Bistro Express is a range of ambient ready meals (they stay store cupboard fresh for over 12 months without the need for refrigeration). Surely, they can’t taste good! I hear you cry…well, you’d be surprised, because they do.

Manufactured using patented technology, the whole range is good to go from cupboard to plate for a whole year whilst retaining its rather surprisingly great taste. But taste wasn’t the main benefit Mike Connolly of Enterprise Brands wanted to communicate on the new packaging designs we produced for him. The main benefit is the fact that the meals are ready when you are. Speed and convenience at any time of the day or night was the key driver for the range and suited an audience that is not ‘usual consumers of quick ready-meals’.

The consumer of this range is more likely to find themselves in no hurry, as they will be held either on His Majesty’s service in custody, or in a government immigration centre waiting to be processed through the system.  These institutions are obliged to supply a nutritious meal to people in their care, and often cooking or canteen facilities are limited, closed, or could even be non-existent (as is the case in a police custody van awaiting trial, or the middle of the night in a police cell).

With benefits steeped in being ready to eat hot or cold, ready and still fresh for up to a year, and ready to heat on a hob or microwave any time of the day or night, we developed the range name ‘Good to Go – morning, noon and night’.

There is a question around whether people who have no choices in what they are served to eat require packaging that communicates such benefits at all. However, Mike’s team saw the opportunity of cross selling the range into new sectors, and possibly into mainstream supermarkets too, as consumer demands for great tasting nutritious quick to prepare food is growing, as is our appetite to reduce waste through throwing away food that has passed its sell by date.

With a clear and distinctive message rooted in the benefits of convenience, the products now sell themselves to potential buyers in large government corporations who are looking to improve the health and well-being of the people in their care. A good meal can be beneficial to mental health and help ease challenging behaviours by making someone feel better.