• Sector:

    Private sector, Food

  • Team:

    New Product Development, sales

  • Expertise:

    Brand strategy, branding, packaging, copywriting

We’ve worked with Oscar Mayer’s development team for many years, bringing their research and concepts to life in order to secure supply contracts with the big multiples, particularly Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, ASDA and Co-op, as well as their own branded lines.

What’s the deal?

Food manufacturers like Oscar Mayer are responsible for identifying opportunities in the retail space, and researching and conceiving new product lines to exploit them. They then put their findings and propositions forward to their retail customers to get backing for full development of a line and listings on the shop floor. Quite often, the final look and branding of those ranges is governed by the retailers’ own designers, but in order to ‘sell’ the proposal, those concepts need to be brought to life as vividly and believably as possible. That’s where we come in.

So what?

Oscar Mayer is a food-to-go and ready prepared meal specialist – categories that have evolved in terms of quality, societal buy-in, dietary variety and visual language systems massively in the last 15 years. The challenge of branding in this context is fascinating. You’re not branding for the consumer per se, but branding to communicate the proposition. It’s subtly but importantly different.

Yeah, but, so what?

To be useful and good at this role means keeping on top of shifting trends and tastes, being inherently empathetic and having a deep interest in human psychology. And you’re applying that insight into branding, photography styles, on-pack copy and, increasingly, the wider sales environment. Ultimately, and what we’re very alive to, is that our work contributes to the ongoing success of Oscar Mayer, which means keeping people employed.

Favourite project?

Usually it’s the most recent project for Oscar Mayer that we enjoy the most, because each comes with an entirely fresh challenge. We’ve introduced ideas such as Spotify playlists to accompany meals from different regions around the world, and created some great ‘brands’ over the years. From time to time, we see some of these ideas make it to shelf, but that’s not what we’re there to do. We’re there to help sell Oscar Mayer, and we do that really well.

Oscar Mayer

Thanks for being the work-hard play-hard dynamos of design!

I’ve worked with EllisJames over several years; consistently they get right under the skin of the brief to support with leading design translations and ensuring success with strategy-led outcomes. They have an empathy-led approach to tackling each project in terms of its wider context, are intuitive with commercial understanding and retail motivators, I honestly love having them onboard every time.

Melinda Munds, Head of Insight Oscar Mayer Food Group