Rishi, a premium organic hand-blended tea brand with exotic origins reached out to Elmwood, a global brand design consultancy, to reinvigorate its brand story. The Rishi line of loose teas consists of 36 SKUs and had recently switched to paperboard packaging. Working with Rishi management and through consumer insights, Elmwood determined that consumers devoted to loose tea coveted a tin for packaging vs. paperboard. “We saw that there was an innate desire from customers to have a lovely tin that they could display in their kitchen but also that they could repurpose as a container for a variety of other things. The keepsake tin as packaging also signifies quality to loose tea devotees”, notes Jeffrey Champeau, brand marketing manager, Rishi. With the physical package in paperboard, the design had been muted and lost much of its brand personality. The Rishi customer following tend to be primarily women, affluent, educated, cultured and conscious about their environmental footprint.
            Through a category immersion process called FISH, the Elmwood creative team reverted back to Rishi’s roots and reinvigorated the brand story with ‘no leaf unturned’ as a guiding brand principle. The FISH immersion process allows Elmwood to ‘Explore It. Define it. Design It. Live It.’ “We facilitated a modified direct point of view workshop to help define Rishi's brand story and personality. The Rishi team quickly aligned on the ‘Free Thinking Tea’ direction that allowed us to really demystify the packaging and help consumers quickly understand the tea type, origin and brewing instruction” said Ben Greengrass, Creative Director, Elmwood. The lidded tall tin prominently displays the Rishi brand logotype on a field of rich green accented with a botanical ‘wallpaper’ illustration as a key design element, to represent the journey and discovery that Rishi employs to uncover the most flavorful and high quality loose leaf teas that can be found. Tea varieties are clearly differentiated via a color-coding strategy. The Rishi tin was printed using blended translucent inks that reveal the metallic aspect of the substrate. Product varieties utilize a spot pattern varnish to highlight icons found in the botanical illustration.
            Rishi Tea, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, began in 1997 when Joshua Kaiser, founder and tea buyer, recognized that the handcrafted teas he enjoyed during his travels in Asia were rarely available elsewhere. With fellow traveler and friend, now partner, Benjamin Harrison, they created original blends of premium loose teas imported from exotic locales throughout Asia and India. The brand’s ambition was to link the leaf at origin to the end experience: a distinctive and revitalizing cup of tea.
             The new Rishi packaging is currently rolling out in stores in the U.S. and Canada. Rishi is available at Whole Foods nationwide and at other specialty food retailers in the U.S., as well as online at http://www.rishi-tea.com. Rishi loose-leaf teas range from $9.99 to 17.99 per SKU.