Vegan Brand of the Year Design Award: The Short List is Here!

We proudly present: The short list of brands that made the finals of the 2022 Antagonist Vegan Brand of the Year Design Award. Learn more about how they made a splash this year!

Vegan Brand of the Year Design Award 2022 – Antagonist - The Shortlist

December 14, 2022

Words — Eric Mirbach

For the first time ever, Antagonist is crowning the best vegan brand design of the year. So far, we asked for your nominations, and we introduced you to our judges. And now, the verdict is in:

Here are the finalists for the first-ever Antagonist Vegan Brand of the Year Design Award. Our international panel of design professionals will pick this year’s award winner from this list.

Why we Picked Who we Picked

For brands to be considered, they needed to have done something outstanding in terms of brand design in 2022 — i.E. launched with amazing branding or went through an inspiring rebranding. But an outstanding campaign or thorough packaging update would absolutely be award-worthy for us, too.

At the end of the day, however, what mattered most:

Is the brand design antagonistic to the “old ways”, does it disrupt things that need disruption? Does it — by the means of design excellence — open new doors, penetrate new areas of societal life and bring more attention to better, sometimes healthier, but definitely radically kinder products?

In our eyes, the brands we chose have done exactly that in 2022 and we applaud them for that!

Meet the Brands

Without further ado, here’s our shortlist for the Antagonist Vegan Brand of the Year Design Award 2022.

La Vie Foods

What:
La Vie is a French food brand specializing in plant-based bacon.

The Brand
Created by Danish studio Everland, and rounded out by illustrations by Lithuanian artist and illustrator Egle Zvirblyte, the company’s colorful design decisions and cheeky tonality has helped refresh the alt-protein category.

In a recent feature, Creative Boom described the French bacon brand’s look as “edgy yet warm”, celebrating a “universal love of life”.

Recent Accomplishments:
In 2022, La Vie has been penetrating new markets, turning heads with edgy and borderline-controversial OOH and print campaigns, that played off recent political developments in the target countries and exploited inter-European stereotypes — but in a self-deprecating, humorous way that’s both endearing and smile-inducing.

Shortlisted for:
… claiming a broader visibility for vegan food in mainstream media and public spaces in France, NL and the UK by running light-hearted yet bold campaigns outside of a digital-only marketing comfort zone.

La Vie
Instagram: @laviefoods.fr
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/laviefoods
Website: laviefoods.com

Nucao

What:
Based in Germany, Nucao self-identifies as “chocolate activists”. 100% organic, vegan and fair chocolate.

The Brand:
Originally with a more restrained design that mirrored the brand’s mission for healthier chocolate with high nutritional value, the company went through a thorough rebranding in 2022.

“We hit a glas ceiling,” founder Christian Fenner told OMR October of this year. “Our taste profile was too niche, and that ended up cannibalizing our sustainability mission.” So, the company shifted focus, from low sugar content to chocolate indulgence, but sustainably.

Shortlisted for:
… a bold rebranding that mirrors a tough business pivot, made to stand out on shelf and create excitement around the now-broader product line and new, more refined and focused mission.

Naveia

What:
Naveia founders Felipe Melo & Alex Soderberg had gotten in touch with Oatly to see if they could help bring the popular oat milk brand to Brazil. When they learned that Oatly had no immediate plans to come to South America, they decided they had to do it themselves: The immediate need for healthier and more sustainable dairy alternatives in their community was just too pressing.

The Brand:
“We’re not a brand with a purpose, we’re a purpose that created a brand,” says the Naveia team about they way they approach all their communication & marketing. Created by Rio-based creative studio Hardcuore, the brand radiates positivity and utilizes the colorful playfulness of its cultural heritage.

Shortlisted for:
Supercharged by vibrant and positive brand design, this truly antagonistic brand utilizes their funds to rebuild what the local dairy industry has damaged.

How? Well, this year, Naveia kicked off work on 220h of degraded pasture in the heartland of Brazilian dairy culture, which they will be regenerating by reforesting it to produce food in an agroforestry system. The initiative will create jobs, food security, and alternative business opportunities for local farmers.

Naveia
Instagram: @naveia
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/naveia-brasil
Website: naveia.com.br

Surreal

What:
As breakfast fanatics, Surreal asks why breakfast cereal can’t be healthy and taste like it did back in the good ol’ days (or, as they put it: “the noughties, since you ask.”)

Their range of healthy cereals is high in protein, sugar free, low carb, vegan — and supposedly super tasty, but we were not able to test the goods yet (we’re open to receiving care packages, just FYI).

The Brand:
Branding agency Onwards has worked on strategy, naming, overall brand design and packaging for Surreal and unveiled the brand in 2022.

Shortlisted for:
Consistently executing their brand idea “never stop playing” — a nod towards our collective childhoods — across touch points. For creating a brand world that is “relentlessly playful”, with packaging that’s a head turner on-shelf.

We especially like the lying R in the logo: Looks like it still needs to get up in the morning (for cereal, of course).

Surreal
Instagram: @eat_surreal
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/surrealuk
Website: eatsurreal.co.uk

Dilectio

What:
Dilectio is a premium plant-based cheese brand created by a Michelin-trained chef for the Australian market.

The Brand:
Rebranded in 2022 by creative agency Boxer & Co, the company’s new packaging was created to move the product into its next phase of business growth.

Shortlisted for:
Finding the right balance between standing out on shelf, yet not becoming a foreign body in the category. It’s tricky endeavour, especially with a product as emotionally charged as cheese. The brand color, the golden leaf flourishes and artisanal typography are crafted to reflect the quality of the product, and communicate both tradition and progress.

Dilectio
Instagram: @dilectiogourmet
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/dilectio
Website: dilectio.com.au

Cravers

What:
Cravers is a hazelnut butter company “giving hazelnuts the love they deserve”. Vegan, palm oil free, no added sugar, just hazelnut goodness, harvested by a family-owned and women-led manufactury in Northern Anatolia, Turkey.

The Brand:
Berlin creative studio Paleworks built the brand identity and packaging design for Cravers — and teamed up with illustrator Tolga Akdogan to round out the contemporary typography and minimalistic branding with cute & friendly hazelnut characters.

Shortlisted for:
Showcasing that well-executed branding can turn a “commodity” like hazelnuts into a lifestyle product — and by that, promote a healthier way to indulge. Next to the quality of the actual product, it’s undoubtedly the branding that allows Cravers to be placed in some of the most stylish shops and cafés in Berlin and Los Angeles, and next to luxury fashion and coffee-table art magazines.

Cravers
Instagram: @eatcravers
Website: eatcravers.com

Who would you vote for? Have we missed anyone?

Let the judges know in the comments! 👇

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