The snacking landscape is changing rapidly. Moving away from traditional potato-based snacks, the category is witnessing an explosion of new nibbles based on peas, chick peas and lentils, promising new flavour experiences and healthier snacking.
Into this world, in 2016, Japanese snack manufacturer Calbee launched Yushoi – a range of Japanese-inspired snacks.
By 2019, the brand had become well-established among ‘better for you’ snacks. But with consumer choice continuing to grow, the Yushoi brand needed to evolve and offer a clear point of difference to stay ahead.
There’s a conflict in the idea of healthy snacking. While these snacks claim to be better for you, there’s a perception among consumers that health comes at the expense of flavour. By contrast, Yushoi offered a truly unique product – better for you, certainly, but at the same time, offering consumers complex layers of intense flavours.
This was reflected in their distinct point of view – ‘Multi-dimensional, high intensity food that’s better for you.’ We recognised this as an opportunity to break category codes and really push Yushoi to the fore.
Rather than following the category norms and featuring cut-out ingredients on pack, we asked ourselves a few searching questions. What does sour look like? What is the shape of umami? What texture does spicy have?
Focusing on the intense flavours, we took a synesthetic approach to design to create a strong visual expression of the flavour.To help us visualize the experience we created the Flavour Experience Equalizer – a tool which allowed us to map out each flavour profile.
Resulting in intensely colourful illustrations. Following Japanese design principles, we applied these to a cool black background for consistent brand blocking and stand-out in a chaotic supermarket environment.
“From the very first meeting, Elmwood proved to be determined to understand the challenges we faced and totally committed to delivering the most creative solution for us. The outcome exceeded all expectations.”