& SMITH designed branding and packaging for Kib, a new herbal tea range launched by East African specialty food company The Perennial Foods Group. Using herbs grown by Ethiopian smallholder farmers in 'food forests,' where a range of crops are grown together using regenerative techniques that enrich the soil, the herbal teas offer a more hopeful direction for global agriculture.
The design of the range is not only a fresh take on the tired themes of ethical food and drink packaging, it is also a departure for the herbal tea category. It features lush illustrations that conjure images of the verdant food forests, and an earthy but bold palette represents each flavor.
"If you want to stand out on shelf, you always need to understand what else is there already," said Rachel Smith, Creative Partner at & SMITH. "So we spent a lot of time looking at the tea fixture and working out what would make the difference in that split second of purchase. There was a riot of background color and pattern on the tea shelf, and we wanted to create something that was modern, and confident.
"They also wanted to stand out from other ethical teas and not go down the more obvious 'kraft paper' route, it needed to feel fresher than this. We wanted people to purchase this tea as a modern lifestyle choice, the positive social and environmental impact messaging is there - but it doesn't overtake everything else, like the flavour and the ingredients."
The pack on the outside is minimally designed and then the lush, forest-like illustrations sit inside the circle and are also flooded on the inside of the pack, as if the herbs in the tea are still at home in the food forest they were grown in. The pack inner also explains in more detail how circular growing creates products of the highest quality. In the same way the circle motif is subtly present throughout, including in the 'b' of Kib
The circle motif continues to be used on social and web, with modern icons and animations designed in-house to explain the concept of circular agriculture.
The food forest illustrations are by Willian Santiago and commissioned through La Baraque and the web build was by Graft Studios.