Eat 17 Bacon JamFrom artisan startup to supermarket success
Eat 17 Bacon Jam
- Business type
- Food startup
- 3 months
- Together Design
Eat 17 is a family-run bistro in Walthamstow, East London, founded by Chef Chris O’Connor with his brother Daniel, partner Siobhan and stepbrother James Brundle.
In September 2012, Eat 17 began preserving its signature burger topping and selling it to restaurant customers. The restaurant team wanted to explore the commercial potential for the product and were keen to attract supermarkets and national distributors.
Eat 17 Bacon Jam faced challenges a number of challenges marketing this unfamiliar product to consumers. This was not helped by the cost of ingredients, whose price meant the product needed to be packaged in small jars which were easily overlooked when stacked on shop shelves.
A design was required that would position the jam as a high quality, artisan product, helping both trade buyers and customer understand it. The design needed to help build the brand for the future.
How design helped
Eat 17 established a collaboration with London-based agency Together Design, exploring and defining the product proposition and design objectives. The design needed the versatility to compete in delis and supermarkets. It also needed to be credible enough to sit in multiple categories: condiments, cooking ingredients and speciality foods. Most of all, they need to find a way to tell the story behind the product.
The design approach was to develop a clever combination of messaging and distinctive graphics that worked on a functional and emotional level, all in a small space.
The immediate focus was on the wholesale market: securing national distributors and supermarket buyers. The design team rapidly mocked up jars with a new look label, along with presentation materials or the Eat 17 team to take with them to meetings. The project also included a web page, trade advertisement and point-of-sale display.
We made the name of the product as large as possible in white against black for maximum stand out.
It was important to communicate the unique selling points of bacon jam. A proposition statement was created and used in presentations, ads, online and on the packaging. It celebrated the quirky nature of the product, teasing: ‘Is it a jam, a spread or a relish?’. This immediately confronted the issues around categorisation and the potential for versatility.
Design has been crucial to our continual growth. Not only have sales improved, but we gained listings with large multiples that previously wouldn’t give us the time of day. We owe lots of our success to Together Design.
Designs were created in time for a successful pitch to supermarket giant Tesco, who decided to stock the product. Further orders were established from Booths and Waitrose supermarkets, and demand doubled from farm shop distributor Cotswold Fayre. In the press, Eat 17 Bacon Jam was featured as a desirable gift item by Stylist and Vogue magazines.
The outcomes of the design process have exceeded all expectations. The sales amounted to €34,000 in the first 10 months of trading preceding the new designs. This increased by 250% to €120,000 in the 10 months following the launch of the redesign.
In 2014, Eat 17 Bacon Jam won Gold in the Branded Food packaging category at the Design Business Association’s (DBA) Design Effectiveness Awards.
Following the success of Eat 17 Bacon Jam and the confidence this gave us, we have developed a number of new products, including Chili Bacon Jam and Onion Jam, which are now on the market too.