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Mexican Cacao: Cultural heritage

This brief allows for the design and production of packaging and branding for a Mexican chocolate company. Packaging design is the main focus, and the overall branding and feel of the company will become apparent throughout the packaging. The cacao bean is native to Mexico, and so chocolate in all it’s various forms is one of the main components that make up Mexican daily life. It was originally used for medicinal purposes, and was an integral part of Mayan culture.

As cacao is so important to Mexicans, it is important to take into account how the chocolate will be packaged and what bodt copy is used. The brief also asks that chocolate is used in a different way in Mexico to that of our European counterparts, and so this product must convey tradition and Mexican heritage. For the most part chocolate sold in the EU is consumed as a fatty snack, and chocolate in it’s natural form is in fact very healthy and full of anti-oxidants.

Taking into account that chocolate was and is currently used for medicinal purposes in Mexico, this idea that chocolate is unhealthy is only made so by adding milk and vegetable oil. The product needs to be raw 70% - 80% dark chocolate. In Mexico, chocolate is often flavoured with chilli and other savoury condements, and so this needs to be taken into account for the range of products.

Chocolate in Mexico is often consumed like black coffee is here, and is a wake up beverage for many Mexicans. It is also taken with bread for a breakfast meal, and so hot chocolate can also be an option. Mexico and it’s cultural value in relation to chocolate must be conveyed. This is the most important factor, along with appealing to a European audience.


Mexican pattern and visual identity


Market Research

Taza

Rancho Gordo

Ibarra

Taza produce bean to bar stone ground Mexican chocolate that is unrefined and pure. Taza state that stone ground chocolate releases the true flavour of the cacao bean, creating a unique flavour. The company is American, but take all of the traditional chocolate making principles and the cacao itself from Oaxaca, Mexico. The choice of design for the packaging of this product works to reflect the rustic nature of Mexico, and echoes the untreated nature of the chocolate itself.

Rancho Gordo bean to barstone ground Mexican chocolate is another traditional product of Mexico, and this process mimics the hand ground cacao that some Mexicans use for their morning drink. Again the untreated packaging reflects Mexico’s terrain and the chocolate itself. The unique selling point of these products is that they are both luxury and basic products and the same time. It appeals to people with a disposable income, but reflects Mexico’s rustic down to earth nature.

Ibarra Mexican bean to bar chocolate is another traditionally stone ground chocolate, that is widely used throughout Mexico, and the USA. It is often used by chefs for use in baking. All of the Mexican brands of chocolate here come in disc form, though have also branched out to produce various flavoured chocolate and ready ground drinking chocolate flakes.


Market Research

Marou

Intrigue Chocolate

Askinosie

Marou grow and produce Vietnamese chocolate that is used for baking and is popular with chocolate connoisseur. The company is French and Vietnamese, and is sold in bars and wholesale worlwide. The cacao tree was brought to Southern Vietnam by the French, and Marou state that although not all the methods used to produce the chocolate is strictly ‘fairtrade’, they support local communities with the trade. The packaging design has grown in cult like status for it’s iconic gold element.

Intrigue chocolate make truffles, and they are known for the high quality of their chocolate ganache. Intrigue do not take a bean to bar approach, but take an artisnal approach to their chocolate. The truffles and truffle bars come in many flavours, and have little sugar and no added fats, and so taste less sweet than the truffles that are more commonly sold. They state that the real taste of chocolate can be enjoyed with their product.

Askinosie chocolate is a company that prides itself on sustainability and minimal envoronmental impact. Based out of Missouri in the US, Askinosie still take a bean to bar approach and have a stone grinder on the premises, and craft the chocolate by hand.


Chocolate packaging trends

Gold

Natural/sustainable

Pattern

Traditional


Mexicancacaoboards