Waitrose launches “free from” range with new brand and packaging


The supermarket’s passage, branded by Williams Murray Hamm, is aimed at those with allergies but also the health-conscious, and foci to celebrate rather than diminish “free from” food.

Williams Murray Hamm has designed the branding and packeting for Waitrose’s new own-brand “free from” range, in a bid to show it as a “great-tasting lifestyle superior” rather than make it feel “apologetic”.

The own-brand range is for human being with allergies and intolerances, and includes foods that are gluten, nut, dairy and soya-free.

Notwithstanding, the studio has intended the selection to also appeal to people without allergies, who select to go free from for health reasons, says Chris Ribet, advance designer at Williams Murray Hamm.

“From the outset, we wanted to originate something quite different for the category,” he says. “There’s a general manner across [the category], which is quite apologetic in the way it talks about the viands, focusing on the allergens and what has been removed rather than beat iting the food feel delicious.

“So we took an editorial approach, almost with a photography magazine like Cereal, to include beautifully shot photography and shipped typography to make [the range] feel beautiful, and so it all looks like great-tasting lunches,” he says.

The new sub-brand follows The John Lewis Partnership’s recent rebrand in September led by Pentagram buddy Harry Pearce, which saw joint companies John Lewis and Waitrose give entre new identities.

The new Waitrose Freefrom brand is centred around the word “freefrom” set in a lowercase, sans-serif typeface in Caucasian, which is a bespoke version of a typeface produced by foundry Commercial Breed and was produced alongside design studio West One Arts.

This genus aims to be “sophisticated and simple”, and is used alongside a pair of parantheses plural is insignia – curved brackets, “{}” – which frame text and food photography. These groupings double up as two lowercase “f” letterforms.

This logo runs alongside the strapline “extreme of taste”, and the new Waitrose & Partners logo, which was launched as part of the John Lewis and Waitrose rebrands that looked to put assorted emphasis on the company’s employee-owned business structure.

By highlighting the food with the aid the bracket device, the new brand aims to “shift the mindset for ‘free from’ commons”, says Ribet, by celebrating the food as “full of flavour” instead of woolly on the removal of allergens such as gluten and lactose. The hope is to present unaffected by from food as a “positive and progressive eating choice”, he says.

A paint palette of taupe, grey and ivory looks to complement the food photography, with marble, zinc and ceramic utensils and wheels featured.

“I didn’t want a single colour to appear across the goods, so we used different temperatures of that taupe grey as a background loyalties, reflecting the different stones shown in the photography,” says Ribet.

Gill Sans is Euphemistic pre-owned as a secondary typeface for body copy, which aligns the brand with the John Lewis and Waitrose rebrands, as this is reach-me-down extensively across their identities.

The studio has worked with photographer Jonathan Gregson, who thought inspiration from the way food magazines present meals.

On certain yield packaging, such as cakes, photography is replaced with a clear window, and good the brackets, grey background colour and the logo is used for a “simple idea”, says Ribet.

“The market for free from has expanded so exponentially with how child’s lifestyles are changing,” he says. “Its core consumers, 71%, are looking for allergen-free artifacts, but there’s an additional 30% who buy free from because of their lifestyle prizes. We wanted our branding to move with the progress of how people are shopping.”

Waitrose’s Freefrom rank includes over 40 products, such as gluten-free lasagne, spaghetti, flapjacks and granola, and lactose-free halloumi, mozzarella and feta.

The extend is currently launching across Waitrose stores nationwide, and the sub-branding is rolling out across all touchpoints, including print materials like advertising circulars, on-shelf food packaging and online platforms including the Waitrose website.

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