Winners/Food Producers Gold

Project: The Way of the Noodle

Client: Kabuto Noodles

Design: B&B studio

Think of instant noodles in a pot and you, like The New Statesman, might think of them as “lad culture in snack form”. New brand Kabuto set out to challenge common perceptions of the category with high-quality, authentic flavours wrapped in witty packaging.

Starting from a completely clean-sheet design without even a name, the resulting brand celebrates the skill and dedication of the Japanese Samurai. Kabuto’s playful and witty personality is evident everywhere from iconography to tone of voice, and even in their barcodes. It’s executed so successfully that it’s been included in the 20th anniversary edition of A Smile in the Mind – Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart’s legendary book on graphic design.

It’s a tactic that’s won favour with customers too. The combination of quality product and aspirational design means 90% of Kabuto buyers are new to the category. It allowed the brand to smash year one sales targets by 86% and Kabuto has rapidly grown into an £11.3million company from a standing start within five years.