Picnic Isn't Your Average Private Label Brand
by Chloe Gordon on 05/15/2023 | 3 Minute Read
Most of us are pretty accustomed to doing our grocery shopping in person.
Picnic, however, is a Dutch grocery delivery business that's an app-only service, and the brand has a range of 2,000 products. Recently, they turned to UK strategic design consultancy big fish to build a new packaging range from scratch.
The grocery delivery service has begun introducing its brand in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. But instead of having to wow consumers on the shelf while differentiating their products, big fish had the opportunity to design something truly creative packaging that traffics more in joy and delight.
"Because Picnic is an app-only business, we were able to create a new design philosophy that followed rules that were at odds with those of traditional retail. We designed everything for the home and not the supermarket shelf, which gave us unusual freedom and creativity," said Victoria Sawdon, chief creative at big fish. "There was no need for the usual “look at me” shouty-ness that brands have to adapt to fight for attention on a crowded shelf, but there did need to be a level of care, detail, and beauty when under closer scrutiny within the home."
From milk and canned vegetables to pet food to snacks, each product has a whimsical illustration style with painterly textures and details highlighting the healthy nature of budget-friendly foods. But they're also intended to blend in with the aesthetics of your own home. Sawdon noted, "You choose your cushion covers and plates because they are visually appealing, so why shouldn’t your household goods also look great? The ultimate compliment for a piece of packaging is someone wanting to leave it on the side and not hide it in a cupboard."
Of course, having to design over 2,000 products is a challenge for any agency. big fish had to figure out how to make each product its own experience while prioritizing creating a cohesive brand. "The packs all overcommit to art and illustration, so even though there may be a myriad of styles, they all have a level of care and detail that makes them feel part of the same family," shares Sawdon. "The consistency is the inconsistency. Even the logo, where most brands would have stringent guidelines, differs across every range. It’s incorporated into the design stylistically—hanging from the rabbit’s collar on a loo roll, embroidered onto an apron on flour, and upside down on an umbrella for chocolate sprinkles. The only guideline is that it is red and square (ish!). That is another indicator that Picnic acts in an anti-corporate way in everything they do."
The Picnic range turns all design rules upside down—particularly concerning private labels—creating an inspired online shopping experience. By challenging the consumer mindsets of shopping with urgency to opting for a visual identity focused on purchasing products that will enhance their lives and homes, the idea of grocery shopping becomes more of a fun task than a daunting chore.