Unified Brands

147 Newton Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Agency: Unified Brands
Lettering Artist: Charles Stewart
Food Photographer: Shaun Cato Symonds
Product Photography: Shadowlands
Product Stylist: Kayla Jurlina
Location: New Zealand
Project Type: Produced
Client: Wattie’s
Product Launch Location: New Zealand
Packaging Contents: Tomato Sauce
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Plastic, Aluminium
Printing Process: Flexography

For over 80 years Wattie’s has been bringing generations of Kiwis together to share and enjoy great food.

While the brand has always been held dearly by New Zealanders, it was starting to lose its relevance with younger audiences and struggling to connect with those who had recently arrived in the country.

Tasked with taking the brand forward for the ‘new’ New Zealand, we have injected life back into Wattie’s wordmark by playing on the quirky personality of some of the letterforms that were so iconically Wattie’s, and weaving a more natural flow and craft into it. We like to describe it as finding the perfect meeting point between heritage and modernity – comfortable but intriguing! Controversially, we have even turned the brand on its head, quite literally, introducing a vertical logo in Wattie’s portfolio – simple, bold and proud, almost as if signed by Sir J. Wattie’s himself.

Wattie’s Tomato Sauce, arguably one of the most iconic New Zealand family pantry staples, was the first range that the approach was applied to. With the reveal of the brand’s new look, we ensured that Wattie’s continues to have pride and prominence on shelf and with consumers – and it paved the way for us to reinvigorate their entire portfolio.

What’s Unique?
The Wattie’s story began in 1934 in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, when James (Jim) Wattie and his friend saw an opportunity to utilise the fresh produce that was going to waste, due to exorbitant transporting costs to the major cities. So they started supplying pulped fruit from gooseberries, plums and peaches to be made into jam, which led in turn to the canning of peaches and pears. When the war ended in the 1940s, Jim led the company in a new direction, adding tomatoes to a host of great ingredients to create the products that future generations of Kiwis would grow up with. The brand’s rich and extensive story became our key source of inspiration when we set to modernise it – after all, working on such an icon of a brand has been once in a lifetime opportunity.