Elmwood gives healthy sausage brand HECK! a Gen Z makeover

The high-protein, gluten-free UK sausages get a brand overhaul courtesy of the global consultancy.

Sausages are lovely, but the traditional kind isn’t good for cholesterol levels. And they’re not much use for vegetarians or anyone trying to afford gluten, either. So, in recent years, HECK! has made a name for itself in UK supermarkets by supplying alternative sossies that are gluten-free, higher in protein, and include a great range of meat-free versions.

They’ve now unveiled playful new branding designed to reinvigorate the category appeal to a younger audience. Developed in partnership with global design consultancy Elmwood, it’s all designed to appeal to a younger audience by tapping into new trends and create a basis for long-term product development.

As part of this overhaul, two new What The HECK! products are being in UK supermarkets, titled the Sausage Bomb and Sausage Rashers.

The former is a large sausage meatball promising “an explosion of flavour” at its centre, while the latter emphasises convenience, with flat-shaped sausages that can be cooked in five minutes – similar to bacon.

Brand concept

Elmwood aimed to bring HECK! products up to date with a consistent, fun, and diverse system that could flex beyond design language staples.

Elmwood gives healthy sausage brand HECK! a Gen Z makeover
Elmwood gives healthy sausage brand HECK! a Gen Z makeover

“HECK! has a strong field-to-fork family heritage, and we wanted to keep that in play while introducing a wider sense of category excitement and impact,” explains Greg Taylor, chief provocation officer at Elmwood London.

“Our goal was to replace outgrown butcher tropes and classic premium codes with something more spontaneous and punchy. It was time to add more creative magic to the HECK! core identity, as seen via a Gen Z lens.”

Logo, type and colours

Elmwood began by working with lettering artist Dan Forster to reinvent HECK!’s wordmark, making it cleaner, more statement-worthy and a better fit for the digital world. This is coupled with a new, more stylised typography featuring modern, conversational fonts.

The brand overhaul also dials up HECK!’s key brand colour of hot pink, raising its profile across multiple on– and off–pack touchpoints. Meanwhile, the HECK! exclamation mark becomes a central part of its new visual brand language, with a daring character and newfound emphasis.

In addition, HECK!’s confident new look features bigger and bolder illustrations in order to pop on the shelf and create simple navigation that brings together the brand’s expanding product portfolio.

A new set of product-focused photography completes the refresh, hero’ing the range of flavours across HECK! sausages, burgers, mince and meat-free products.

Fresh Mindset

“What The HECK! signals the start of a dynamic new chapter in our long relationship with the HECK! team,” says Charlotte Distefano, associate creative director at Elmwood London. “The platform has synergy with the core HECK! brand, but it also represents a fresh mindset – one that revolves around distinctive storytelling and moments that matter to consumers.

Elmwood gives healthy sausage brand HECK! a Gen Z makeover
Elmwood gives healthy sausage brand HECK! a Gen Z makeover

“It creates space for HECK! to be visually creative, using pop culture and bright graphic language to bring newfound soul to product innovation,” she adds. “It gives scope for brand expansion by exploring never-before-seen category textures and wild new ideas.”

The platform’s unveiling follows an extensive brand refresh at HECK! earlier this year, also developed in partnership with Elmwood. This aimed to reflect HECK!’s shift to becoming an established category player, excite retailers, and elevate its position in a competitive set.

The Yorkshire-based sausage brand was launched ten years ago and has achieved a 60% share of the premium branded sausage market. The company’s founders have always seen brand investment and design as being critical to the success of the business, and each year, the company invests 10% of its revenue in brand support.

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