TEAM: Jon Northrop (Copywriter) . Alexis Kafkis (Art Director) . Heather Moore (Experience Designer) . Chane Rennie (Strategist) . Will Espinoza (CBM) . Prateek Patnaik (Strategist)

The Story: 

McCormick is an ubiquitous presence in almost every grocery store across the country. With a 32.7% share of the overall spice market and their closest competition in single digits, the brand is far from any economic crisis. However, the brand suffers from consumer indifference, a problem which finds its roots in their lack of interest and loyalty for a category crowded by nondescript branding and packaging.


We’ve fought wars over them, sailed off the edge of the 'known world' for them, even invented the term salary based on them. Today, spices are the least thought-about items on our shopping lists, often bought as an afterthought or when one's trying a new recipe. 


To inspire passion and brand loyalty in a category that has none. 

Key Discoveries:  

Cooking has evolved from a personal errand into a highly shareable, social activity driven by increasing levels of consumer experimentation. A number of entry to mid-level chefs reported making custom spice and sauce blends to add a personal touch to  everyday dishes. 

Spices are seen as healthy additives to meals but consumer interest and awareness about issues such as food sourcing and freshness does not extend to spices currently. A lack of clear product differentiation only serves to further muddle this purchase decision and lowers consumer involvement.

Primary Threats: 

  • The rise in popularity of prepared and pre-seasoned foods as increasingly preferred alternatives to 'from-scratch' home cooked meals.
  • Ignorance on proper methods to protect, store and prolong quality of spices. 
  • Recent contamination recalls and quality control problems. Ethical sourcing is a predicted concern with rising levels of consumer engagement and awareness.

Target:  Recipe Cooks

  • Entry and mid-skill, 18 to 35 year old home chefs, who rely on recipes/instructions for inspiration.
  • Have a set of go-to dishes but need assistance and encouragement exploring new cuisines.
  • Cooking and experimentation partly motivated by a need for social appreciation e.g. at potluck dinners, for social media shares or for a significant other.

The Idea: 

Reveal the familial heritage behind their favorite foods by building emotional connections through the storied histories and origins of the spices used.

Revise the packaging by creating an unique but relatable design that unifies our various product lines while incorporating the best in product preservation methods.




CReative Executions