BRANDPACKAGING says: While I much prefer the blackest of black coffee to a good cuppa, I can appreciate and promote a private label brand that understands the best designs for it are personal and reflective, not copycatted. British supermarket retailer Asda went to design firm Hornall Anderson for new packaging for its own range of teas. The collaboration produced the right design for the brand's various audiences including an aging market, a foodie audience, and a health-conscious set. Read on for the original story.


Branding and design agency Hornall Anderson has designed packaging for Asda’s range of own label tea, which launches this month and includes black, specialty, green, fruit and herbal teas.

The revamped packaging brings the design into line with current trends in the tea sector and will help the products stand out in a competitive market place.

Kim Van Elkan, managing director of Hornall Anderson, says: “Black tea is a very competitive arena with fierce brand loyalty and an aging consumer. “Own brand packaging needs to offer a credible alternative, taking category cues but creating a clear simple hierarchy and a homely feel.”

The specialty teas need to appeal to a more foodie audience, who enjoy the ritual of drinking tea.

Fruit, herbal and green tea is a crowded category with lots of competition. Fruit and herbal teas have become design statements and require beautiful packaging which is worthy of being "on show" to succeed. 

Understanding the customer

Cheery and whimsical: New packaging for black tea features a simple graphic woodcut illustration with bright pops of color, helping the products to stand out on the shelf. The bag count is clearly placed in a quirky cup illustration in a consistent place on pack, to make this easy for the customer to see. The leaf icon displayed represents freshness, which is important to the customer.

Youthful and adventurous: The designs for specialty tea, such as Assam and Ceylon, used beautiful, rich and sumptuous colors with specially created illustrations, highlighting the heritage cues and provenance of the tea.

Health-focused: The green, fruit and herbal tea packaging resonates with more health conscious customers. Packaging pops with flavor cues and feels modern. Hand-painted illustrations and crafted hand-drawn serif type, together with colored panels, help with differentiation.

Van Elkan adds: “Our packaging design for Asda will help reposition its tea brands in the category and allow its own label offering to stand out in a very competitive and busy market place. The work we carried out shows our clear understanding of what customers want from these different products.”

Justine Jackson-Hickling, Asda senior design manager, food brands, says: “Hornall Anderson’s detailed knowledge on packaging trends in the tea sector meant its team delivered up-to-date and eye-catching designs which will help our own label tea range achieve stand out in our stores.”