Summer is fast approaching. As we pack away the blankets and get out the sunscreen it’s the perfect time to get excited about fresh flavours.
But people often find they lack the time to create juice blends at home and are after a simple, go-to solution.
According to brand manager George Wheen, the answer was just across the Tasman.
“In New Zealand the Keri Juice brand has been blending flavours for over 40 years,” George said.
“But we needed to do things differently, we had to approach the flavours and the design in a fresh way. Our ultimate goal is to please the Australian palate and provide some fun along the way,” he said.
First it meant bringing on board a team of experts. Though many people wouldn’t know it, ‘master juice blender’ is a genuine profession involving high-level skills, finding and developing the perfect blend of ingredients, textures and tastes.
“Taste is such a subtle but important part of every day,” said commercialisation project manager Kate McMichaels.
“This is the first time we’ve introduced a vegetable blend to Australia, and we knew it was our job to interpret the best of all flavours to create uniquely Aussie blends. So we brought in Florence Giraudon, a master juice blender from the south of France,” Kate said.
Florence set up a juice lab, experimenting with different blends. After reviewing the taste and the appearance of the products, the team landed on five or six they thought were just perfect for Australia.
The next challenge was to create an image worthy of the fresh new product. Creative agency Landor came up with the solution, creating whimsical, quirky characters reminiscent of a bygone era.
It was master juicer Florence herself who inspired the design for the new juices. Together with the design team at Coca-Cola, Landor sketched out a cast of idiosyncratic juice blenders whose heads were literally full of fruit.
“The idea of the quirky mastermind originated from Florence’s intense focus on the juices,” George said.
“From there, we came up with the master blenders with their heads full of fruit and veg, thinking about how they would create their juices.”
Each bottle has a hand-illustrated drawing of one of these fantastical blenders: a tiny miner tapping a giant orange with a bowser spouting juice; an apple-headed admiral using a kale leaf to sail the seas in a cucumber boat.
“Whether that’s rounding up the fruit and veg on the carrot and apple version or imagining that every cloud has a juicy apple lining, that’s how the brand stories developed,” said George.
George believes the images hit the mark. “We are inviting you to step inside the novel back-stories we have created. It’s a world of juice to an adult audience, but it’s a bit quirky and definitely entertaining,” he said.
At the heart of Keri is a proposition of understandably healthy or natural products that have some implicit health appeal for consumers.
“The way the market has moved is away from your more traditional straight orange or apple juice, tropical juice or five-fruits to more innovative blends of different types of fruit and vegetables. A lot of these trends have emerged out of the juice bars where it’s taken on a life of its own,” George said.
George hopes the Keri brand will fill a significant opening in the local juice market. “There was a bit of a gap in terms of a quirky brand that was speaking in an adult tone of voice,” he said.
And with this enthusiasm maybe Keri Juice will help shine a light on that unsung hero: the master juice blender.