Alter Eco’s mission is in line with their customers, but their message wasn’t connecting. Succeeding on a bigger scale meant meeting people where they are.
Based in San Francisco with roots in France, Alter Eco is an intrepid band of activists wielding the food business as a weapon against poverty and inequality: their offering of chocolate, rice, quinoa and sugar is certified Fair Trade, Organic and on its way to Carbon Zero. By establishing long-term relationships with farmer-owned co-ops to meet and exceed Fair Trade standards, Alter Eco is able to positively impact lives with every sale.
An opportunity to expand distribution also meant expanding the brand promise—mainstream foodies care about sustainability, but they want it served up with a heaping spoonful of taste appeal. We worked with the Alter Eco team to create a brand experience that transports shoppers to an exotic, delicious and sustainable place.
The products come from distant locales like Bolivia, Thailand, Peru and the Philippines. So we took our imagery inspiration from world travels, creating art that has the texture, style and even the language of the hand-painted signs found in origin countries. The phrases were chosen from the source country as part of the story; for instance, the royal quinoa packs say “Chisaya Mama,” the local Bolivian nickname for the grain. The result on shelf is as colorful and resourceful as the countries it represents.
In keeping with the company’s mission, facts and farmers tell the story of positive impact at a glance. If consumers want to dig deeper, they can find data, details, photos and blog posts on the Alter Eco website—or even inside the chocolate box. Interested readers will discover that biting into an artisan Alter Eco bar also takes a bite out of Amazon deforestation.
Sales at Whole Foods
As Alter Eco’s audience grows, so does its product line. In a prelude to the Christmas season, the brand introduced a healthful and sustainable alternative to a stocking stuffer favorite: the hard chocolate truffle. We created packaging design that marries well with the existing system while delivering something fresh and whimsical at point of sale. Available one or ten at a time, their Black and Velvet truffles delight kids and chocolate lovers alike.
Alter Eco now resonates clearly in the hearts and stomachs of foodies everywhere, leading to better lives and more delicious options for everybody involved.