Vermeil is a fictive start-up project aiming to popularize the consumption of insects products. This would allow consumers to benefit from a high source of protein with a minimal impact on the environnement.
It was designed as a high-end gourmet brand using insect powders in popular products such as cookies, to improve the product's image. User research is detailed below, as well as the branding guide.
User Research, Branding
Lead Designer, Project Manager
Create a brand with an innovative promise.
Our first step was to deeply research the matter to get a better understanding of the challenges linked to entomophagy. Even though insects have been eaten by humans for hundreds of years and offer extraordinary nutritional value, they mostly disgust or frighten people, and are often associated with diseases or dirtiness.
Most people, however, would consider eating insects if they're one of the ingredients, and are not recognizable in the finished product. We also looked into consumer habits regarding snacks, and noticed the favourite category was cookies, biscuits and others. We then looked into the UN official market predictions for this particular product, considered to be one of the few viable options for a more sustainable alimentation.
We then narrowed down the users, and used collected insights to build a persona for our main target.
We mainly targeted people with relatively high income and a profound interest for an alternative healthy alimentation, reducing their ecological footprint and most importantly eating reliable and high quality food from a fully transparent sourcing and processes.
With a growing population and a food industry with an increasing impact on the environnement, we can observe many consumers changing their habits towards more sustainable alternatives. In this regard, how can we democratize the consumption of insects even though this product doesn't attract the consumer, and is absent from the gastronomical landscape ?
High-quality products made from a promising source for sustainable, responsible and delicious meals, and a real intake of protein and essential nutrients.
We then built a branding guide for our freshly created brand. We needed something reassuring, and exuding prestige and tradition. We were inspired by delicatessen store design, and high end traditional brands.
For our logo, we opted for a ladybug, one of the rare insects pretty much everybody loves, and who's considered a good ally in the garden. Vermeil refers to the alloy made from smelting gold and silver together. Our brand does a similar thing, when combining two ingredients for a better finished product. In this instance, we like to consider the fresh and local ingredients as our silver, and the insects as a whole new kind of food gold.
We also made a short storyboard for a commercial picturing one of our cookies, a narrator explaining how it's made from local products, and another person taking several bites out of the cookie, without even knowing it's made from insects. When he gets that information by the narrator, he doesn't seem to care, because it's simply a delicious cookie.