Launched in 750 Tesco stores in June, the two-variety line of table sauces is the result of a charity initiative begun by veteran and cancer survivor Bob Barrett, who wanted to “give back” after receiving support and accommodation from Stoll, a charity group providing rehabilitative services to U.K. veterans.
To create both the bottle structure and package graphics, Barrett and partner Stoll collaborated with integrated design agency bluemarlin, which graciously provided a few of their workstreams pro bono. According to bluemarlin Creative Director Simon Pendry, the package shape—a soldier-like profile—was “directly inspired by the brand story and cause that lies at the heart of the brand.”
“Although we explored many military themes, the idea of uniformed servicemen and women always led the thinking,” he explains. “They’re the ones who serve our country, and the structure is a way to honor their dedication.
“The shape mirrors troops standing to attention, ready for inspection, with their chins up, shoulders straight and square, cap on, and arms to the side. The bottles stand strong and proud on the shelf and look great when lined up—sturdy, strong, and impactful.”
The main challenge of the unique bottle structure was optimizing the performance of the container—sealing, dispensing, mess management, portion control, stability, etc.—while maintaining its iconic shape. “Squeezability and full evacuation of product were concerns in creating the unique profile, with a strong chest and slimmer lower ‘legs’ that combine to portray the essence of our servicemen and women,” says bluemarlin Creative Director, Structure, Guy Williams. “This took patient and clever manipulation of the form to get the curves exactly right so that the bottle didn’t become misshaped when dispensing the product.”
The inverted PET bottle, supplied by Alpla, uses a wide cap that ensures bottle stability and works well in a consumer retail environment. “It’s easy to pick up off the shelf, and ready to be placed on the table,” adds Williams.
Bottles are colored red or brown, for Corporal Ketchup and Brigadier Brown varieties, respectively.
“A unique combination of charisma, benevolence, and great taste.” That’s how Pendry describes the label graphics for Forces Sauces, which are printed on Raflacoat Plus RR21 Peel Glassine, a white, lignin-free, on-machine coated, supercalendered, semi-gloss paper with removable adhesive, from UPM Raflatac.
At the top of the front-panel label, an illustration of a crown is accompanied by a fork graphic on one side, a knife on the other, selected to help illustrate that in addition to supporting a good cause, the product is high-quality and delicious. (The sauces are made with the finest ingredients and are pan-cooked like homemade sauces, says Stoll.) A banner beneath the crown reads, “Serve with pride.”
Across the “breast” of the bottle is the Forces Sauces name, presented in stenciled typography to further emphasize the military theme. Underlying the brand marquee is a band of colors—light blue, dark blue, and red—that relate to the three arms of the British Armed Forces.
At the bottom of the bottle is the logo for The Royal British Legion, which along with Stoll, is a beneficiary of the proceeds from not-for-profit Forces Sauces. For every bottle of sauce sold, the company donates at least 6p (9 cents) to the two veterans’ aid organizations. According to Stoll, “because people in Great Britain spend almost £200 million [US$302 million] every year on tomato ketchup and brown sauce, Forces Sauces aims to raise substantial funds.”
Outstanding presentation for not-for-profit
Despite Forces Sauces limited package development budget, bluemarlin’s Pendry says this factor did not affect the approach or output of the firm’s designers. “This is the type of project that the team here at bluemarlin love to do—creating a brand that can truly make a difference in people’s lives,” he says. “It was an honor to be a part of bringing Forces Sauces to life—so we called in all the troops to make sure it was a winner.”
Notes Forces Sauces Brand Director Kate Guy, “Forces Sauces is founded on a personal and heroic story, and it is the spirit it captures that makes it such a unique brand. Bluemarlin championed the brand, bringing it to life and crafting its distinctive uniform. Thanks to the agency’s creativity and vision, Forces Sauces’ dreams of mainstream retail have become a reality.”