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Plateful Makes An Emotional Appeal For 'Ugly Food'

by Rudy Sanchez on 01/24/2023 | 3 Minute Read

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), one-third of the food produced globally goes to waste, enough to feed 2 billion people. The WFP further notes that 40% of that waste happens post-harvest and during production in the developed world, like fruits and vegetables that are just as tasty and nutritious but are visually imperfect.

Rationally speaking, you would think consumers would see beyond the "ugly" food ingredients, but most folks will pass over a slightly bruised fruit sitting among its prettier counterparts. Convincing shoppers by touting ecological and food waste reduction still presents a challenge.


Plateful is a new firm in Norway that works with well-known suppliers to provide an alternative to chefs, restaurants, hotels, grocers, and through its online store. The brand was previously known as Verdimat (which translates to “value food” in English), but the Plateful identity, designed by agencies Goods and Heydays, makes a stronger connection between the people that grow and harvest the food we eat.


“First and foremost, we wanted to remove the stigmas associated with the terminology around the subject,” says Derek Ercolano, design lead for Goods. “Our research showed that consumers often get a skewed image about the quality of these resources when they hear things like food waste and surplus food.”  

“Secondly, although the service Plateful provides has a lot to do with logistics and facilitating the redistribution of food resources, we wanted to ensure that they communicated about it in a more emotionally driven voice that honored the process and people behind the food,” Derek adds.


The name Plateful makes an immediate connection to mealtime and nourishment with a custom wordmark by Clara Isaksson that's underscored by a flat line with upturned ends, simulating a plate. Goods, Heydays, and Isaksson also worked together to create a bespoke type for Plateful informed by Scotch Roman typography to create a logo that felt sincere, undemanding, and down-to-earth. 

The color palette is warm and inviting, with hues reminiscent of its home country, and takes inspiration from produce like peaches, eggplants, beets, and cavolo (a type of dark leafy green). Additionally, photography by Anne Valeur of Plateful's producers and suppliers depicts the origin of the food the company sells, bringing home the source of the ingredients and the folks that harvest the grains, fruits, vegetables, and livestock we eat.

“One of the things the team realized during the research process is that over time we have grown increasingly distant from how our food gets produced,” Derek says. “We have lost the connection and understanding we once had about the labor, craftsmanship, and effort that goes into creating the food we enjoy every day. Instead of taking a soapbox angle and trying to win people over with numbers, charts, and scare tactics, we sought a more soulful approach that communicates a universal love for the planet, its people, and the food they produce.”


By creating an emotional connection with the farmers, ranchers, and food suppliers, Plateful ignites a newfound respect and admiration for how we produce food.