Within the past few years, cultured (lab-grown) meat has been gaining traction, and more companies have been popping up with broad visions to reimagine the mass meat industry. Meatable is one such company whose goal is to produce cultured meat efficiently and sustainably while maintaining great taste. Once cultured meat gains more popularity, Meatable will want to produce and sell its product on a mass-market scale. This means packaging and selling in grocery stores where the product will be competing against other meat and non-meat options.
The goal of this project was to conceptualize packaging for a sub-brand of Meatable (“Un-Cuts” Ribeye Steak) that appeals to a broader meat-eating market. The packaging needs to stand out on a crowded shelf but maintain approachability. Additionally, the packaging and sub-brand wordmark need to fit within the broader Meatable brand.
The first step of this project was to research the Meatable brand, pull out style cues, and identify values that would help in keeping the sub-brand under the Meatable umbrella. Next was to identify popular packaging trends in both meat and non-meat products.
From the trend identification, keeping in mind the Meatable brand and goal of the packaging, a style board was created. The final style direction took cues from vintage packaging and labels. The colors were chosen to remain close to the Meatable brand, red and yellow being colors that promote appetite. This direction taps into the familiarity of specialty butcher shop branding and dairy product packaging, while keeping with the bright and playful Meatable brand. Hand-touched elements bring an approachability to the design as well.
The next step was to sketch out ideas for the “Un-Cuts” wordmark that take the direction of vintage packaging, labels, tag, and stamps. Refining the wordmarks helped to narrow down the options. The final wordmark was chosen to bring a sense of whimsy with its illustrative and imperfect quality.
With the wordmark set, designs for the front of the packaging were sketched out and refined. The design further utilizes the vintage packaging trend of using flags and ribbons, while keeping it simple with minimal copy. A large cutout was put on the front, which is essential when viewing a product that most people are unfamiliar with.
The challenge for this project was in designing packaging for a product that doesn’t yet have a space in the market. Cultured meat companies like Meatable want to appeal to the meat-eating market, so the packaging needs tap into something familiar and comfortable and keep away from a “lab-produced” feel. This project was successful because it keeps within the Meatable brand while maintaining familiarity and just different enough to stand out on a crowded shelf.