North London-based brand and packaging design agency
Cultured meat – as in meat which is grown in a lab, rather than produced from animals which have been killed – isn’t on sale in the UK yet, but according to Idea Dolls, “there are a bunch of companies racing to beat each other to shelves.”
Idea Dolls work on the concept for the design, brand, storytelling and copywriting rather than the meat itself.
The agency opted to name the brand GTAC – an acronym of ‘Good to All Creation’, and inspired by the letters that make up all DNA sequences. The name “doesn’t shy away from the fact the product isn’t quite meat,” says Siena Dexter, creative director at Idea Dolls. “Leveraging the mission of kill-free meat and sustainability over flavour cues, belonging neither in alternative meat, not meat categories, GTAC fits somewhere in the middle, a completely new category with a brave, cruelty-free mission at its core.”
The designs are deliberately clean and minimal, with accents of colours and “personable” storytelling looking to add warmth and avoid a look and feel that was too “clinical.” The typography nods to the bold font used on NASA space food in a bid to underscore the fact the brand explores hitherto unknown territory.
Tactility is added to the packaging through the use of spot varnishes in the product description. This also aims to encourage shoppers to interact with the pack and read the brand story, which “articulates the mission: to normalise a product that’s grown, not born, cultured not culled, good to the planet, and good for the palette – a sustainable option that solves much more than our need to enjoy meat, guilt-free,” says Idea Dolls.
One of the key challenges for the design was acknowledging the fact that the taste of lab-grown meat was still in development. So it was important to ensure that customers were educated on its other merits.
“When we start seeing products like this on the shelves over the next year or even less, early adopters will be key to their success – so a ‘next generation’ feel was central to our brand essence, but there was a fine balance between disrupting and reassuring with visual and verbal cues a hesitant audience might find comfortingly familiar,” says Dexter.