International branding consultancy Identica has designed an extensive range of premium food and beverage products for Italian grocery co-operative Conad as part of the company's aim to represent all the Italian regions through their most traditional foods.

Identica, which has created packaging for over 1000 Conad own-brand products since being originally appointed in 1995, was asked to develop the branding for 80 products including cheese, spirits, meat, fish, olive oil, sweets and preserves.

The new range - Sapori e Dintorni (Flavours and their Origins) - will be introduced into outlets throughout Italy in January 2002. It is positioned as high quality food which is linked to a specific Italian region and its gourmet and craftsmanship traditions. Conad's expertise in researching and selecting fresh, high quality products is also clearly communicated.

Since these traditional products are not usually available in supermarkets, but in specialist local outlets, the range's quality was positioned separately from the rest of Conad's offer and clearly differentiated through innovative packaging design.

Identica designer Melissa Smith says the quality and excellence of the produce is reflected through the range's brand identity which is gold and yellow on a dark blue background. A combination of images on the packaging further endorses the premium nature.

"A duotone image conveys the process of product development and the emotive aspect of it - the person behind the premium product and the care and attention involved," explains Smith. "There is also a full colour photograph of the product, in its ready-to-eat state, on a plate, while the back of each pack contains a full map of Italy highlighting the regional origin and story of each respective product."

The new branding had to be connected to the signage (consumers needed to be able to perceive it as a Conad label), be distinctive from the red Conad logo and Percorso Qualità Conad logo and be used on a product range of food and beverage characterised by distinctive material and packaging techniques.