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STEAD - Authentic American Cuisine

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  • STEAD - Authentic American Cuisine
    Self Initiated Fast Food Brief
  • This self initiated brief challenged me to brand and package a fresh, new and exciting fast food restuarant. The brief specified that i should keep in mind two crisis that are occuring in Britain right now, the obesity crisis and the financial crisis. People are after healthy, cheap and speedy food - Chains such as Subway that are perseived to be healthy and fast are rapidly growing and expanding, whereas major chains such as McDonalds and KFC are losing business due to the economic crisis. After researching the crisis and what people are looking for, i started to look for a cuisine that either hasn't been done before, or hasn't been done properly.

    The cuisine i settled on was American cuisine in the UK - broadly, the American fast food market is very saturated with chains like McDonalds, Burger King and KFC. However, these chains do not sell real, authentic American food - the cliche fast food burger filled with calories and fat does not portray the US in the best way. Real American food is colourful and vibrant, influenced by hundreds of different nationalities.

    The solution was to brand and package an authentic American fast food chain that changes the publics opinion on what exactly American fast food is. The name STEAD derives from the word 'Homestead' to portray American homemade comforts - warm, hot, comforting and tasty food. The name also comes from 'Instead' - Instead of McDonalds, Burger King and KFC, choose our food for the real American experience.

    The dishes i chose for the chain spanned the entire US - from Hawaii to New Orleans, so branding the chain with the whole of America in mind (without using the over-used American flag) was a challenge. When researching, i realised that the one thing the entire country has in common is their heritage and where they came from. Native Americans were the main theme used throughout this project.

    STEAD - Authentic Native American Inspired Cuisine.
  • Above, shows the starting menu totem pole laser engraved into wood.

    Working from the top-down...

    -- The first character is the Thunderbird. The Native Americans worshipped these like gods and believed that when they clapped their wings, it caused the thunder in the sky. The Thunderbird represents leadership, which is why they always stand at the top of the pole. He is also the master-brand of the company, the leader! 

    -- All characters below the Thunderbird is a dish on the menu - for example, the beaver and stag represents gumbo, the bear represents burritos, the Buffalo represents (buffalo) burgers and the fox represents drinks.
  • I also designed and produced promotional wooden coins (or 'wooden nickels) - These were designed in such a way that they would be appealing enough for someone to collect all of them. The coins were all laser engraved with the appropriate totem head on each one relating to the offer.
  • Native Americans take care of their land and the environment - even modern day people. So when it came to designing a fast food packaging range for STEAD, it felt wrong to include any materials that are harmful to the environment in any way. I challenged myself to see just how little material i needed to brand and package the food.

    The brown bag and napkin are 100% bio-degradable, branded using an ink stamp to reduce printing cost and impact onto the environment. The dishes themselves are also branded in a similar manner, the burritos are served wrapped in a large edible leaf with the STEAD logo stamped using vegetable ink. The leaf is naturally heat resistant, so dishes such as a Hawaiian 'Lau Lau' with consists of steamed pork or fish are also wrapped in the same way. Natural perferations in the leaf also make it extremely simple to unwrap without mess. Liquid food on the menu such as soups and gumbo are served in a bread bowl and stamped. The burger buns are also stamped in the same way.
    This solution almost eliminates any need for packaging, all the dishes are designed to be eaten with your hands while on the mood - no plastic sporks necessary.
  • Tuck in!