• Gourmet Garden's new lightly dried herb packs won Best in Category for packaging and graphics.
    Gourmet Garden's new lightly dried herb packs won Best in Category for packaging and graphics.

Gourmet Garden's lightly dried herbs, which make the use of fresh herbs an every day possibility, have won Best in Category for packaging and graphics in the Good Design Australia Awards 2014.

The lightly dried herbs are packed in resealable pinch pouches with flavour-matched, colour-coded name tabs so busy cooks can find the right herb easily and ‘add a pinch of fresh herbs,’ directly from the packet.

Jacqui Wilson-Smith, head of innovation and marketing explained, “The reason that we’ve created an accessible herb system is our passion and commitment to bring the magic and culinary qualities of fresh herbs into everyday cooking, not just special cooking occasions. We know that consumers love fresh herbs, but they are just not practical for mid-week cooking and that’s the white space for this innovation.”

The pouch is resealable, addressing consumer demand for a multiple use product. It’s transparent, because consumers like to see what they’re getting, and it shows off the fresh look of the product. And its opening is big enough to fit a hand as it pinches.

An integral part of the new herb system is the fridge door-friendly storage caddy, which stores and fits both the new lightly dried pouches and the existing range of stir-in herb pastes and tubes (which also stay fresh for weeks in the fridge).

The caddy fits snugly into most fridge doors as the base was modelled on the same footprint as a milk bottle. Being a caddy, it’s also convenient to lift out and take the entire herb collection to the kitchen bench, so herbs are at the arms reach for any recipe when cooking.

The pouches are colour coded, and recipe cards with tabs matching the colour code for each herb are inserted in the caddy. The aim of the packaging was to improve accessibility, structurally as well as graphically. The structural packaging of both the pouches and the polycarbonate caddy is by Outerspace Design.

The flexible pouch and resealable zip-lock-style closure was developed by pouch printer and converter, Sealed Air. All rigid packaging trialling and commercialisation was executed by QDesign Enterprises’ founding director Michael Grima, who was the original project and design lead at Outerspace at the time.

The need to protect the lightly dried herbs from moisture, oxygen and light was the first priority when choosing materials and closure system. The team went to considerable lengths to ensure that the pouch opened with a clean tear 100% of the time because the colour coding at the top of the pouch enables consumers to identify each herb with ease.

Two packaging solutions were developed - the pouches and click’n’stack clear plastic pots. When the click'n'stack pots launch, Coles will take these on. Woolworths and IGA will continue with the pouches.

More than 50 per cent of Gourmet Garden’s business is export and its products are sold in more than 20,0000 supermarkets across 15 countries. The lightly dried herbs are being sold in the US, Canada and New Zealand, and will extend to other markets during 2014.

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