Plant-based meat may seem like the way of the future, but consumers still love the taste of meat. After all, brands that grow their plant-based products in a lab try to replicate it’s taste and texture as much as they possibly can.
Known for their humanely raised, organic meat products, Hormel’s Applegate brand decided to launch a new product platform that offered a unique taste experience. Consumers would not only be able to keep meat on the table, but it would also be elevated with chef-paired ingredients packed with nutrient-dense vegetables, legumes, and grains—less meat, more flavor.
Applegate needed our help to turn their product platform into an entirely new brand of its own and establish it as the leader of taste in the emerging blended meat category.
Through research, we learned that brands across the category are trying to be something they’re not. Plant-based and vegetarian products use meat codes to communicate taste, while blended meats focus highly on vegetable ingredients for health appeal.
We asked—why should consumers have to choose between the two?
While the products do contain nutrient-rich ingredients, we wanted consumers to be sure that taste wasn’t sacrificed, and the carefully curated products contain the perfect combination of flavors. We named the brand Well Carved and created a visual system that celebrates its heightened culinary experience. Ingredients dance on the pack with highly textural, expressive photography to highlight the importance of everything inside—down to a lentil.
The new brand eliminates the conflict for consumers stuck in a meat-or-plant-based dilemma. Well Carved isn’t just a healthy substitute—it made meat even better.
Successfully launched Well Carved in spring 2020, despite the global pandemic, which meant:
Drove sales in line with other category leaders, gaining the attention of new retailers like Target, which accepted Well Carved at their 200+ stores within the first six months of launch.
The pack design did the heavy lifting at shelf, since there was little to no marketing support.
The Applegate Well Carved pack design conveys a cravability and energy rarely seen in the frozen food aisle, setting it apart from the competition and creating excitement for a new way to enjoy meat.Janet Jenkins, Applegate Creative Director