Levelling Up: Design for Accessible-Premium Food Brands
As consumers keep a closer eye on their pursestrings, accessible-premium brands may find themselves working harder to justify higher price points. However, while many are cutting back on spending at bars, restaurants, and holidays, the accessible-premium market still remains popular among consumers. In particular, meals at home are rising in popularity as consumers seek to recreate restaurant-quality dining experiences in the comfort of their own home. The food category is particularly rife with opportunity for accessible-premium brands to shine. The allure of affordable luxuries stands strong, even amid financial crises.
As designers, how we can create high-quality experiences for accessible-premium customers? What design principles are at stake here? And, how can these brands shine through otherwise cluttered shelves?
The everyday-special food category strikes a delicate balance between sophistication and openness, craft and function, and quality and quantity. Consumers are good at decoding design guidelines, so clearly capturing the balance of quality and care is crucial. Pulsin, a plant-based protein bar and powder brand, does this expertly. Their chocolate range tagline offers “naturally indulgent” nutrition. Meanwhile, the functional nutritional benefits remain prominent in the on-pack messaging.
The accessible-premium space is ideal for challenger brands. Typically, everyday-special brands are coming to the market with products that have a unique story to tell or gap to fill. Effective design can help bring that story to life. Nutcessity is a brand of 100% plant-based, gluten-free, and peanut-free nut butters. The products not only fulfil a need for consumers who are navigating allergies, but also cuts through the overcrowded peanut butter market to incorporate unconventional flavours, like gingerbread and coffee. Nutcessity’s packaging is designed to be stripped back, representing the beauty of simple flavours and simple ingredients. Through simplicity, the product’s story shines through – which helps it resonate among customers.
Alternatively, Butter Bike is an example of an accessible-premium brand coming to market with a unique distribution method, delivery via bike, which would become essential to the brand story. The rebranding initiative embraced the brand’s energetic, artisan foundations, with tyre tracks on the jar representing different available textures available.
The accessible-premium space is challenging the food category at every level, reshaping how consumers shop, and bringing on a new wave of sustainable improvements. Design approaches in the everyday-special category must be specific to each brand, seeking to emphasise creativity through clarity, inclusion, and storytelling. There is so much opportunity to push the envelope in this space, opening new opportunities for innovative brands to capture new segments.
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