuture landscape of food, Pearlfisher’s Strategy team mapped the Meatsnacks Group’sportfolio on a spectrum of ‘authentic’ to ‘adventurous.’

Kristoffer Fink Parup, Senior Brand Strategist at Pearlfisher, said, “By interpretingMeatsnacks’ brands as expressions of the company’s ethos – from the depth of experienceand respect of process that define its approach, to the unbridled passion and pursuit ofinnovation that inspire its creations – our architectural organisation gives the portfolio theflexibility to remain rooted in tradition whilst embracing exciting future propositions.” 

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Wild WestAt the centre of the spectrum, defined by an equal measure of authenticity andadventurousness, is the group’s flagship product, Wild West. The UK’s original and leadingjerky brand, Wild West embodies American masculinity and a spirit of discovery, but theidentity and pack design, characterised by clichéd expressions of Americana, were failing todo this meaning justice.

Pearlfisher’s new essence for Wild West, inspired by the idea of ‘Expanding Horizons,’comes to life in a confident new design that evokes both rugged wilderness and urbanexploration. Jon Vallance, Associate Creative Director for Brand and Graphics atPearlfisher, said, “To take Wild West on a journey from ‘one-dimensional cowboy’ to‘modern explorer,’ we centralised the design around an illustrated graphic of a mountainouslandscape, which varies slightly for each of the eight variants.

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We re-appropriated the brand’s most distinctive equities, retaining the ‘swing’ of the logobut adding experience through texture and grit, and evolving the sheriff’s badge into a fourpoint compass star with a leftward-pointing arrow, which nods back to the old wild west.To reinforce a sense of exploration, we incorporated elements for the consumer to discoveron pack: a ‘W’ in the negative space between the peaks; a person interacting with thelandscape; a cityscape on the back of pack to contrast urban and outdoor exploration.”Two exciting new Wild West variants – chicken and salmon jerky – will be rolled out with theredesign. 

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CrugaAt the farthest and most ‘authentic’ end of the spectrum is Cruga, the UK’s original biltongbrand. Firmly rooted in a South African recipe and legacy, Cruga’s expression leanedheavily on stereotypical African motifs which, though effective in communicating heritage,put the brand in danger of appearing contrived and therefore, inauthentic.

 Pearlfisher articulated a premium positioning for Cruga that brings a true appreciation ofmeat more boldly to the fore. A design essence of ‘Slow Perfection’ captures the artisanal,expert process of making biltong whilst informing an honest and rustic direction for design.

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According to Vallance, Pearlfisher once again retained crucial equities, such as thelandscape and shield shape, but injected them with contemporary energy and a distinctlycrafted appeal. “We developed an ownable logotype for Cruga that can be boldly activatedin communication, and have used colour and texture to move Cruga’s message andaesthetic from ‘African tribe’ to ‘African tactility.’ We’ve also used tribal patterns to signalflavour (triangles take on a more of a chilli shape for that variant, for example) instead ofevoking a one-dimensional and stereotypical feeling of ‘Africa,’ as they did before.”

James Newitt, Managing Director at Meatsnacks Group, said, “Pearlfisher has done abrilliant job of upholding the pillars that define our brand – process, place, product andpassion – whilst empowering us with flexibility, cohesion and confidence to push thecategory boundaries and extend our portfolio into new realms of creative possibility.” 

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Designed By: PearlfisherFounding Partner and CEO: Jonathan Ford, PearlfisherFutures Director: Sophie Maxwell, PearlfisherStrategic Business Director: Jack Hart, PearlfisherAssociate Creative Director for Brand & Graphics: Jon Vallance, PearlfisherClient Director: Nadine Orton, PearlfisherSenior Brand Strategist: Kristoffer Fink Parup, PearlfisherHead of Words: Jennifer Kruegel-Hanna, PearlfisherAnalyst: Jahan Jhala, PearlfisherDesigner: Charlie Garrod, PearlfisherIllustrator: Mike O'SheaLocation: UK

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