Hsinchu rice noodles can trace their roots as far back as 1858, when Kuo Chuan and his three brothers, who had been making rice noodles in Fujian, China, crossed the strait to Taiwan. They moved to Dananshih settlement in Hsinchu, which is right by the rice fields flourishing over the tidal land of Keya Creek. Dependent on Hsinchu’s unique seasonal winds, Guo and his brothers began making rice noodles once again. During its golden age in the ‘60s, there were as many as 120 rice noodle factories here, and the riverbeds were taken over by sun-drying rice noodles; since then, rice noodles have become one of Hsinchu’s most well-known specialties. The current owner of Old Pot Rice Noodles is the sixth generation in Kuo Chuan’s lineage. Inheriting an ancestral business of more than 150 years, the current owner follows the traditional Guo spirits that began the process, from selecting indica rice to 19 intricate steps along the way. However, with the evolution of the food industry and the arrival of the internet, sales channels could no longer be limited to the existing operation model. As a result, Old Pot Rice Noodles introduced modern facilities and established Xing Xi Food Company as it strived towards business management and manufacturing rice noodles of more stable quality under a standard operating procedure. In 1999, Old Pot Rice Noodles curated Taiwan’s first Rice Noodle Museum in the hopes of reinvigorating the traditional industry and allowing people to have a more in-depth understanding of Hsinchu’s rice noodle industry. It also offers displays of historical documents, revolutions, and machinery related to making of rice noodles; the number of visitors to the Museum has accumulated to hundreds of thousands of people thus far. In 2002, Xing Xi founded the Old Pot Farm, leading visitors to experience rice noodle making and offering food and farming education amidst fun activities. In Response to Needs of Modern Life, Products’ Content and Portion were Modified Even though Old Pot Rice Noodles have been enjoying its name and fame, it still lacked a unified visual identification system. The brand’s packaging was confusing and was missing a traceable identity. As an effort to create an organized look and improve on its branding, Old Pot Rice Noodles participated in the 2016 TGA Brand Counseling Project. Under the assistance of ATSAI Brand Design, Old Pot Rice Noodles received immensely valuable advice on its branding and gained more momentum towards elevating its product quality. Old Pot Rice Noodles believe that by actively improving its products to keep up with current trends is equivalent to its pursuit of its products’ high quality. As a result, Old Pot Rice Noodles devoted its time during the counseling project period for the fine-tuning of its existing product – Instant Rice Noodles, which combined rice noodles made purely of rice and all-natural vegetables; more than 10 different flavors include taro, green algae, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, gobo, and tomato. Pouring in hot water, customers will be able to enjoy their noodles whether they’re for afternoon tea, working overtime, or a snack before bedtime. People nowadays, especially office workers, with busy schedules can all easily obtain necessary nutrition in a light but delicious meal. As the family formation these days has become more diverse, families of three generations have gradually evolved to small families or people living on their own. After discussing with ATSAI Brand Design, Old Pot Rice Noodles has also decided to customize portions according to different needs, including rice noodles of 40g that are suitable for one person, as well as other kinds of portion sizes good for small families, large families, or large group gatherings. Brand Designs Integrate Industry Culture with Local Landmarks – Promoting Rice Noodles to the World ATSAI Brand Design gave life to an overall branding that is enriched with culture and pure old-time flair. Following rice noodles’ development in Taiwan and displaying through printmaking, important landmarks, such as the traditional religious center – City God Temple, Hsinchu Train Station, Yingxi Gate, in Hsinchu were highlighted. Illustrations of ingredients are distributed amidst the landmarks to reflect the integration of the rice noodle industry and its home in Hsinchu. “Pure Rice Noodles” written in a font resembling seal prints are stamped over the front to emphasize the century-old flavor coming from 1858. It is hoped that through disassembling the old elements and presenting a new appearance will reinforce Old Pot Rice Noodles’ historical status. Old Pot Rice Noodles gave ATSAI Brand Design complete authority. Late in 2017, Old Pot Rice Noodles’ new look made its debut in the Taipei International Food Show. Through overall image enhancement and stir-fried rice noodle tasting, Old Pot wowed the crowd and subsequently signed contracts with online and physical sales channels. To this date, Old Pot Rice Noodles has successfully been sold to Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, the U.S., and Japan – Hsinchu rice noodles have now entered the global market and earned wide acclaim.
Located in the Daliao District of Kaohsiung, Qiao Jin Food was founded by Cheng Chi-yang’s parents in 1996. Qiao Jin focuses on seafood wholesaling and retailing, as well as the manufacturing of other processed food products such as snacks. After Chi-yang and his brother graduated from school and came home to help their parents, they noticed the transformation of the market and decided to develop their branding. As a result, they participated in the TGA Brand Counseling Project in 2016. Chi-yang recalls that he was most impressed by the crucial moment during the Project when seven or eight designing companies presented their brand name proposals in a row. When Chi-yang heard the name “Mr. Searo,” he immediately raised up his head and then he saw the back of a whale that stretches out like ocean’s horizon. The whale wears a small round red cap and is seen as if jumping out of the ocean towards the sun; the navy-blue whale has a curved belly in grey and white stripes that resemble the beach, and there are several small fish swimming casually near the whale’s fin. Bosin Design created a clever integration of the whale and its surroundings that caught Qi-yang’s eyes. A Light-Hearted Brand Personality Invites Consumers to Enjoy Freshness from the Sea There are several reasons the name Mr. Searo was chosen. First, “Qiao Jin” and “Mr. Searo (pronounced as xiao jin in Chinese)” sound similar and symbolize the spirit of inheritance. At the same time, they considered the acceptance level of Chi-yang’s father and his generation – only slight adjustments on the name could persuade the elder generation to proceed with the branding project. Moreover, the transformation from Qiao Jin to Mr. Searo is suitably more modern and more appropriately transmits the company’s oceanic image; at the same time, it also perfectly reflects Chi-yang and his brother’s love for sports and familiarity with water activities. In addition, the image of the whale swimming in the ocean reflects the sensation that Qiao Jin hopes to convey to its customers – passing their leisure time while “enjoying freely and relaxing” with the company of seafood snacks. The English name Mr. Searo is literally interpreted as “hero of the sea” who will safeguard the rights of all consumers. Mr. Searo’s products include spicy silver-stripe round herring strips with scallions, original flavored flower crab crisps, original flavored croaker crisps, scallion champion shrimps, and sakura shrimp flavored croaker crisps. In the market nowadays, seafood products are usually deep-fried in order to save time, but Mr. Searo takes consumers’ health into consideration and has made use of natural raw materials and a roasting method. With no preservatives added, the manufacturing process takes more than 20 hours and requires manpower to continuously check and flip the products as necessary to avoid sticking. Products made today have to wait till tomorrow to be packaged. Even though the production capability is limited, Mr. Searo has been insisting on its procedures that will be beneficial to consumers. Moreover, Mr. Searo possesses a comprehensive supply chain that extends from handling raw materials to packaging, which is all done by its own factory to ensure food safety. Branding Elevates Overall Image and Stays True to Company Beliefs Conducting in-depth interviews and on-site visits helped Bosin Design to identify Mr. Searo’s uniqueness and to decide to present the products more visually. For instance, a standing paper box with an opening that resembles a fish’s mouth, lively and colorful shades, and the conversation box in the front of the package that emphasizes “Not Deep-Fried,” all communicate a fun brand personality to consumers, inviting them all to explore the rich tastes of an island country. Also, considering today’s lifestyle, small packages of 20g that are suitable for small families and office workers are also available so it’s easy to share with family and colleagues; the small size also prevents the products from being affected by humidity and keeps them crunchy. Since joining the TGA Brand Counseling Project, Mr. Searo’s overall brand image has been enhanced, and more opportunities have also been offered. In 2018, Mr. Searo consecutively participated in FOODEX JAPAN, International Food and Beverage Exhibition in Shanghai, China, Taipei International Food Show, and TGA Summer Fun Times exhibition. It has also successfully obtained sales channels at EVA Air’s online shopping mall and MegaCity supermarkets. Qi-yang believes that brand positioning has allowed him to continuously remind himself of his original beliefs. Understanding his target groups, Qi-yang stands firm on providing quality products and avoids price wars in the hope of staying on track towards te high-end gift-giving market. Chi-yang noted that devoting himself to the brand counseling project, attending different classes, seminars and workshops while referencing to experts’ views, have all stimulated him to have more dynamic ideas towards his own products. Bosin Design has not only focused on the products’ packaging, but more so on the brand’s sustainability. Chi-yang has expressed his high regard of the TGA Brand Counseling Project’s efforts and dedication in supporting small-scale businesses.
The Trreeo Company is hidden in a wonderland of flourishing grassland and serene views. As the farm implements vegetative cultivation methods, interdependence thrives in its ecological environment. Many insects, such as dragonflies, Lemnia saucia, Theretra nessus, and Acherontia Lachesis, and even pangolins and owls can all be spotted at the orchard. There are also numerous species of plants along the banks of the flowing streams, including Indian gooseberry trees. Roselle, coffee, beetroots, turmeric, gingers, carrots, pumpkins, and muskmelons, along with large trees, medium-sized shrubs, small herbaceous plants, and climbing vines all are growing at different altitudes and spaces and forming a pattern of “three-layered three-dimensional agriculture.” Trreeo Company founder Fan Yuan-lung was previously working in an international firm as Vice President of their Asian operations. Under a highly stressful working environment for a long span of time, the constant overseas trips finally triggered serious health problems for Fan in 2008. Since then, he has been focusing on a healthy lifestyle, and in a coincidental setting, Fan was introduced to the green colored Indian gooseberry – a tiny fruit with rich flavor. At first, it tastes sour, crunchy, bitter, and dry all at the same time, but soon it turns sweet and stimulates secretion of saliva to help quench thirst. Indian gooseberry also offers great dietary therapy; it has not only received honors as “India’s sacred fruit,” “life-saving fruit,” and “green diamond,” it has also been designated by U.N. World Health Organization as a healthy plant recommended for cultivation. Creating a Brand Name via Farming and Agriculture Methods Fan Yuan-lung has long been regularly taking Indian gooseberry enzyme, and it has immensely helped to improve his health and has therefore prompted him to devote himself to promoting the magical fruit. In 2012, Fan and his wife rented a 8-fen (分) certified land in Tongluo, Miaoli, and began cultivating Indian gooseberries and other agricultural products. In order to produce the best quality products, the whole family went off to learn about different farming methods all over Taiwan, and from there derived the Eco Enzyme Farming method. They decided not to use any pesticides, fertilizers, nor herbicides, not to interfere with or destroy the primitive land and organisms. Natural fermented liquid from fruit peels and vegetable leaves is used to nurture the land, in the hope that they can protect and adjust the soil vitality and thereby awaken the land. All the plants should receive enough nutrition, and all of the animals should have their habitats. The second generation of their family returned home and established Trreeo Company to work alongside with their father. Considering the market’s transformation, Trreeo decided to work on branding but had no idea where to begin until joining the TGA Brand Counseling Project in 2016. Among the numerous proposals, Trreeo chose the proposal from Victor Branding Design Corp. as it was both focusing on Indian gooseberry fruits and integrating the essence of eco-farming. Victor Branding cleverly linked the word “trio” with Trreeo’s “three-layered three-dimensional agriculture” and further extended “trio” to “three o’s” – Original, Organic, and Orchard, echoing the belief of Trreeo Company to pursue food’s original flavors. The logo gives the beautiful perception of swaying tree shadows and the grand perception of harmony between humans and nature. Developing the “Mellow Aftertaste” Collections, Making Use of Pure Raw Materials and Non-Plastic Packaging The Trreeo Company partnered with Victor Branding to develop a series of Indian gooseberry products named “Mellow Aftertaste,” which includes enzyme drinks, fresh powders, and probiotics powders. The purest natural raw materials that are beneficial to human bodies are used to make these products. Even though Trreeo encountered countless challenges, such as difficulties in finding ingredients, time-consuming procedures, and escalating costs, it has insisted on retaining food’s nutrition during the manufacturing process or presenting it in a way that imakes for easier absorption by human bodies. After discussing with Victor Branding, Trreeo has specially chosen to use FSC certified green papers, which can be sourced to trees found in secondary forests or man-made forests, and not rainforests or primitive forests. It also avoids using genetically modified trees, and plants four trees every time it takes down one as an effort to protect “Earth’s lungs” and to fight against global warming and exploitation of habitats of primitive organisms. Trreeo’s green concept is thoroughly implemented in wrapping its products, as its printing also makes use of completely degradable soy ink, and its packaging is also only one piece with no plastics used. Trreeo Company found the TGA Brand Counseling Project extremely suitable for small-scale businesses or those who are not familiar with branding concepts. Through the lessons learned in every stage of counseling, the design company’s observations and analyses allow the businesses to better understand their brands and find more dynamic ideas. In addition, as long as the businesses follow the timetable set forth by the Project, they will all certainly enjoy a rewarding experience.
Products are presented in a rectangular gift box in brown color, with an image of rice grains falling one after another over the white-colored cover. The writings resemble the most genuine style of dotted calligraphy. Some of the rice grains are decorated with lines that can be found in old window grilles, but are also infused with modern streamlines. These images complement the simple and sincere fonts lending to the brand name “Chiang Hao Kang”; and the tag is labeled with the words “100% Bran Layer‧Rice Germ.” Exclusive Rice Bran Paste Rediscovers the Nutritional Values of Rice Bran This is one of the byproducts of the collaboration between Yushan Rice Milling Plant and ATSAI Brand Design, prompted by the counseling of the Council of Agriculture. Yushan Rice Milling Plant was founded by the grandfather of Liao Wei-chih, the third-generation boss, who vows to follow the ancestral preaching – “Love Taiwan, Treasure Farmers, Insist on Great Quality.” More than six decades have passed, and Yushan still preserves to this day its sophisticated and solid rice selection and milling techniques. Safe Taiwanese rice of high retail price is used all along with only one rice species and absolutely no mixing of other rice species. However, in an effort to follow trends, Liao Wei-chih and his wife, Chuang Ya-chin, also began to develop healthy food products made with rice. They found at the very beginning the nutritional values of rice bran. After rice grains are harvested and sun-dried, they are brought to the milling plant for the removal of their hulls. At this stage, they are now brown rice; then their bran layers and germs are milled out, turning into polished rice, or commonly available white rice. Historically, rice bran was not a popular ingredient due to how easily it would rot. Nevertheless, much scientific research has shown that rice bran is rich in dietary fiber, and its protein contains essential amino acids. Moreover, rice bran is low-risk in allergies and is therefore appropriate to be used in baby food. Fatty acid in rice bran oil is composed of approximately 40% oleic acid and 34% linoleic acid. All kinds of physiologically active substances make rice bran a great dietary supplementary product. However, rice bran is relatively coarse and is not easy to chew even after being soaked in water. In light of this, Liao and Chuang went through continuous trials and errors, trying to find out a way to lengthen rice bran’s shelf life. Then they began grinding the bran layers and the germs of organic rice and made them into rice bran. Mixing the rice bran simply with a certain ratio of oil, salt, and sugar, they then created “rice bran paste,” which can be spread over toast or bread or mixed with noodles. Recently, they have even developed peanut and sesame flavors for rice bran paste. Connecting with Everyday People to Establish Brand-New Positioning of Taiwan’s Beneficial Rice Bran Products Yushan Rice Milling Plant is also promoting Black Rice Tea. Using exclusive facilities imported from Japan, the skins of black rice are easily dissolved in water; the low-temperature treatment would also help to retain anthocyanidin. All of these innovative breakthroughs carry local agricultural products and traditional food culture in a close knit and bring forth the most nutritious and flavorful products. After listening to and understanding the client’s needs, and following its observations in regards to market transformation, consumption trends, and sales channels, ATSAI Brand Design decided to focus the campaign solely on the products themselves. ATSAI Brand Design has long been devoted to the fields of tea, rice, and baking, following the belief that “design has the power to create feelings.” Design is to make life satisfactory and also to create life. With the multiple appeals that design is responsible for – brand inheritance, delivery of brand personality, expanding or differentiating consumer groups, market recognition, value establishment, and more, the design end stands alongside the sales end to face the market and serves an important role in communicating with the market. Therefore, ATSAI decided to begin from rice bran itself and designed a clear and powerful brand “Chiang Hao Kang” (which literally means “paste (paste also sounds similar to ‘like this’ in Chinese) of nice and beneficial rice bran” in Chinese). As a communication medium, the benefits of rice bran echo everyday people’s language: “how nice!” In terms of product image, all the visuals center around “rice”; images of rice grains in light yellow symbolize completeness, a kind ecological cycle, and quality assurance. The message of “comprehensive retention of brown rice’s nutritional elements” is emphasized to accentuate the rice bran paste’s brand positioning: “Taiwan’s exclusive beneficial rice bran fiber diet.” Liao Wei-chih is overjoyed at the birth of this new brand. He is hoping that “Chiang Hao Kang” can connect different generations and open up all consumer groups’ imagination about rice products, so that a wave of fresh energy will help push the development of Taiwan’s rice industry. And through brand sculpting, Chiang Hao Kang is now ready to further step towards the market of luxury gift-giving.
With its deep purple color, the corn is already more mysterious and alluring compared with other products. What’s more striking and humorous is that the Black Treasure Purple Glutinous Corn stands up straight, one next to another, in cartons that one might first believe was used for bottles of drinks. This design might be related to the short shelf life and the satisfying refreshment of beer – and in fact, the packaging is printed with the slogan “A Fresh Six-Pack – Pack and Go.” Complementing the logo “Purple Happiness” next to the slogan, written in a plump font, the message of “Find Happiness” is once again reinforced. A rough hemp rope ties up a round brand tag, which shows a young man wearing a cowboy hat smiling, and allows it to drop from the handle. Creative Agriculture: Not Only a Farmer, but also a Creative Designer The young man’s name is Hu Chih-hung. After obtaining his graduate degree from the School of Architecture at Feng Chia University, Hu became a research assistant at National Cheng Kung University. Hu had also worked at a construction company and later as a real estate agent. However, after trying out all these jobs, Hu realized that all these professions could not bring him the life that he truly aspired to. In 2012, the opportunity came as his wife’s teaching job was transferred to a post back in her hometown. Hu then returned to Qingshui, Taichung with his wife to help out with her family’s farming business, a field completely unfamiliar to him. Since he was new to the area, Hu began tirelessly teaching himself new things and further consulted with experienced farmers, hoping to improve and advance his farming techniques. In 2016, he founded HITO Creative Agriculture, where “HITO” came from the meaning of “number one” in Japanese, and “Creative Agriculture” translated the message of “not only a farmer, but also a creative designer.” All along, Hu Chih-hung has been proactively advocating environmentally friendly cultivation methods. He was elected the leader of his vegetable production team and a production ambassador to South Korea. Hu hopes that he will continue exploring the infinite possibilities in agriculture and upend existing limitations and stereotypes. HITO primarily produces corn, which are grown in a farmland with fierce winds. Despite having to overcome this inclement weather, Hu Chih-hung has been optimistic about farming here because, as he has been saying, “My wife loves purple glutinous corn.” His romantic ideal has also been exactly his original belief in farming – “I am growing my agricultural products as if I am growing them for my family.” Compared with regular glutinous corn, the purple glutinous corn at HITO have corn kernels that are slightly sticky, sweet, chewy, and more filling. Because Hu understands how anthocyanidin can benefit our health, Black Treasure Purple Glutinous Corn has become HITO’s key product, promoted to all potential customers. The Observations of the Young Farmer Gave Birth to the Brand Name Over the last few years, the Council of Agriculture has been dedicated in assisting local farmers to compete in the e-commerce market, as an effort to expand new business opportunities for Taiwan’s agriculture. Ideamax Design came to visit Hu Chih-hung’s farm in relation to this counseling case and discovered the flourishing grassland on the farm. According to Hu Chih-hung, he has implemented a vegetative cultivation method that completely avoids the use of pesticide and thus the concerns of pesticide residue. For the enemy of the cornfields, Asian corn borers, Hu is using pheromones to resolve the issue; and for pests in the summer, Hu makes use of Bacillus thuringiensis. There are many ladybugs in the farm, and they will prey on the aphids to create a natural ecological balance. Ideamax Design also noticed that Hu is involved throughout the process – from harvesting to sending off orders; in conversations with Hu, he conveys a young farmer’s self-contained ease and fulfillment. “I feel really happy that I am able to do something I enjoy doing.” These observations were aligned with the characteristics of the black treasure purple glutinous corn that brought forth the “Purple Happiness” brand. By giving it the name “happiness,” it not only vitalizes the brand, but it also corresponds to the first Chinese character of “HITO” (meaning happiness in Chinese) as well as Hu’s enthusiasm and purest happiness towards looking after his land. With the “purple agricultural product” as the starting point, the innovative concept of “A Fresh Six-Pack – Pack and Go” was created. Ideamax Design and Hu Chih-hung made breakthroughs in fresh corn sales model and successfully generated new waves in corn marketing. Hu aspires to bestow a brand-new image to Taiwan’s agricultural products through the debut of his “Purple Happiness.” Moreover, he hopes that these healthy and highly nutritious products will be introduced to and better understood by more consumers.