Eye Candy

February 17, 2016

VMSD highlights chocolate shop Jcoco for its distinct design and sophisticated take on the traditional sweets shop

The foodie revolution of the past decade has transformed our taste buds from accepting to discerning, making the search for unfamiliar, exciting flavors and presentations a contemporary pastime.

Given the nature of the merchandise, designing a chocolate shop around its labeling is not uncommon. But for jcoco (Bellevue, Wash.) – the trendy offshoot of Seattle Chocolates – a dedicated brick-and-mortar outpost wasn’t the anticipated end result.

In its inception, the brand tapped design firm MG2 (Seattle) to create its name, concept and packaging. Evoking a high-fashion feel, the sans-photo, minimalist packaging was a match for its target audience, but positioning the brand as a household name with chain grocers was a challenge.

“For grocery store customers, it was a bit of a mystery: You have these really unusual flavors with a really evocative package, but not overly descriptive,” says Peter Stocker, senior associate, MG2. “So it was a difficult thing for someone who wasn’t familiar with the brand or that particular product profile to get their head around.”

To introduce the couture chocolate line to the masses, it was essential that the brand’s image was demystified in a space of its own. To do this, MG2 created a pop-up shop for Jcoco, which would operate for seven months in three design phases, each inspired by one of its signature flavors.

The shell of the store was intended to remain constant with a neutral color palette, the brand’s logo, wall imagery and neon signage intact throughout the pop-up’s run. The shop’s façade, accenting color scheme, sampling area and floral centerpiece transformed with each phase to spotlight a particular flavor.

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