Macaroni & Cheese Design & Branding KRAFT MACARONI & CHEESE by Landor New York

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Industry Pre-Cooked Meals & Frozen Food, Pasta
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Landor New York
Designer Lindsay Steele, Strom Strandell
Released November 2010

Credits & Description

Category: ii. Core FMCG
Advertiser: KRAFT FOODS
Date of First Appearance: Nov 1 2010
Entrant Company: LANDOR ASSOCIATES, Cincinnati, USA
Managing Director: Mary Zalla (Landor)
Design Director: Rahmin Eslami (Landor)
Design Director: Tracey Lanz (Landor)
Marketing Manager: Adara Ralston (Landor)
Client Director: Rick Shelton (Landor)
Executive Client Director: Richard Westendorf (Landor)
Technical Designer: Ed Sarge (Landor)
Senior Designer: Matt Clemens (Landor)
Designer: Strom Strandell (Landor)
Designer: Lindsay Steele (Landor)
Senior Retouching Specialist: Joe Rice (Landor)
Associate Director, Graphic Technology: Scott Hosa (Landor)
Senior Director, Design Realization: Anne Reid (Landor)
Media placement: Packaging box - Supermarket/food Retailers - November 1, 2010

Describe the brief from the client
An American food favorite, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner has been serving up smiles since 1937. Long highly relevant and visible, Kraft Foods wanted to ensure its brand was differentiated and that it would reach its full potential moving into the future. Over the years it had also created a range of Macaroni & Cheese subbrands that fragmented its core brand. Macaroni & Cheese, Easy Mac, and Deluxe were all highly successful, but would benefit from a more prominent association with Kraft Foods.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
In summer 2009, the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese team approached our agency with a challenge: to refresh and contemporize its look, help differentiate itself better from competitors, and visually streamline its portfolio of over 50 Macaroni & Cheese products.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
Kraft’s brand promise was to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. Through research it learned that it owned several equities in customer’s minds: happy, smiles, and joy. Inspired by these emotions, we arrived at the metaphor of a county fair—just like a day at the fair Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is a source of all-American joy for the whole family.

Drawing from the county fair metaphor, we designed a new brand identity and packaging. We also improved brand architecture that united the subbrands under one brand promise, visually unified them, and emphasized their connection to each other and Kraft Foods.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

Research proved that linking “Macaroni & Cheese” with “Kraft” conjured up positive emotions about the brand. The new identity locks these words together on every package. To establish proprietary equities, Kraft applied to register our design as a trademark. Although other brands use blue and yellow on their boxes, our packaging, architecture system, and identity reclaim the colors as that of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

The redesign of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese achieved the objectives of strengthening and reclaiming visual equities, differentiating from private label, and creating a strong masterbrand to unite 3 disparate sub-brands.The redesign and core identity provided the basis for the integrated marketing campaign via the creation of the noodle smile, helping drive Gross Revenue up 3.8% vs. 2009, dollars up 9% versus past 52 weeks, and overall share has increased .4%. The existing cups business and the new Homestyle offering have been highly successful; a result of uniting both products under the strong, newly designed master brand franchise.

Visually arresting, the noodles across the top of the box challenge category conventions. Research confirms that customers find it contemporary and appealing, and feel a strong connection with the refreshed packaging.