Derrick Lin


Designed by PACKLAB, Finland.

Product — Patakukkonen is a Finnish traditional oven baked kukko (fish or vegetable pie / pastry) made from organic rye and other regional ingredients. Made in Hämeenlinna, Finland it is ideal for snacks, lunch and as an appetizer.

The Story — The product is based on a young boy’s memory of his Grandma’s cooking and his Grandad’s fishing. Together Grandma’s kitchen and Grandad’s fishing trips provided a rich family and food experience that he’s never quite forgotten. Handsome catches, stone ovens and decades later, the small producer is using his childhood memories and his late mothers passion for gardening to full effect. His is passionate about traditional Finnish foods, respects the cooking processes and the regional food producers. His objective has been to bring these values and present them in a modern and novel, yet relevant way. The producer brings organic rye and three flavors: whitefish, rainbow trout and vegetarian flavours to the table. Produced in Hämeenlinna, almost entirely from regional produce with only lemon and salt being the only two foreign ingredients. Local suppliers and the local food supply chain are important to the producer and the brand values of the company.

Design — The Patakukkonen brief was to create a brand that was based upon traditional values. A brand that is exploring classic Finnish foods and attempting to develop unique and modern consuming experiences. PACKLAB’s biggest challenge was the diverse environments the product had to work in, from small cafés to major retailers. The packaging had to work in low café counter refrigerators, convenience high standing door refrigerators, standard food retailing refrigerators and even promotion refrigerators found in expensive boutique food halls and airport luxury food stores for example. This raised a debate between the design team and the client in respect that can a single piece of packaging optimally work in all these retail environments, yet still be relevant and differentiate sufficiently. This produced a structural and merchandising challenge for the design team but also provided the opportunities to show how hard packaging can work to communicate in multiple ways and in a multiple environments. The final packaging design can be merchandised in 5 different ways.

The merchandising solution provided clear communication opportunities but the nature of the structural innovation provided a small and somewhat complex surface for the branded graphics and information. We kept it simple and tried to balance the information, imagery and of course space. This meant we had to test the graphics many times in many environments to make sure it worked from different perspectives and orientations. A plain graphic foundation was applied whilst visualising a true narrative through the use of family photography.

Collaborative research and development work was delivered by Patakukkonen and the PACKLAB packaging design team. This has resulted in a wholesome, lovingly made product whose roots are deep in the Finnish food culture, yet have one eye on international markets.