Major cosmetics push by top grocers benefits consultancies

The supermarket giants aren’t skimping on the make-up at the moment. Both Sainsbury’s and Tesco have been busy working on their cosmetics ranges this month, keeping a host of design consultancies busy.

R Design, Pemberton & Whitefoord and Rocket have each worked on a range as part of a big push by Tesco into the health, beauty and fragrances sector, while Paul Cartwright Branding has completed its first project for Sainsbury’s, redesigning its Active Naturals range.

For Tesco, the move comes as the grocer reviews its corporate branding, with ‘fairly fundamental things going on’, according to one source. It is thought that the primary marque will not be redesigned, but a consultancy on Tesco’s design roster is currently working on a ‘broad corporate project’.

Tesco is extending its Finest brand into cosmetics for the first time, with a 52-strong line. P&W has designed packaging for the Finest Modern Fragrances range, which sits at the top of a three-tiered offering, including Finest Gourmand, also by P&W, and Finest Classics, by R Design. The two consultancies collaborated, resulting in a simple black band that is visually consistent across all the tiers.

In the Modern Fragrances range, the Finest star is singled out and rendered in silver foil to help create extra shelf presence, while pastel colours are used as a backdrop to differentiate between products within the range.

‘Tesco is really trying to see how far it can stretch the Finest banner into other areas and still feel comfortable. It is trying to consolidate this top tier to compete with other major brands,’ says P&W partner Adrian Whitefoord.

At the same time Tesco is launching Body Therapy Spa and Bnatural cosmetics, designed by R Design and Rocket respectively.

R Design’s work for the Body Therapy Spa range includes naming, identity and packaging design. ‘We created the name to act almost like a pillar brand in its own right. Tesco’s push into cosmetics is very important to its offering,’ says R Design creative director David Richmond.

Following the roll-out of its redesigned Active Naturals range, Sainsbury’s is planning further changes to its cosmetics offering and has retained Paul Cartwright Branding to undertake the work. The consultancy has also been appointed to the Sainsbury’s design roster.

‘The previous Active Naturals design was very simple; mainly clear tubes with coloured formulations in them. The company needed something that would “shout out” on shelf,’ explains Paul Cartwright Branding founder Paul Cartwright.

The new design focuses on the ingredients, with images by Carol Sharp Photography. ‘The packs have minimal Sainsbury’s branding. At one point, they were talking about not having a corporate logo on there at all,’ adds Cartwright.


• Launching three cosmetics ranges: Bnatural, designed by Rocket; Finest, designed by Pemberton & Whitefoord and R Design; and Body Therapy Spa designed by R Design
• Design roster: Rocket, Pemberton & Whitefoord, R Design, Martin Design, Astound, Coley Porter Bell, Haines McGregor, Amphora, Point Design, Julia Gibson Associates, Pam Winkworth Design and Thames McGurk

• Relaunching Active Naturals skincare range, designed by Paul Cartwright Branding
• Design roster: BR&Me, FAB Design, Parker Williams, Paul Cartwright Branding and Ziggurat

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