RITTER SPORT Has a New Look—But the Same Iconic Shape
by Theresa Christine Johnson on 03/25/2019 | 4 Minute Read
Think of most of the chocolate bars you’ve seen in stores, like HERSHEY’S, Godiva, or Mr. Goodbar, and they’ve almost all got one thing in common: their shape. Which is why making a chocolate bar in another shape can do more than just help it stand out—it might even define its existence.
“The square is one of our most important brand assets. By introducing it, we broke the rule in the chocolate tablet market,” admitted Sandra Vogt, Group Product Manager at RITTER SPORT. The iconic chocolate brand was born in 1912 in Germany, although it was in 1960 when they officially removed other products from their range and focused on chocolate squares.
“Our square shape is one of the characteristics that show how we are approaching things our own, unique way—the RITTER SPORT way. The square has even become part of our claim, ‘Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut.’ In English, the slogan is ‘Quality. Chocolate. Squared.’”
Their handy chocolate bar shape contributed to a patented and trademarked “knick-pack,” allowing consumers to fold on a designated line to easily open the chocolate and have a piece broken off and ready to eat. Beyond the packaging, their website’s favicon is a 4x4 grid and their co-owner, Marli Hoppe-Ritter, even founded the Museum Ritter, a gallery with rotating exhibits dedicated to geometric-abstract art.
Evidently, it is hip to be square.
Bold colors also define RITTER SPORT and don’t be surprised if you feel joyfully overwhelmed by the variety of flavors in cheerful hues—a delicate pink Strawberry Yogurt, a teal Peppermint, a rich red Marzipan. As it turns out, this too was an act that broke the “rules” in the chocolate bar market.
“Chocolate tablets used to be brown up until then,” explained Sandra. Today you can find chocolate wrapped in all sorts of packaging designs, but to select bright, bold colors of the rainbow truly made a statement. The hues naturally correspond to the flavor, but Sandra added the process is a bit more complicated than that—the exact hue has to have the right amount of appetite appeal, differentiation, and modernity.
And that “modernity” aspect of RITTER SPORT is where things get interesting. The 100+-year-old company has not only recently redesigned their colorful variety of chocolate bars, but also expanded to include a new Cocoa Selection made from single origin cocoa.
For the redesign, Sandra said they wanted to “improve naturalness and value as well as appetite appeal.” The changes will be subtle to the non-chocoholic eye, but the change of perspective alone gives it a more contemporary, Instagram-y look. The packaging keeps things simple, showing a natural image of the ingredients as if you were looking down at them on the kitchen counter. And rather than show the individual squares of the bar, the new packaging displays a row ready to be broken and consumed.
While developing Cocoa Selection, RITTER SPORT knew how important it was to keep their main brand assets—the square shape and vibrant colors. “Once again we broke a mainstream rule in the chocolate tablet market and did things our own, unique way,” confessed Sandra. “Dark chocolate the RITTER SPORT way is joyful and comes in bright colors.”
Although Cocoa Selection is a new product line, it adopts the same principles as the redesigned colorful variety of chocolate bars: vivid hues and natural imagery. Plus, just like with their other products, Coca Selection features the logo, front and center—a logo which embodies the brand’s ability to balance its history while keeping up with the times.
The RITTER SPORT logo consists of two words in two fonts. The first, “Ritter,” written in cursive is the family name, representing values, tradition, and a longstanding commitment to quality. “On the other hand, ‘Sport’ stands for activity, modernity, easiness, and joy,” said Sandra, and this appears in sans serif.
Aside from the size and placement, the RITTER SPORT logo has remained largely the same. In a way, it acts as a guiding light for their values: well-made chocolate, convenience, and yes, lots and lots of squares.