Design Bridge drops Hooch fruit cartoons

Pioneering alcopop Hooper’s Hooch has ditched its fruit characters which provoked criticism that it appeals to children. New packaging designs by Design Bridge are being launched.

Design Bridge won the work in a paid creative pitch against Tutssels. The consultancy behind Hooch’s original packaging, Edinburgh’s Apex, was not involved.

The 18-month-old brand has almost 70 per cent of the alcoholic carbonate market, the UK’s fastest growing drinks sector. The new packs mark Hooch’s coming of age, says a spokeswoman at owner Bass Brewers: “We will continue to review and develop it.”

Design Bridge senior designer Andy A’Court had one month to complete the redesign, which covers all four flavours. The new designs include a tail device on the logo which Design Bridge claims conveys the lively personality of the brand.

The original cartoon characters have been replaced with graphic illustrations of the fruits. It was the fruit characters which were the basis of complaints upheld by advisory body The Portman Group, which formulated a voluntary code of conduct on alcopops.

Bass Brewers doesn’t agree with the ruling, but the spokeswoman says: “In the spirit of the self-regulatory code, we agreed to phase out the Hooch characters.”

Design Bridge account director Beverley Jones says: “Hooch needed to move on anyway. It was looking pretty tired.”

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