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Cool Brands - Food & Drink

Voting opens for food and drink section of our Cool Brands survey.

Well, this week as part of our on-going research into the UK’s Coolest Brands, we are inviting readers to go online and let us know which brand they feel is the coolest in the Food & Drink sector. And believe us, as part of our initial shortlisting we received hundreds of potential nominations in this area, ranging from cereal to whisky and from chocolate to energy drinks.

The Drum’s online survey is up and running now, so please visit www.thedrum.com/coolbrands to have your say. The Cool Brands which come through this stage of our research will also be invited to enter The Drum Marketing Awards 2009, which will look to recognise excellence in the marketing arena.
Profiled here and over the page are just a few of the cool food & drink brands that we would like you to vote on.

If you are looking for an ultra-stylish box of chocs to gove to someone then a visit to www.Kshocolat.co.uk is an absolute must. With cool packaging more reminisecnt of a high end cosmetics brand than chocolate, Scotland-based Kshocolat has been offering a wide range of chocolate products including milk, dark and white chocolate, covered nuts, special occassion hampers and truffles since 2003. The founder, Simon Coyle, had a vision when launching the company, that was to create a brand that exuded minimalist indulgence. We think he’s cracked it. Do you?

Skinny Cow
Unfortunately we live in a world where being slim and slender is cool, so the Skinny Cow ice cream brand from Nestle is a saviour for all those women and men who can’t help but indulge themselves from time to time. With its slender bovine logo and colourful yet refined packaging and product list, the brand has proven to be a hit with consumers who love ice cream, but hate calories.

Rachel’s Organic
Throw the word ‘organic’ anywhere into your branding and in this day and age you’re onto a sure fire winner, but Rachel’s Organic have gone one further and based their entire business on organic. Now as Britain’s fastest growing organic dairy, the brand is going from strength to strength as it develops its range of organic yoghurts, milk, desserts and creams. They put their succcess down to working in perfect harmony with nature to create products as good as they look. So are they cool? Well, they’re pretty chilled.

If any budding entrepreneur had suggested to his bank manager 20 years ago that he intended to bottle water and sell it by the lorry load to people, no doubt he would have been sent away with a flea in his ear. But now bottled water is a huge market and what’s more - it’s very cool to be seen drinking water. But which brand is the coolest. Drench hit the market this year backed with an advertising campaign featuring Brains from Thunderbirds dancing. Great packaging as well saw Drench quickly elevated to cool status.

Wrigley’s Extra
The UK has seen a chewing gum explosion over the past few years, with new flavours and brands hitting the shelves almost on a weekly basis. Wrigley’s Extra falls into the ‘old faithful’ brand variety. It’s a no-nonsense product, with no-nonsense packaging, but fulfils its purpose in life everytime.

Cheestrings hit shelves in 1996, but since then the product range has been developed to include Original, Twisters and Light versions. New packaging has recently been launched and the brand has always been heavily advertised and targeted to the kids market. That said, the little tubes of cheese have also become firm favourites with dieters.

Make Mine A Builders
Launched just last year by Elmwood, Make Mine A Builders is rapidly achieving cool status in tea-drinker land. The tea leaf sector is not reknown for being full of laughs, but Make Mine A Builders takes a swipe at the whole sector by simply being a down to earth tea brand. The brand also donates some of its profits to the Federation of Master Builders to train tomorrow’s brickies - so the more you drink the less chance you have of getting a squinty extension in 20 years time. Now that’s quite cool.

The family of Francis, Jonathan, Matthew and Daniel have been making cider for 14 generations, but the ‘brothers’ launched their own cool pear cider brand at Glastonbury Festival in 1995. The product range is eclectic to say the least and the packaging is refreshing for a cider brand in a ‘surf dude/music festival’ kind of way. The website supports the brand perfectly and even invites visitors to submit their own label ideas in rerturn for a free T-shirt.

Cornwall-based food manufacturer has undergone a recent image revamp with bearded comedian Justin Lee Collins regularly eulogising about the ‘good honest food’ positioning of the Ginsters brand. But it is not all advertising hot air – the brand does stay true to its roots by sourcing local produce for its wide range of pies, pasties and sandwiches.

Why are dorset cereals cool?
Cool. Probably about the last word you’d ever associate with a cereal. Healthy yes. Natural yes. Nutritious yes. Cool? Unlikely. However  there is something achingly cool about dorset cereals. They seduce as you wander down the cereal aisle. In amongst the garish colours and graphics, their muted colour palette of sludgy organic greens, browns, rusts, ochres and mauves says “We’re so good we don’t have to try to get your attention”

dorset cereals is proclaimed in a lovely curvy typeface reminiscent of an old school report. Everything around the brand reinforces your initial impression that this is a simple pleasure you wonder how you lived without.

By this point you will probably have picked up a packet and started to explore the pack. Through the clear window on the front, you can see what you are buying. No sawdust. Knobbly grains, recognisable fruits, clearly something to get your teeth into. The descriptors are a bit flowery but you have to put that down to the evangelism of a company that truly believes it is on to a good thing. Probably the most important thing about the pack is how fab it is going to look on your breakfast table or on a prominent shelf in the kitchen. A little everyday work of art.

The range has rapidly mushroomed from the core muesli range and now encompasses flakes, porridge, cereal bars, children’s cereal, granola,  flapjacky looking things that look like they might wrench a filling out and a really jolly sampler pack if you simply can’t make up your mind which delicious combination to buy. The health benefits range from low fat to serious bowel therapy. dorset cereals is out of the same disruptive box as Green and Blacks and Innocent –  the pack does most of the work, the fan base grows exponentially, leaving little or no need for advertising.

The website is massively sticky – you can explore recipes, read their story, meet their friends, have your say, win stuff, buy stuff and download their very soothing screen savers. They go on a bit but by the end, you feel as if you’ve made a new friend. Which is just as well because the killer punch comes when you click on “shop” and discover that a box of these beauties is going to set you back well over three quid and in one or two cases closer to four. Well cool doesn’t often come cheap.

By Katrina Michel, Planning Express

Featured by The Drum