San Carlo, Crisps with style

Business needs



Crisps are not a traditional part of Italy’s food repertoire, therefore distributing them internationally required enhancing how the brand could be perceived and appreciated.

San Carlo’s continued expansion into the global market had a specific business need: that of stretching, reaching new targets in a scenario largely dominated by local, well entrenched competitors. The brand identity needed a diverse strategic repositioning in order to further develop the traditional concept of “Made in Italy”, heighten its visibility and in the meantime underline its core values of proudness and confidence.

Research and analysis uncovered in the company’s home town, Milan, the perfect solution to add fresh relevance and help transcend even more the uniqueness of its Italianism. Milan is the world’s capital city for fashion and style, renowned and revered. Making the product a protagonist of this glamorous cosmos, placing it on the red carpet catwalk like a top model, emphasized by the tagline, “Milano, a bite of style”, enhances the shaping point. The essence of the project therefore clarifies San Carlo’s origin, encapsulating style and passion for food, to which is added only its date of foundation.

CBA San Carlo Before After tagliata

The challenge was purely a graphical design project that translated in a visual way the Italianism from Milan inherent to the brand. The base packaging design was already white – San Carlo was in fact the first ever to introduce an all white pack in a market place full of bright colours – to which was added a typographical mix of classic Italian engraving with a spontaneous handwritten script.

The design aims at a stylish representation of the brand. How the crisp appears on the pack, upright like a hero, the centre of attention, with each different product name deliberately left in Italian defines its aforementioned values.

The juxtaposition of the various exotic ingredients in the Più Gusto (More Taste) lines is very refined, adding to the personality. Stylistic details that make the product’s appearance much more sophisticated and appealing.

San Carlo Gruppo Alimentare S.p.A (holding company Unichips S.p.A) is the national market leader with a 60% share, 3300 employees and a €320 million turnover. Starting as a small delicatessen shop in 1936, it delivered 20kg of crisps a day. Now selling more than 1 million packs a day in over 30 countries, with 6 manufacturing plants, 170 warehouses, 1300 vans with agents and process around 100 tonnes a day.