Bewley’s whilst being very well known for its coffee offer across Ireland, is less well-known for it’s extensive tea range, despite being the first company to import tea to Ireland back in 1835. As part of a wider programme focusing on tea, we were tasked with producing a set of ‘Special Edition’ teas to elevate Bewley’s credentials within this category and to capitalise on the growth currently being experienced in loose-leaf tea. It was important that the pack design not only motivated consumers to buy the product but helped build brand equity within this area and support the overall brand story and sensorial experience. Focusing on three of the best selling variants, Darjeeling, Assam and Irish Breakfast Tea, the special edition tea chests needed to work both individually and as a set. The design also needed to take into account that the chests would be displayed in multiple locations – in cafes and restaurants to add theatre and interest as well as being able to hold their own and compete for attention on a retail shelf.
We recognised the opportunity to create a unique format for Bewley’s special edition teas that would tell their story and build on their history as the original independent tea importer to Ireland. In 1835 Samuel Bewley imported 2,099 chests of tea directly from China on the ship Hellas. This story became the inspiration for the packaging. We used small wooden chests as a nod to the original format. The ship became the symbol of the Bewley's spirit, taking pride of place at the top of the packs. The design uses elements such as the mosaic tiles from the Grafton Street cafe, creating a unique and ownable frame that is both attractive and functional. Colour was intentionally kept to a minimum in order to mimic the look and feel of the original stencilled chests; black being the predominant colour with a pop of brighter colour to differentiate between the variants.