Louise Marsland (@Louise_Marsland)’s weekly pick of recent product, packaging and design launches:

  • A delectable World Design Capital 2014 project focuses on food and design
  • Ola Magnum proves that size matters
  • Cerebra cashes in on social commerce, and
  • Primall entices mall rats to take a coffee break.

The story of food

#WDC2014 Design & Making exhibition
Early 20th century engraved ostrich egg from Botswana; Avoova champagne bucket with ostrich eggshell mosaic; and PET fully recyclable plastic bottle (photo credit: Carina Beyer, Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Not to be missed is this World Design Capital 2014 project, the story of food exhibition entitled ‘Design & Making’, running at the Castle in Cape Town from May until October. It traces the evolution of craft and design through food packaging and storage, including preservation and distribution.

The exhibition launched last week and is a collaboration between the Cape Craft & Design Institute and Iziko Museums of South Africa’s Social History Collections Department.

The fascinating installations reveal how the story of food preservation, storage and packaging over time is vast and complex, from using found objects such as ostrich eggs and gourds, and objects made from clay, wood, grass and other materials to how we now store food in freezers, plastic, cardboard, glass and vacuum-packaging. Our current era of “created” foodstuffs, such as energy drinks, is also represented.

The exhibition story is told through installations and objects: a large group of historic African, European and Asian objects, sourced from Iziko’s Collections, stands alongside 30 contemporary objects created by designer-makers from the Western Cape. There are also examples of modern packaging.

Support and sponsorship come from the Distell Foundation, Zonnebloem Wines, Business and Arts South Africa and recycling companies PETCO and Select-A-Can. Zonnebloem Wines also supplied 100 Zonnebloem wine bottles from which a dramatic art piece was created, designed by Bennetts.

“In focusing on food, we are focusing on the essence of life, the grand sweep of history, monumental shifts in the landscape of production, industry, and commerce, and the impact of all this on society, communities, and ordinary people,” says project manager Marjorie Naidoo.

Get it on with Magnum

Magnum 450ml vanilla & chocolate tubMagnum 450ml hazelnut & chocolate tub
Magnum 450ml chocolate tubMagnum 450ml chocolate & raspberry tub
I’m not sure why we’re getting a new ice cream flavour launch at the beginning of winter; I can’t even eat salad when it’s cold and I microwave my sushi to take the chill off (only for 10 seconds, but still!). Anyway, Ola Magnum clearly believes people still eat ice cream in winter, so it has four very delectable new pint-sized flavours launching.

The brand is breaking out of its ‘stick’ ice-cream range into 450ml tubs for an indulgent home experience. The new flavours, with a chocolate sauce core topped with chocolate pieces, come in four variants: Vanilla & Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate & Raspberry and Hazelnut & Chocolate.

The press release reads like the blurb on the back of a slightly sticky soft-core porn DVD, highlighting the “sensorial pleasure” of this “adult icon” of “chocolate pleasure”, postulating that “pleasure is essential in your life… your privilege and your birth right”.

Really? All that from ice cream? Who knew?

Sounds yummy, nevertheless, but I’ll wait until summer before trying them when it’s hot again! (Which in Cape Town will only be about November.)

Converting social into cash

Cerebra Social Commerce Journey 2Cerebra Social Commerce Journey 1In an effort to “sell” social, Cerebra has been releasing some interesting insight reports for its clients, free of charge, in print and for sharing. As Cerebra CEO, Mike Stopforth, explains, social communities have matured over the years and it is time that brands learnt how to convert their investment in social media communities over the years into revenue.

Stopforth dismisses the “social isn’t for selling” argument and says it is certainly possible for brands to commercialise their social media platforms. Of course, the way to do it is to understand social commerce — which was why Cerebra felt the need to release its Social Commerce report.

The agency developed the Social Commerce Journey, a paper detailing the six levels of social commerce. The print version was sent to key clients and media with a paper wallet, complete with fake money and ‘cards’ carrying through the social commerce message.

“Our aim with this paper was to help businesses take the first critical step in developing social commerce strategy by understanding what you’re dealing with,” says Stopforth.

Download the report free:

Coffee break

Nespresso campaign via PrimallPrimall brewed interest in Nespresso with a media campaign targeting consumers in the malls. The target market was men and women in the LSM 10 bracket.

Primedia Unlimited’s shopping mall advertising division specialises in high-impact branding campaigns close to the point of purchase and the media owner used several of its platforms to tease consumers’ taste buds and create awareness around Nespresso’s Inissia range that is available in a host of new colours. Nespresso then introduced consumers to top Grands Crus coffees which can be enjoyed at home and at restaurants, cafes, hotels and offices.

“Sandton City and Canal Walk made use of platforms close to the points of purchase for increased awareness,” reported Primall Media’s Lee Curtis.

Louise MarslandShelf Life by Louise Marsland is a weekly column on MarkLives. Tweet new product, packaging and design launches to @louise_marsland or email her at louise.marsland at Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Louise has written about the FMCG, media, marketing and advertising industry for 19 of her more-than-25-year career as a former editor of magazines AdVantage, Marketing Mix and Progressive Retailing, as well as websites and FMCGFiles. She currently edits the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper and is the publishing editor of industry trendwatching portal, TRENDAFRiCA, for consumer insight, research and trends in Africa.

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