This Brand of Meatsnacks Gets an Adventurous New Look

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Pearlfisher defines a new creative vision, architectural strategy and packaging expression for the Meatsnacks Group, Europe’s largest manufacturer of meat snacks.

The Meatsnacks Group, founded in 2015, is the leading producer and distributor of biltong
and jerky in the UK, and a major proponent of the emergent popularity of meat products as
a healthy and sustaining snack. Having risen to market dominance through acquisitions, the
group’s portfolio of brands had become fragmented and incohesive, and was in need of
alignment and strategic direction.

Following a comprehensive category audit informed by a deep-dive exploration into the
future landscape of food, Pearlfisher’s Strategy team mapped the Meatsnacks Group’s
portfolio on a spectrum of ‘authentic’ to ‘adventurous.’

Kristoffer Fink Parup, Senior Brand Strategist at Pearlfisher, said, “By interpreting
Meatsnacks’ brands as expressions of the company’s ethos – from the depth of experience
and respect of process that define its approach, to the unbridled passion and pursuit of
innovation that inspire its creations – our architectural organisation gives the portfolio the
flexibility to remain rooted in tradition whilst embracing exciting future propositions.”
 

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Wild West
At the centre of the spectrum, defined by an equal measure of authenticity and
adventurousness, is the group’s flagship product, Wild West. The UK’s original and leading
jerky brand, Wild West embodies American masculinity and a spirit of discovery, but the
identity and pack design, characterised by clichéd expressions of Americana, were failing to
do this meaning justice.

Pearlfisher’s new essence for Wild West, inspired by the idea of ‘Expanding Horizons,’
comes to life in a confident new design that evokes both rugged wilderness and urban
exploration. Jon Vallance, Associate Creative Director for Brand and Graphics at
Pearlfisher, said, “To take Wild West on a journey from ‘one-dimensional cowboy’ to
‘modern explorer,’ we centralised the design around an illustrated graphic of a mountainous
landscape, which varies slightly for each of the eight variants.

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We re-appropriated the brand’s most distinctive equities, retaining the ‘swing’ of the logo
but adding experience through texture and grit, and evolving the sheriff’s badge into a fourpoint compass star with a leftward-pointing arrow, which nods back to the old wild west.
To reinforce a sense of exploration, we incorporated elements for the consumer to discover
on pack: a ‘W’ in the negative space between the peaks; a person interacting with the
landscape; a cityscape on the back of pack to contrast urban and outdoor exploration.”
Two exciting new Wild West variants – chicken and salmon jerky – will be rolled out with the
redesign.
 

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Cruga
At the farthest and most ‘authentic’ end of the spectrum is Cruga, the UK’s original biltong
brand. Firmly rooted in a South African recipe and legacy, Cruga’s expression leaned
heavily on stereotypical African motifs which, though effective in communicating heritage,
put the brand in danger of appearing contrived and therefore, inauthentic.

 Pearlfisher articulated a premium positioning for Cruga that brings a true appreciation of
meat more boldly to the fore. A design essence of ‘Slow Perfection’ captures the artisanal,
expert process of making biltong whilst informing an honest and rustic direction for design.

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According to Vallance, Pearlfisher once again retained crucial equities, such as the
landscape and shield shape, but injected them with contemporary energy and a distinctly
crafted appeal. “We developed an ownable logotype for Cruga that can be boldly activated
in communication, and have used colour and texture to move Cruga’s message and
aesthetic from ‘African tribe’ to ‘African tactility.’ We’ve also used tribal patterns to signal
flavour (triangles take on a more of a chilli shape for that variant, for example) instead of
evoking a one-dimensional and stereotypical feeling of ‘Africa,’ as they did before.”

James Newitt, Managing Director at Meatsnacks Group, said, “Pearlfisher has done a
brilliant job of upholding the pillars that define our brand – process, place, product and
passion – whilst empowering us with flexibility, cohesion and confidence to push the
category boundaries and extend our portfolio into new realms of creative possibility.”
 

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Designed By: Pearlfisher
Founding Partner and CEO: Jonathan Ford, Pearlfisher
Futures Director: Sophie Maxwell, Pearlfisher
Strategic Business Director: Jack Hart, Pearlfisher
Associate Creative Director for Brand & Graphics: Jon Vallance, Pearlfisher
Client Director: Nadine Orton, Pearlfisher
Senior Brand Strategist: Kristoffer Fink Parup, Pearlfisher
Head of Words: Jennifer Kruegel-Hanna, Pearlfisher
Analyst: Jahan Jhala, Pearlfisher
Designer: Charlie Garrod, Pearlfisher
Illustrator: Mike O'Shea
Location: UK