Fortnum & Mason - matchbox chocolate novelty range

Taking inspiration from best-loved wildlife from the English country garden, Design Bridge created nostalgic and enchanting packaging designs for a new confectionery collection affectionately referred to as ‘matchbox’ chocolates. 

The new confectionery range consists of handmade chocolates in the shape of five different creatures fondly associated with the English country garden. The packaging design aims to deliver a playful sense of humour and trigger sentimental memories from times gone by. 

Hayley Barrett, senior designer at Design Bridge explained, “Working in close partnership with the team at Fortnum & Mason, we built on an existing ‘novelty’ chocolate range that included chocolate mice. Inspired by the animal moulds and wit of Fortnum’s, we developed the idea of bringing to life a family of animals and three new chocolate creatures were developed; a ladybird, a hedgehog and a tortoise. Each animal has their own individual story and distinct identity – elements enhanced further as all the chocolates are handmade.” 

Each set of chocolate animals comes in its own special box that is designed with collectability in mind. Design Bridge took inspiration from vintage matchboxes, often associated with childhood play from days gone by and the storing of special keepsakes containing insects from around the garden. Continuing on the garden theme, each box contains green shredded tissue to represent lush crisp grass. Each box is designed with careful attention to detail to reflect the character, charm, personality and story of the creature inside. As well as a beautifully illustrative sketch on each pack, sections including the matchbox top and ‘strike board’ echo key features and shapes such as the spots of the ladybird, the spines of the hedgehog, or the holes in cheese made by mice. 

Hayley Barrett commented, “There’s nothing quite like putting keepsakes into a special box for that sense of nostalgia and careful preservation. With these matchbox chocolates, we were looking to evoke a sense of childhood playfulness and care for something precious.” 

Barrett added, “Each pack tells a multi-layered story, drawing people in with every detail and establishing strong emotional connections. They are stories created with wit, charm and humour, and that are timeless and truly magical. 

While each design has its own distinct identity, careful consideration was given to ensuring Fortnum & Mason’s famous Eau de Nil colour remained present throughout the range, thereby visibly anchoring the new designs in the Fortnum’s family. Looking closely at each box, a nod to Eau de Nil features subtly in every illustrative sketch, every cover key line, and each strike board. 

One of the most important parts of the design was the copy and tone of voice on each pack. Caroline Slade, copywriter at Design Bridge explains, “As well as crafting new playful poems for each pack to tell the story of the individual animal, we gave each creature playful titles such as ‘Lady Luck’ (Ladybird), ‘Prince Charming’ (Frog) and ‘Double Trouble’ (Mice). We envisage some people might like to give matchbox chocolates as presents for specific occasions – Lady Luck the ladybird to someone about to take an exam for example.” 

Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director at Fortnum & Mason commented, “There is something truly magical and fun about the new matchbox chocolate range. Thanks to the creative design, storytelling, and of course delicious chocolates, Design Bridge has helped Fortnum & Mason create a set of timeless tales and characters that work perfectly. Design Bridge responded to the brief with the careful attention to detail that Fortnum & Mason is famous for, and worked with us to create something really very special.”   

 

Designed by Design Bridge

Client: Fortnum & Mason

Country: United Kingdom

City: London