Onfire Design
Manuka Emporium

  • 2020

    Submission # 94

  • Output

    Packaging – Pūhera

  • Kaupapa

    Impact – Reach / Results / ROI

    Identity – People & Culture

  • Location

    Auckland, Tāmaki Makaurau

Project Overview:
In today’s world of fast-moving consumer goods, honey is often mass-produced in bulk to meet demand, blended with varieties from numerous regions which dilutes the true provenance, character and flavour of the core ingredient. Manuka Emporium is a new honey brand challenging this mentality.

Working with a select group of today's apiarists in New Zealand, Manuka Emporium were inspired by the attitude, persistence and honey making philosophies of those who have come before and focused on delivering a product that is truly special in the market. The beekeepers from yesteryear harvested and sold pure single source honey to their local general stores which was then bottled and labelled by the shopkeeper. Simple, honest and true.

The brief was to create a superior brand that echoed the values of these skills and create a compelling visual language that would appeal to the discerning consumer looking for that special item for a social occasion or gifting. Inspired by the authenticity, opulent decoration and typographic crafting of premium liquor brands that can be discovered in old whisky lounges and bars, the brand exudes the charm and character of a Victorian-era shop. Product details were added with the Beekeepers Selection label, proudly displaying vintage, season, style, flavour notes and the apiarist’s signature.

Copper foiling, red stamps, different colour labels denoting MGO strength and a unique bee motif add premium cues to the quality of the product.

The products intentions are to show that there is another way to mass-produce consumer goods. The commoditisation of honey in recent years has resulted in blended, bulk produced honeys that are diluted versions of what would have come out of the hives. Manuka Emporium took a different perspective. By not selling as many units, by taking their time, by making it in small batches meant that what ended in the jar was as close as possible to the harvested honey. Honesty, craft, knowledge, patience and commitment to the product (and bees) shine through in this product offering.

For a mass retail brand, the finishing of the labels separated it from the competition. Metallic foils, textured paper and glass jars create a brand to lust after and aspire for the shopper looking for a honey brand. With strong retail sales in NZ, the business quickly looked to overseas regions. It has become a popular honey brand in South East Asia and America - with consumers enticed by the packaging and becoming fans of the history and story behind the brand.

Credits & Collaborators:
Creative Director - Matt Grantham
Designer - Sam Allan
Designer - Michael Nicholls
Design Director - Ewa Oliver

Kātoitoi Manuka Emporium 1
Kātoitoi Manuka Emporium 2
Kātoitoi Manuka Emporium 3
Archive Submission
Kātoitoi Manuka Emporium 5
Kātoitoi Manuka Emporium 6
Kātoitoi Manuka Emporium 7
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Kātoitoi Manuka Emporium 9
Archive Submission

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