Center Parcs serves up Aricot Vert concepts

Holiday village Center Parcs is introducing two food concepts across its network of sites, using an identity and branding created by Aricot Vert.

The London design consultancy clinched the project, following an invitation to take part in a three-way credentials pitch last October, according to Aricot Vert managing director Lin Dickens.

The first new outlet, Made, is based on a ‘grab and go’ fresh food concept, with a deli-style offer.

The group has also created an identity and visual brand language for Dining In, a similar fresh food takeaway proposition, though positioned as an evening dining option.

‘The idea was to completely reposition “takeway”. Dining In is exactly like restaurant food, but visitors can eat in their chalet. We really had to challenge the perception and reality of what grabbing a takeaway means,’ explains Dickens.

The brief we were initially given was to develop a takeaway concept for the villages, which we did by working out objectives and targets such as how many people there are and the existing dining options on site. We also needed to make sure the food offers didn’t detract from those – it’s about giving customers an alternative to stopping at Marks & Spencer or Sainsbury’s on the way to Center Parcs and taking a load of ready meals to cook in their chalets,’ she adds.

Aricot Vert has created all design elements, from the naming and identity through to the interior signage, working with Center Parcs marketing director Colin Whaley.

The Made concept, suggesting ‘freshly made’ or ‘made here’, avoids an overworked style to reflect provenance and authenticity, while a number of identity variations help avoid a mass-produced look.

Dining In features a visual pun, with the word ‘in’ inside the word ‘dining’, set into rich colours that are sympathetic to the setting of each Center Parcs site.

‘We wanted colour schemes appropriate for brands that could sit harmoniously within that setting,’ says Dickens.

Made is part of an overall £17m investment programme Center Parcs is implementing across its restaurants and retail offer throughout the UK.

Center Parcs last year unveiled a dramatic £60m upgrade of all its visitor accommodation, with the help of architect and interior design group Target Living, marking its 20th anniversary.

The restyling programme was overseen by chief executive and founder Tara Bernerd, and was the first phase of Center Parc’s ambitious plans to transform its visitor accommodation by April this year.

Initial introduction of Made takes place at Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, and will be followed by a roll-out to other sites later this summer.

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