Elmwood brands new Independent convenience store range

Elmwood has designed the branding and packaging for a new range of convenience store own-brand products, Independent.

Independent range
Independent range

Independent has been launched by a partnership between Costcuttter Supermarkets Group and UK-based wholesaler Palmer and Harvey. The range comprises around 750 items, and will be sold in Costcutter Supermarkets Group’s retail brands – Costcutter, Mace and Kwiksave – and through Palmer and Harvey’s independent and mini-mart customers.

Elmwood was appointed to the project around a year ago following a strategic pitch, and created the branding, packaging and tone-of-voice for the range, which aims to give a sense of ‘flavour, energy and fun’.

The retailers selling the range will be able to tailor which products are sold in their stores according to the needs of the customers local to them, according to Elmwood, which says they will have ‘real ownership over what is sold’.

Independent identity
Independent identity

The umbrella brand logo uses mixed-size typography contained in a shopping bag-shaped holding device.

John Kubale, Elmwood design director, says, ‘The letters are all jumbled up into one shopping bag to show that it’s a fun range of products with a lot of diversity. It’s a brand that can offer pretty much anything for panic buyers’.

The look and feel across the range is based on a marriage of big and little, showing ‘the idea of independent retailers going up against the big multiples – the idea of David and Goliath’, says Kubale.

‘We quickly came up with the idea of a world that’s out of scale. There’s a big range of products but at great value, and that’s all distilled into the core identity’, he adds.

Independent orange juice in its Independent Trader, Independent and premium range Independent Specialist formats
Independent orange juice in its Independent Trader, Independent and premium range Independent Specialist formats

The range is divided into three strands: Independent Trader for basic products; the mid-range offering, Independent and premium range Independent Specialist.

Elmwood created the strapline ‘Stay local. Shop Independent’, and created a different look and feel for each of the three strands of the brand. White backgrounds, block colours and simple graphics are used for Independent Trader, while Independent packs feature blue-sky imagery as a backdrop for product or ingredient imagery.

Independent Specialist camembert
Independent Specialist camembert

The Independent Specialist range aims on show its premium credentials through ‘dark colours and appetising photography’, according to Elmwood.

Independent Specialist olive oil
Independent Specialist olive oil

Elmwood worked with type foundry Northern Block to create the fonts used in the identity, while letter artist Alan Foster drew the typography for the main Independent logo. All illustrations were created in-house at Elmwood.

The full range will be on shelves by June or July this year, according to Elmwood.

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