Canadian Packaging

Social consciousness right on the package

By Canadian Packaging Staff   

General Camino chocolate Fair Trade Organic Karacters Design Group La Siembra Co-operative

You don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in guilty pleasures like chocolate when it comes from a company like Camino—a fierce proponent of fair trade practices that prides itself on specializing in premium organic treats made from all-natural ingredients that are sourced from farmers struggling to make a decent living in various developing Third World countries.

You don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in guilty pleasures like chocolate when it comes from a company like Camino—a fierce proponent of fair trade practices that prides itself on specializing in premium organic treats made from all-natural ingredients that are sourced from farmers struggling to make a decent living in various developing Third World countries.

Founded in 1999 as part of the La Siembra Co-operative, located in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, the progressive, socially-conscientious company currently markets a range of 12 flavors of 100-gram Camino brand chocolate bars that have just had their packaging upgraded by a Vancouver-based branding consultancy Karacters Design Group—coinciding with Camino’s new strategy of expanding its product portfolio beyond cocoa and sugar products.

“With organic and fair trade products increasingly entering the mainstream, Camino’s refreshed packaging is designed to appeal to the wider demographic who are demanding better food politics,” says  Karacters Design creative director James Bateman, explaining the redesign as “a joyful food revolution” aiming to reinforce Camino’s belief that the joy of eating great-tasting food, made from quality ingredients, will encourage consumers to think differently about their food—specifically where it came from, who made it, and what’s in it.

With the word “camino” meaning “path” in Spanish, Karacters designers used the brand name as creative inspiration to use custom-drawn maps on the bright packaging that is filled with quirkily-named streets, Bateman relates, with illustrations reflecting the happy, vibrant and sustainable communities that Camino helps support through its fair trade practices.

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“This creative platform allows for consistent application across a variety of packaging formats, helping Camino to build strong brand recognition and shelf presence as it expands its product lines to chocolate snack-bars, sugars, various baking products and more,” says Bateman.

“Not only has demand increased for organic and fair trade products, but competition has increased dramatically as well,” says Camino’s chief operating officer Henk van der Molen.

“Facing stiff competition from brands owned by large conglomerates, we needed to differentiate ourselves and turned to Karacters to help us express our story,” he says, complimenting the joyful illustrations on Camino’s new packaging developed by an acclaimed illustrator and fair trade advocate Chris Haughton.

Adds Bateman: “Camino is a remarkable company that produces great-tasting, high-quality products that are start-to-finish, top-to-bottom organic fair trade.

“Through a growing range of premium organic fair trade foods, Camino is doing its part to bring social change to the world,” Bateman states, adding that Camino’s new visual identity is to be extended to  all key customer touch points, including a refreshed logo, signage, stationary and website.

“For their partners, co-operatives of family farmers in southern countries, they contribute to bringing greater health and prosperity,” he adds, “while for their customers, they bring everyday moments of joy they can feel good about.”

For more information, visit www.lasiembra.com.

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