Design: Alejandro Gavancho
Photographer: Sumiko Miura
Location: Peru
Project Type: Produced
Client: Machiyenga
Product Launch Location: Peru
Packaging Contents: Chocolate bars
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Paper
Printing Process: Digital printing, letterpress printing, Foil stamping, Die cut

Machiyenga is a bean-to-bar chocolate from Cuzco, Peru. The name stems from Machiguenga, an indigenous community whose ancestors inhabited the western part of Cusco, known as Antisuyo during the Incan empire. The Machiguenga used Chuncho cacao as a fruit and as a commercial product, a practise that continues to this day. This very same Chuncho cacao is what Machiyenga chocolate uses to create its bars.

The goal was to create a brand that is premium yet native. As the chocolate was going to be sold mainly in Cuzco and its target audience, tourists, it was important that the brand identity and packaging felt Peruvian, but without falling into the cliché of traditional Peurvian imagery, but rather a more polished and modern aesthetic, representing today’s Peru but in keeping with the mysticism of our ancestors.

The solution was to create a product that stood out from all of the pre-existing competitors on the market, from the form all the way to the material used when printing. Graphically, the Peruvian geometry used in Incan art and architecture has been reinterpreted and was applied to the typography and graphic details. Also, patterns that are used in Machiguenga art have also been incorporated to create a pattern that serves as a graphic support, applied directly to the packaging. Lastly, the print finishes were carefully chosen to complement the idea of having a unique but functional package. The foil was one of the main print finishes as it represents gold, a metal sent down by the sun God and thus considered sacred during the Incan period.

What’s Unique?
It is unique because it represents Peru in a modern way but retaining the features of ancestral cultures. It is different from the other brands of chocolates in the local market because of the format, print finish and design.