The Client

VKL Spices Pvt. Ltd., is a legendary company with over 100 years of rich experience in the Indian Food & Beverage industry. VKL Spices is known for their expertise and knowledge of Indian food palate like no other. If a Global brand is serious of connecting with Indian taste buds, it’s most definite that they have approached VKL Spices for ‘Indianising’ their palate!

Part of the Mariwala group, VKL approached us for branding, packaging and communication design for their new line of flavored syrup brand to be called Marimbula.

The Setup
Monin is the worldwide leader in ‘Fruit based Syrups’ category, catering mainly to the HoReCa (Hotels, Restaurants, Cafe) as well as retail industry. In India though, there lies a great opportunity to offer syrups that ‘connect’ with Indian audiences’ ‘less sugar-more natural’ taste buds. For example, a Red Wine Sangria might have a different impact in India, if it’s fine tuned to suit the way wine consumers love it in this part of the world!
Pineapple went on to understand the entire setup in detail. Right from understanding HoReCa industry’s setup, requirements and the growing trends within that; interviewing some key chefs and bartenders from the industry and understanding the challenges, aspirations and functional preferences and expectations one has from a category like Syrup.
Almost everybody from the industry was enthused to learn, a syrup brand that can bring quality and consistency as that of a global leader, coupled with the edge of some Indian flavours, will be a great combination and they would certainly give it a shot.

The Pineapple Strategy
During our research, we found that flavours were seen more as a ‘functional’ commodity rather than an aspirational product that can add tremendous edge to a user’s kitchen. Since the plan anyways was to introduce this offering not just to HoReCa, but also the retail buyer, looking into the increasing consumption / user preferences of the same at the retail end, Pineapple begun ideating with an objective to give syrups it’s due place on the Bar/Chef Table, elevating it from the step-brotherly treatment that it got till now!
That said, the idea of ‘Indian flavors’, was also to be kept in mind, while talking to desi audiences that are well versed with the Global trends and preferences, expecting nothing less than the ‘best in business’! The ‘flavors’ again came as the strongest aid in catering to this paradox! Pineapple team studied the various historic origins of each and every flavor on offer! That gave us an incredible wealth of ancient stories related with every flavor.

The Design
‘Every taste has a story,
Every story has a flavor!’
Next step was how to narrate the ancient story of each flavor on the pack, which resonates with the Indian visual aesthetics and yet presented in a global format that can be appreciated by audiences worldwide.

We picked Pineapple out of a pool of 3/4 well known advertising and design agencies. Our choice was made based on the effort and quality of work done for the pitch itself. If they could make that much of an effort to bag the pitch, we were hopeful of getting a great outcome from them.
Our product: Mocktail, cocktail and coffee syrups is as such a frivolous and low engagement category for consumers. It also doesn’t justify high advertising spends. So the challenge was to be visible and stand out largely through packaging design. We also wanted to leverage our Indian heritage.

The Pineapple team created three different options which were significantly different and each could have been an option by itself. We took the most risky and challenging one for our brand Marimbula. To build the brand, the Pineapple team had to create 50++ variants for the SKUs we had. They created a great story besides very beautiful and meaningful designs for each of them. The bottles are virtually collector’s editions. They have worked with great dedication and passion. Marimbula is well on its way, with at least one of the key ingredients being contributed outstandingly by the Pineapple team. They have contributed significantly to ensuring the success of Marimbula.”

-Ajay Mariwala
Managing Director, VKL Spices


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