ferment la bouche
Ferment la bouche was born out of a desire to merge two mega trends which dominate food and beverage in the UK. The first – live food, fermented is everywhere, from kombucha to kimchi of all flavours and varieties. The second is the demand for exotic sauces. Our challenge was to position a range of fermented sauces, inspired by the ancient middle eastern mango sauce – Amba, for a UK market.
client: ferment la bouche
Deliverables: Branding, graphic design, illustration, strategic definition, packaging design, copywriting.
Creatives: Siena Dexter – Creative Direction, Strategy. Catalina Din– Art Direction, Graphic Design, illustration / Kieran Katwala – Copywriting / 3D team @squint
Our design for the range was inspired by a ‘through the microscope’ concept, a peek into the unseen wonders of all those gut-loving good bacterium and the element of movement in the almost alchemical fermentation process – bubbling, morphing, changing and moving to turn a raw ingredient into wonderful good-for-your tangy on the tongue fermented sauce. We wanted to move away from leveraging the middle eastern heritage of the brand which would have detracted from the fermented concept, overshadowing it and labeling it as ‘world food’. Amba is well known in the Middle East and India (where it is more of a chutney). To position this range as something new and different, and in order to allow us to scale up, adding new flavour SKUs or even new ranges, we had to move away from Amba and create a completely new brand.
Our conceptual guide of ‘through the microscope’ steered us towards a cleaner design, adding splashes of colour to articulate the flavour profile while keeping the illustration classic, almost rustic. We wanted the brand to be subtly rebellious; after all, it’s doing something new. So the brand name ‘ferment la bouche’ offered a simple play on words, leveraging a European cultural feel with a bit of a cheeky kick – just like the sauces. It was important for us to only use sustainable materials, so for this concept we envisioned refillable clay bottles and wood or bamboo stoppers. The packaging shape – a conical flask -continues the story of the ‘reaction’ of fermentation, without steering too far into a clinical look and feel.
We used a sweeping script font for the logo, which joins nicely with the illustration style for a handmade feel, while a clean block serif ensures the key messaging elements – flavour description and use are clear to consumers who might be swayed by the disruptive design, but wonder what a ‘ferment la bouche’ is.
There has been much controversy over cultural appropriation in the food industry – western brands appropriating flavours from around the world, copying their styles and appropriating them as their own. This range of sauces hopes to show that inspiration is not cultural appropriation, that much like ancient Persians three thousand years ago found inspiration in Indian chutney and called it Amba, we may also feel free to draw inspiration, share flavours, share recipes and adapt what we like to our own culture without condemnation – only delicious table condiments, for everyone.