Following the launch of our branding for new plant-based range at M&S, Plant Kitchen, we caught up with Coley Porter Bell Creative Director Steve Irvine to find out more about the work.

What inspired the idea for Plant Kitchen’s design?

M&S came to us with a brief to create a new vegan range to launch in January. Working in sprints, we took them from category opportunity to launch in a matter of weeks. They asked us to treat Plant Kitchen like a brand in its own right, so that’s exactly what we did. A lot of our inspiration for the branding was drawn from street food and food festivals. We knew M&S wanted to appeal to a younger and wider audience of consumers so the branding had to reflect this with a fresh, vibrant and informal design.

One of the main barriers to adoption of plant-based food options is perception of taste. How do you overcome this with design?

The secret was ensuring the brand design reflected the products’ superior taste. We needed the brand to communicate the benefit of ‘unleashing the power of plants’; something exciting and dynamic that stands apart from its competitors. Delicious, enticing photography was a key component of the design.

What have you incorporated in the branding to help this new range stand out?

We tapped into neuroscience theory of ‘signal salience’ to find an ownable, category-defining blue for the brand. This was also important in ensuring the brand stands out in store. A non-traditional and playful tone of voice was also key, with product descriptors such as “dirty fries”,  and “chilli non-carne”.

Did you encounter any challenges along the way?

The project went really well. We enjoyed the challenge of making Plant Kitchen feel like its own brand rather than just another product range in M&S.

What’s next for Coley Porter Bell’s work with M&S?

Expect a continuation of our partnership with M&S to help the retailer realise their branded potential within their ranges. Look out for more exciting things this year…