Do you know where the food you are buying comes from?
Does the country of origin make a difference in what you purchase?
Many products no longer show where they are made, only the location of the distributor. With the globalization of food sourcing, what you are buying can come from anywhere.
If you’re concerned about the origin of the item you are purchasing, there is a simple key to being informed.
It’s the bar code. By simply knowing how to read the numbers, you can be a more informed consumer. Keep in mind that while it is true many products of foreign origin use the U.S. or Canadian bar code, others do not.
Here are some basic tips. U.S. and Canadian bar codes have a 12 digit number and all other international codes have 13. The first three digits of the 13 digit international bar code show the country of origin.
Below is the key to de-coding the code.
Some of the more dominant international codes are:
Hong Kong 489
South Korea 880
As an aware consumer, expand your purchasing decision beyond price and ingredients. Know where your product comes from and purchase with assurance.
For more country code information:
Bellwether Farms is an award-winning producer of farmstead cheeses and yogurts located in Sonoma County, California. A long-time client of our firm, they had invented a new way of crafting ricotta that brought to mind the exceptional qualities and flavors of the old-world ricottas of northern Italy.
A key component of capturing that quality was to use a special basket to allow the ricotta to drain and form properly. Removing the ricotta from the basket to package it would destroy the product’s unique qualities, so it was decided to keep the basket and vacuum form a plastic seal around it.
The large piece of stiff film necessary to form the basket’s lid presented unique challenges for packaging. The client and design team at MOI also saw an opportunity to use the basket to showcase the product. Keeping the sides open allowed the design team to create a flap that tucked in on either side, snapping into position and holding the basket firmly in place. The open sides doubled as a “window” displaying the product within the basket.
Mark Oliver, CEO of the branding firm, noted, “often the most work goes into creating simple looking yet complex structures. After a number of prototypes, this elegant solution met the criteria for showcasing the product and maintaining the long-established branding scheme, while using environmentally sensitive outer packaging materials and soy inks.”
Photo © 2011 Alan Campbell acpfoto.com
Tarazai is found in specialty and ethnic food stores nationwide. For the past 40 years, consumers have used the traditional middle eastern mix of ground chickpeas and fava beans to recreate the familiar dishes they grew up with or left behind in their native countries.
But not long ago a funny thing happened. Falafel began showing up in restaurants and food trucks in places like New York City. A generation of new users is emerging eager to consume at home the foods they’ve grown to enjoy when eating out, or during travels abroad.
The management at Tarazi noticed the increase in interest in Falafel and asked MOI to help them expand the brand appeal to new markets. The challenge for the team at MOI was to refresh the brand to appeal to the new consumer while not alienating the old one.
An additional challenge the team discovered was the need to separate the product from “protein substitute” products. Research showed that traditional consumers and younger ones alike were attracted to the product because of its great taste and traditional nature, not because it made a good veggie burger or meat substitute.
Falafel and vegetables tumbling into the open pita signify the fresh taste experience consumers expect while portraying the well-known use of Falafel. Reference to meat substitutes was dropped, and copy was added on the benefits of the product.
The trademark was redrawn with proper letterforms, but retained the feel of the old logo for past consumers. The crisp and clean presentation sets the product apart from others in the ethnic foods section.
As agency CEO Mark Oliver noted, “this refreshing design creates the impact and interest to pull a consumer to a great old product, now new again.”