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Towers Noble design gives a boost to Salcombe Dairies.

Towers Noble Design Gives a Boost to Salcombe Dairies

Over the last decade, smaller producers of high quality dairy ice cream, like Loseley, have made impressive inroads into the market. Early last year leading London packaging design consultancy Towers Nobel was contacted by the Milk Marketing Board because it felt packaging designers should turn their attention towards some of the smaller specialist dairy products manufacturers now beginning to move in on the larger established players in the market, like Walls and Lyons Maid.

The first company to which Towers Noble turned was Salcombe Dairies, a small family business in Salcombe, Devon. The owners, Peter and Trish Howard, ran a compact high quality operation producing seven varieties of home-made dairy ice cream. The company had enjoyed good sales throughout Devon and the Cornish Riviera for several years when it was offered the chance to move its vanilla and blackcurrant varieties into Waitrose. The one stipulation was that the product's packaging be brought up to a standard to match that of other goods stocked on the multiple's shelves.

Towers Noble decided to put two products into 750ml clear plastics round tubs in place of the old square opaque polyethylene cartons. The design elements, which were to give the products a distinctive brand feel, are carried on a wrap-around cardboard outer. Towers Noble came up with an identity for Salcombe Dairies: a rectangular panel with a white-sailed yatch against a fleecy-clouded sky with the company name in white capital below it. This brand identity features both at the centre of the circular top panel of the cardboard sleeve and on the sides.

The name of each variety appears in bold upper case characters around the top of the design; Salcombe Dairies identity is flanked by milk churns in the case of the vanilla, and by a bunch of the fruit in question for the blackcurrant variety. The predominant colours for each design are blue and white, and whilst the vanilla's background is a pale sky blue, the black-currant's is a dark lavender. Both packs work well in giving the product an attractive, strongly branded retail appeal and good shelf presence.

Since its launch, the new packaging has been a huge success; Salcombe Dairies have had to cut back production on a number of other lines in order to cope with demand for the vanilla and black-currant ice creams in their relaunched form. Both have been sold into several of the major retailers on the strength of their new look and, of course, the high quality of the products.

The enthusiasm with which the market greeted these first varieties prompted the consultancy to design a special seasonal pack for an 'ice cream Christmas cake' product. If that sounds a little unusual as a combination of tastes, the run-away success which has greeted the product-made with real Martell cognac - at tasting sessions speaks for itself. Towers Noble adapted the original design to project a strongly seasonal flavour, with Salcombe Dairies identity in gold, a red background and an abundance of snow-laden Christmas-inspired detail in the illustration. The company found itself unable to keep up with demand and now plans to double the size of its plant this year to introduce new flavours, such as Kenya coffee and rum and raisin, building up to a six-strong range of classic ice creams which Waitrose has already agreed to take.

Towers Noble is now acting as design consultant on an ongoing basis and is currently putting together a livery for the company's delivery vehicles. The consultancy is also working on a number of other projects with the MMB, drawing on its broad experience in the dairy products area; many of these new projects will be seeing the light of day during the course of the coming year.

Towers Noble Design are to be found at Regent House, 235-241 Regent Street, London W1, tel: 01-494 2266.

PHOTO : Salcombe Dairies new packaging
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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Mar 1, 1990
Words:652
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