With so many unhealthy fast food options, getting kids to eat nutritious meals can be a constant battle for parents. This makes school lunches a great opportunity to get youngsters into healthy eating habits. Let’s get to know about an amazing branding endeavor aimed at making school dining all the more close for students in the UK.
One of the leading providers of these meals in the UK is Alliance in Partnership (AIP), a school catering specialist that serves over 75,000 freshly cooked, nutritious, and locally sourced meals daily in more than 400 schools and colleges across the UK. However, despite efforts by chefs like Jamie Oliver, many kids skip school meals due to perceptions of unappealing food and long queue times, impacting their health and academic performance.
The Solution: Putting Kids in The Kitchen
To tackle this issue, the catering company Alliance in Partnership wanted to reinvent school food. They challenged the design agency Without Studio to make dining halls the heart of school communities again. The result of this collaboration is The Kitcheneers, a transformative approach to school food that encompasses naming, identity, communication, and digital channels. At the heart of it all is menu design, a key element in making school dining a focal point of school communities.
Without’s key innovation was bringing students into the kitchens and giving them control. Their research showed kids worried about “hidden ingredients” in dishes like curries. This reduced trust and willingness to try new foods.
Instead, Without encouraging a ‘brilliant basics’ approach with quality proteins and customizable sides so kids could personalize meals to their tastes and needs. This modular concept inspired the whole brand identity. Fundamentally, The Kitcheneers is about collaboration between pupils, staff, and suppliers.
Contemporary Branding and Happier Meals
The new branding brings energy into dining halls with relatable messaging focused on what motivates students, like ethical ingredients. The typography is hard to ignore so kids can easily understand options and reduce queue times. Food photography takes inspiration from favorite high street brands.
The Kitcheneers raises the bar on school meals through a student-centered approach. After a successful trial, it will expand to 50 more UK schools by 2024. An app and social media will further support students. Most importantly, by starting with kids’ perspectives, The Kitcheneers is transforming school food culture.
The visual identity of The Kitcheneers was influenced by research showing that today’s students are motivated by high street brands that make life simple and take their mission seriously. In response, The Kitcheneers adopted a confident but approachable tone that brings authority and energy into typically generic dining halls.
The visual identity features posters with messaging centered around student interests, such as the environment and ethical ingredients, presented in a contemporary and relatable way. The typography chosen is bold and attention-grabbing, making it easy for students to make menu choices ahead of time and reducing queues and congestion. Food photography is inspired by students’ favorite high street brands, and sustainable packaging is used for meals on the go, aligning with modern values.
Rolling Out Across the UK
After a successful trial, The Kitcheneers is set to be introduced in 50 schools across the United Kingdom by the end of 2024. Alongside the physical presence in schools, it will have a social media presence and an app to further support students, making the dining experience convenient and engaging.
The Kitcheneers, a groundbreaking initiative by Alliance in Partnership and Without Studio, is reshaping the way school food is perceived. By involving students in the menu design process, The Kitcheneers empowers them to make healthier, customizable food choices. With a fresh and approachable visual identity, this initiative is set to raise the bar for school dining across the UK. The future holds exciting prospects for The Kitcheneers, promising to make a real difference in the lives of students nationwide.