Fruition London

We’re fascinated by communication design. By what makes people read and absorb; adore one brand over another; shop here but not there.

We bring intelligent thinking and creative flair to this world: an ability to transform any brief into a stylish and successful solution.

We’ve been doing this for over 25 years, for some of Europe’s best known high street brands. We’re fun, friendly and efficient. We are Fruition.



Pro2Pac and International Food & Drink Event 2015

At long last, the first trade show of the year with new design inspiration and innovative packaging ideas. But this event is SO very big that I could have quite happily spent two days sampling and chatting. Alas, my few hours there didn't really do it justice, but here are a few of the stands that caught my eye.

Riverford recipe box by Atlas Packaging

This kind of box design is more complex than it might look and the Atlas team have come up with a well thought through solution with some nice touches. The die is available for Atlas to use for other clients, so well worth checking out. 

Pro2Pac award winning Riverford recipe box by Atlas Packaging

Pro2Pac award winning Riverford recipe box by Atlas Packaging

And the IFE World Food Innovation 2015

Mini Nom Nom's - healthy world food for kids

Lovely product, great concept, good story, and nice design. Please note, good photography really does go a long way when selling a product. It's a way of immediately capturing the essence of what you're selling - no words necessary!

Mini Nom Nom's - winner of Best new children’s food, Best new food concept, Best new brand or business

Mini Nom Nom's - winner of Best new children’s food, Best new food concept, Best new brand or business

Which stands drew in the visitors?

Of the bigger food and drink exhibitors, it was the market style stands which really seemed to draw me and other visitors in. Just like market stalls, the desire to go and taste was irresistible.

It was really clear that it's not by chance food markets have evolved into their existing successful format with open units and products free to sample - it's all geared up for maximum customer-product-salesperson engagement. If your product is as good as your customer anticipates, hey presto, job done.

IFE is all about sampling and getting as many visitors as possible to try your product so they can then spread the word in their circles. Every person you connect with could lead to that all important customer you've been working so hard to find. As I walked round, it was the stands doing active sampling who inevitably gathered the most interest. 

My tips for successful IFE stand design:

  1. Maximise your event impact by giving your food samples to everyone and anyone who looks interested. Let them help themselves but also offer them out on trays. Why not let them take a sample home for later - as a perfect and most appreciated post event reviver. 
  2. Raise up your counters - the higher your wares, the closer your product is to their mouths, noses and eyes!  Plus, it encourages eye to eye contact with your sales team.
  3. Make sure your sales teams are happy, enthusiastic and talkative foodies. Give them the tools to help make that all important initial contact with the visitors - samples, leaflets, and more samples.
  4.  Think of what makes your existing customers delight in your product and try to make sure your stand communicates that clearly. Above all, make sure your products are the hero, not the stand design. It's all about the product winning over your next potential big customer.

My favourite stands were:

The Chef's Deli with their enticingly displayed wares and high counter top showing off their meats – a great way to encourage eye contact with the sales person.

Harvey & Brockless Fine Foods also used the high countertop to good effect and their cheerful team really pulled in visitors for sampling while I was there. 

Paxton & Whitfield had a relatively small stand area but it was a delight to see the cheese truckles [or as I like to call them 'chuckles'] stacked to make shelves – quite arresting.

Duke of Delhi chocolates caught me unsuspectingly on the last corner, at a bit of a traffic jam, and what delight it was. Fabulously exotic chocolate flavours with a crispy texture for people who like quality not quantity. Not surprisingly they are already in Fortnum's. Milk chocolate, cardamom and vanilla delhi mix bar - yum.

Ten Acre crisps and popcorn - see report from Lunch! 2014 - I'm still in love with these guys for their great tasting product, great brand and happy personality.

Watts Farm showed a beautifully lush union jack display made from fruit and veg promoting the NFUs Those juicy strawberries looked heavenly...

Lunch! 2014, Business Design Centre, London

Heading off to trade shows really does take considerable effort – clearing space in your diary, travel time and post day out catchup – but I’m pleased to say that Lunch! was well worth the trip on Wednesday. There was a good turn out and plenty of diverse exhibitors. It reminded me yet again that we really do need to keep moving forward, keep learning new things and embrace change.

Here is a summary of my discoveries:

Best in show: Ten Acres
A fabulous stand, amazingly tasty product (and I don’t usually like ‘dirty’ crisps as we call them in our family – they’re too artificial for me), an utterly charming sales team and a totally British product. Well done, you’ve converted me to the ‘dirty’ side!

Best innovation: Eller Food Packaging’s new hot food wrap
A new player in the UK and we like companies that make the effort to bring new ideas to the food scene. I could see it being used by the likes of Wild Bean Cafe.

Most commercial innovation: Tri-Star’s new hinged salad box & Tri-Pot range
Two well designed products as they stack nicely, are stable and the product looks good.

Best innovation in packaging design: Sheffield Hallam University printed embossed packaging
We saw the embossed effect last year, but this year they showcased a printed version which will enhance any premium packaging design project.

Best eco range: Packnwood
A really attractive range of eco options including a nicely designed takeaway box and a chip cone.

Most practical solution for smaller cafes and delis: Panglow’s packaging and labelling system
Now offering hot, as well as cold, grab and go packaging and labels in a nice simple style. perfect for those businesses who can’t afford custom design. Their interesting new offer this year is a reasonably priced custom print service on 1,000 hot cups.

Best chance meet up: Urban Eat
I met old friends from Oldfields who were showing interesting new options particularly the Gluten free Chicken Rice and Lentil salad – yum.

Most interesting transformation story: Heartsease Farm
25 years ago the son of a farmer studied food marketing. He rejoined the farm with a vision for evolution and transformation and their super-premium food and drink ranges were born. A good reminder that we all have to keep moving forward, learn new things and embrace change.

Room for improvement: the coffee machine retailers
Unexciting stands, all looking pretty similar with no standout presentation. Coffee making is so trendy these days, they need to start appealing to the Ozone Coffee’s of this world. Room for improvement indeed.

Great product needing a design update: Walkers shortbread
The rep on the Walkers shortbread stand very kindly let me have a few samples of their shortbread as I was nearly flaking out. What a delicious product, but I’d just love to get my hands on their marketing to freshen it up for the 21st century and make it the biscuit of choice for the hospitality industry.

Finally, best in class: Kipferl, 20 Camden Passage
If you truly want inspiration for your lunch offering, and couldn’t make it to the show, then I suggest a trip to this delightful cafe who managed to get it all just right with happy service, great food, lovely coffee, and a vanilla Kipferl and Gugelhopf as good as my mum used to make. I was a very happy customer.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Marketing Week Live 2014: review

Making social work in the business context

Thank goodness that businesses are finally catching on that social media really isn’t about just adding to the already overpowering ‘noise’ we experience in social channels. It’s slowly hitting home that the people who actively choose to communicate with us are the ones we need to focus on. It’s actually no different from face-to-face, in that people will just walk off if they aren’t interested.

The highlights of my visit were without doubt the two ‘Leadership sessions’ I attended on the Strategy & Future stage – they were hugely worthwhile, informative and inspiring.

Batiste’s social strategy

Batiste hair products kindly shared how they strategically planned their social activity so that it went out to the people genuinely interested in their products:
Customer insight > objectives > targeted strategy > engage > measurement [reach, engagement, impact on sales] > plan

They worked with BzzAgent to reach their 4,000 key advocates who then passed their views through their own networks and fed back through the software. It had a huge impact with an ROI of 3:1. Well worthwhile, I’d say!

How LEGO have been using social to propel innovation

I was very impressed with LEGO’s talk about their amazingly innovative co-creation developments with their adult user community. It proves that with the right environment truly wonderfully innovative and creative ideas can come from collaboration.

They pointed out that in this era, attention is the primary scarce resource. This is where co creation comes into its own – you have the audience and the consumer in one.

The benefits of using your user community for innovation:
1. They have knowledge
2. They have the products
3. They have capabilities, skill and experience that you don’t necessarily have in house
4. They filter the selection process themselves e.g. post your idea, get 10k votes [from registered users only] and the team will review it eg Lego jewellery.

The big plus is that the person who had the idea gets 1% of the sales – not at all bad for those passionate, creative, hobbyists out there.


BEST IN SHOW: LEGO working with user communities for co-creation was inspiring, creative AND strategically targeted. I LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!

MADE ME SMILE: Equinox’s mime artist caught my eye, engaged with me immediately and made me smile. No words necessary.

RETAIL POS: Beaver’s digital menu boards optimised for customer viewing. With a bit more of an in depth look at them in the retail environment I might just be persuaded.

BEST STAND DESIGN: Sharedit’s digital photo wall drew me in, though I’d like there to be a wider purpose than just generating more social noise.

BEST FREEBIE: research findings from Trust Pilot.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: the POPAI Customer Journey Experience – I walked on through and came out non the wiser!


Retail Week Reports: The Consumer 2014

Things change in retail, but not that quickly:
customers still mainly start their shopping journey in store.

41.5% describe their shopping behaviour as mainly in store
29% describe their shopping behaviour as mainly online

We are human though and the path to purchase is not quite so cut and dried in a world with so many options and variables.

One consistent driver is still price. No surprises in consumer behaviour there. We like to know we are paying a reasonable price – after all we work hard to earn our pay – and online is the easiest way to compare. However, for many items we instinctively need to touch as it gives us emotional satisfaction and affirms our decision to purchase.


I do like to see that those retailers offering good service and plentiful staff stand out. Almost 1 in 5 place customer service in their top two choices for the thing they value most in a store. We need to train our staff, make them knowledgeable, motivate them and encourage them to be happy to help us. Education at work is an area of communication design I’m particularly interested in, as it makes such difference to people’s everyday lives. Over our lifetime, we spend many hours working, so let’s make it enjoyable and interesting!


Our number two priority online is making it easy for customers to find what they want and complete the order. 64.6% rank it in their top five and 45% in their top two priorities. It still seems that few retailers are getting this right but those that do are seen as ‘amazing performers, head and shoulders above the rest’. High quality digital design and good technology prove to be well worth the investment.

Getting quality service both in store and online simultaneously is more of a challenge it seems. John Lewis continues to win my admiration and I am a loyal customer even after 15+ years. Why? They offer a good well designed in store experience, with quality products, happy and knowledgeable staff, outstanding customer service, and an online service to match with a choice of delivery options. The only down side, which they are starting to address with their their Kin clothing range, is a lack of quirky and more eclectic products for the more design savvy customer.

Recently, I had an outstanding multi channel experience at a small London store. I tried on some garments but they didn’t have one in my size. At the till, the assistant included, with my other purchases, the item in my correct size, which was then sent direct to my home within 24 hours, along with a free returns label. Thank you Bravissimo – a fabulous service with happy and informed staff, and a fast and efficient service. THIS is the future of retail.

The full Retail Week Report on The Consumer 2014 is available online to Retail Week subscribers.

WeFeast Summer 2013, Brick Lane

We spent a balmy summer day at WeFeast again. There was plenty of inspiration from characterful street food stands with memorable signage, display, service and food presentation ideas.

Our favourites were:

Flat Iron’s wagyu beef.
Copita’s mouthwatering combinations in their plates of anchovies, octopus, and melon and horseradish juice.
Jian Bing’s Chinese crepes with good flavour and unusual crispy won ton cracker bits layered into an eggy wrap.
Mike & Ollie’s slow-cooked lamb shoulder flatbreads were served with an intense rocket salad, a fresh green herb sauce and raw broad beans – very moreish indeed.

We Feast is held quarterly in trendy London venues and it’s best to go with a friend or two for full sharing fun – there’s always lots of tasty treats you’ll want to try!

Tent London and Super Brands London September 2013

It was good to see some new trade show ideas after the summer break to get the grey cells working again. Though the show guide was a step to far, challenging my patience – it’s a prime example of a designer wanting to showcase their own ability and sacrificing usability. Still, we don’t need to linger too long on that and here are my highlights from the show:

Lovely illustrative chalking from Lizzie Mary Cullen –

A simple eye catching stand with a touch of humour from Reiko Kaneko –

The Cold Press had a singularly interesting collection of artists on show –

Sarah Turner’s recycled lights are beautiful. Even nicer that you could see her at work –

Not only did this flock chair from Thomas & Vines make me smile, it was also amazingly comfortable –

This handmade lamp from Louise Tucker made a beautiful warm light with interesting reflections –

Laser engraving is looking much more sophisticated here on this slate panel from Daniel Heath –

I love a bit of humour in furniture –

Identity Papers made a strong impact with these interesting new wall papers –

Nice signage on the KHIB with friends stand, but time consuming to do –


Meanwhile, downstairs in the Super Design Gallery… and &

Fours Seasons in Shanghai – &

Crafts Council of Ireland


And the all important cafe



Marketing Week Live 2013

Whenever I visit a trade show (which usually takes quite a bit of effort), I tell myself that if I only learn one new thing it still makes it a worthwhile trip.

Well, I did learn a few new things at Marketing Week Live this year even though it was hugely disappointing that the Secret Marketeer wasn’t speaking again. I have a pile of brochures and leaflets yet to plough through, and I’ll report back any interesting insights later, but here are my initial findings from the day itself.

I discovered a great free standing display unit (FSDU) from Strong Vision. It’s made of a highly durable composite material with digital print. It’s been successfully trialled on the shop floor at M&S proving a lifespan of 3 years. Costing around £75 a unit on a run of 50, its fabulous value.

AVM Impact were showcasing their digital display window projection. It projects moving images up against a window which works particularly well as a moving tiered framing effect around a display or product. At the moment, I am strongly of the opinion that window displays are where moving images work best in the retail environment as they enhance the window browsing experience without interfering with my shopping experience.

Ad Tech were showcasing their motion activated, battery operated illuminated shelf strips which is an interesting concept that could work well in dark retail areas. One unit can run for an impressive 1166 minutes on 3 x AA batteries depending on the activation settings.

I always make a point of visiting the POPAI stand. I picked up a new book of theirs ‘P-O-P advertising and The Shopper’ which pulls together latest research and thinking. I also tried out their ClipCam which is used to capture the shoppers’ view of in-store. Their research is a great way of analysing exactly what people focus on as they move round the store environment. I’ll read through their report and let you know what I learn.

Our friends at Freshminds had an inviting stand, small but really creative and inspirational. However, the BPMA stand gets my best in show award because it was appropriately engaging and the charming ladies manning the stand successfully collared me to enter their wheel of fortune. I was chuffed to win some mini Smarties packs – a great pick me up at a moment when I really needed it!

My learning from this was that it doesn’t take much to make a trade show stand successful, and it’s surprising how many companies still get it wrong. Take a few great people to man the stand, give them the right tools to engage the target customer and with just a little bit of effort and some clever thinking you are well on your way…

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