Growing up living between New York City and Bangkok, Thai-American brothers Vincent and Andrew Kitirattragarn were used to bringing different types of food to school than their classmates. The love for the food their mother, aka “Mama Dang,” prepared motivated them to introduce these snacks in the U.S. under the Dang Snacks name in 2012. The line comprises plant-based, non-GMO, gluten-free, all-natural products made with whole food ingredients, with its coconuts sourced from Thai family farms.
As the brand continues to grow, the brothers’ goal is now to expand awareness about Asian food culture with their healthier and flavorful snacks. They turned to creative agency Chase Design Group to rebrand and redesign Dang without using stereotypes or dated ideas of Asian culture and identity.
The challenge was to take the current product line and create a cohesive family of products that articulate the “Asian for All” positioning authentically for the modern, mainstream consumer. Chase worked closely with the founders to bring the origin story to life, embracing their Asian-American roots and instilling an irreverent voice.
Say Vincent Kitirattragarn, “We named the brand Dang after our Mom, but our products turned out to be so flavorful and delicious, that we started using the phrase: ‘Dang that’s good!’ to describe them.”
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Since the launch of the signature coconut chips, the design system proved not to be flexible enough to extend into new products. Chase helped create a system that can house the full portfolio together while creating enough differentiation between product lines. Vibrant, flavor-driven colors correspond to the natural color of the flavor represented or by category cues. On the front of the pack, product and flavor ingredients are highlighted, along with the descriptor, “Delicious and Modern Snacks” in a subtle Thai pattern. The back of the pack includes a description of the product and the brand story signed by the brothers along with their boyhood picture with the “Mama Dang Approved” seal.
Product photography is dynamic and vibrant. According to Paula Hansanugrum, Executive Creative Director, Chase Design Group, “We wanted Dang products to look larger-than-life and mouth-watering. We chose a front-facing angle with full focus to capture every nook and cranny of the product and flavor cue. Fun, playful illustrations on the back of pack further tell the product story, and off-pack communications bring warmth and a sense of playfulness. Custom animated illustrations were also created for digital use to support storytelling and tone of voice.”
Communication beyond the pack includes guidance for social media posts, promotional materials, and a tradeshow booth. A Brand Toolkit was developed for the brand assets as well as rules and parameters for branding and design.
“The Chase Design Group team helped us to bring the story and the heritage of our founders to life while also communicating the healthy attributes of the brand in a fun and authentic style,” says Jina Wye, VP of Marketing, Dang.
The brand currently consists of Dang bars (7 flavors), Thai Rice Chips (6 flavors), and Coconut Chips (5 flavors), and is sold nationally.