Igniting Culinary Creativity with Stevison Meats First Retail Brand

Stevison Meats brings over 70 years of expertise in providing the finest beef, pork and poultry products on the market. Their products have been primarily distributed through co-packing or food service partnerships. So, when Stevison Meats dreamt up their next venture, their own consumer-facing, ready-to-eat brand, they asked GS&F to not only help reposition the company but to also develop a name and visual identity for the new brand – one in which provides the ultimate shortcut to flavor in your kitchen.

This Isn’t Your Mama’s Precooked Meat 

The packaged meat section isn’t known for being the sexiest corner of the supermarket. With tan and black packaging – primarily centered around heritage – crowding the shelves and forming a sea of boring and blah, the army of look-alike packaging practically begs for a stand-out product to take center stage.

After hundreds of names were explored and vetted, Carve & Crave was born. We then set out to uncover a visual identity that helped Carve & Crave break into the market with a product design that jumps off the shelf and changes the narrative around pre-packaged meats. After all, this isn’t your mama’s precooked meat – this is Carve & Crave. Packed with flavor like no other, it’s the mealtime player you crave but never existed – until now.

An Opportunity To Innovate

With our opportunity in front of us, we needed to find the best way for Crave & Crave to go from grocery shelves to your fridge – or even better – the hero of a new recipe. We slipped into the shoes of Carve & Crave’s target audience to better understand what shoppers were after.

It was apparent that grocery stores are a hub for game-time decisions. Carve & Crave needed to become the obvious choice for busy shoppers looking to conveniently fuel their creativity in the kitchen.

It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It

Since Carve & Crave packaging would do most of the talking, we first had to align on a clear brand tonality to guide our visual communication. We used a tried and true practice to get us where we needed to go:

Carve & Crave is always: creative, timeless and passionate.

Carve & Crave is never: dated, complacent or myopic.

This allows Carve & Crave to be: bold, inspirational and artistic.

Creating a list of “always” and “nevers” gets us on the same page with the client and serves as the jumping-off point for creative endeavors.

Design That Does The Talking For You

With the brand tonality as our north star, we explored design elements that challenged market norms, paving a new path for pre-cooked meats.

Subdued color and sophisticated type team up with texture and pattern to show the world that convenience doesn’t have to equal culinary compromise. Speckled paper and marbling indicate the authentic meat flavors and textures in Carve & Crave – a less literal and more impactful alternative to food photography on the packaging.

Grounding It With A Trusted Parent Company

While the Carve & Crave brand is made to stand on its own, the look and feel draw some connections from its parent company with a longstanding reputation, Stevison Meats. By filtering Stevison Meats brand colors through the lens of Carve & Crave, it allowed us to create a broader range of expression through color with shades like Raymond Orange, Smoked Black and Parchment White.

The primary Carve & Crave logo is a nod to Stevison Meats with a contoured style that alludes to carving and cutting. The secondary type, Sunset Gothic Pro, is integrated into both of the brands. The packaging is stamped with a small Stevison Meats badge, an endorsement from a company that’s existed for almost 75 years.

Ready For The Shelves

With logos, type treatments and package concepts designed to evoke culinary curiosity, Stevison Meats was ready to bring Carve & Crave to consumers. As an initial trial, Carve & Crave was launched in 24 Costco stores in the southeast, selling out in less than two months. It’s safe to say that we are excited about continuing to change the way people think about pre-cooked meats as this brand extends into more markets and shelves.

Curious about our branding strategy? Check out our approach or get connected with our team here.

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