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UCC Coffee

Creatively re-launch Grand Café coffee to improve engagement with current and new customers.

Brand Background

You may not have heard of Grand Café coffee but the chances are you will have tasted it! As our most popular coffee brand; there are over 10,000 customers using it in the UK.  This market leading ethical food service brand is credible coffee at its best and the ideal brand for the ethically aware business. Grand Café promotes the social and economic benefits of certified coffee whilst providing a feel good factor and peace of mind to the customers who buy it.

These coffees can't stop showing off when it comes to credentials - each of the four variants in the range are fully certified, showing that we’re doing our bit to sustain the lives and lands of the farmers who grow our coffee. The certifications are Rainforest Alliance, Soil Association and Fairtrade - all unique concepts that support communities and projects in different countries around the world. Not to mention that the coffee is great — freshly roasted beans, expertly blended and each with its own distinctive taste. 

Our Audience

We don’t sell directly to consumers; and our core current customers are non-branded coffee shops, cafés, pubs, quick service restaurants and contract caterers but that isn’t to say they are the only target for the brand. The nature of Grand Café means it ticks a lot of the boxes for companies to fulfil their corporate responsibility requirements. More and more businesses are becoming aware of the impact of their buying choices and looking for an offering that promotes sustainability in the industry.

Creative Challenge 

The Grand Café brand performs well amongst its current customers but we’re the first to admit the design doesn’t bring the brand to life as expressively as it could do. We want to make it an iconic visual brand — and that’s where you come in!

Your challenge is to visually re-think and revitalise the brand, creating designs that will not only communicate what great coffee Grand Café is, but also the good that it does.

We want to move Grand Café coffee from being hidden in a cupboard underneath the counter to having pride of place on display in our customer’s outlets!

We're keen to understand the thinking behind your work; and how you feel your proposed designs, relate back to our brand DNA. We have included some notes on it in the Project Pack that supports the brief, and so please do provide a short written summary to support your visualisations.

Creative Considerations

No aspect of the brand, product range or communication channels are off limits. It’s up to you to choose the formats and applications that you wish to demonstrate your re-launch within. For example — you might choose to focus just on the identity and its application to packaging or you may wish to take it further and show how it comes to life in campaign elements; digital contexts or an animation that tells the story.

Consider the product family and how each member might creatively relate to each other. You might want to consider renaming the products or introducing a new blend. Think about innovation in sustainable products and how this could support the direction we want Grand Café to go.

We want to strengthen our messaging around certifications, and focus on the impact they have — so you are also welcome to think about point of sale and show us how your design thinking might come to life in such contexts. That might be great design ideas for a uniform, posters, table talkers, information booklets or something different that no other coffee shop has tried before. Consider what will empower the staff serving our coffee to communicate the stories around the certifications.

Things to bear in mind:

The certification logos cannot be changed and would need to be displayed on any packaging design.

Current Product Range

In the supporting Project Pack at the YCN website you’ll find product imagery relating to each of the variants below, as well as the relevant certification logos.

Grand Café Rainforest 

Tasting notes: Chocolately, sweet, with a hint of its slow roast, gives this blend real character. Bright and balanced with citrus hints and a clean and balanced aftertaste.

The source: Colombia, Honduras, Brazil

Logo: RFA

Grand Café Fairtrade 

Tasting notes: Deep, intense coffee with a full body and lasting taste.

The source: Colombia, Vietnam, Peru

Logo: FT

Grand Café Triple Certified 

Tasting notes: Rich, balanced coffee with red fruit top notes and a sweet creamy finish.

The source: Peru, Guatemala, Sumatra

Logos: RFA, Fairtrade, SA

Grand Café Fairtrade Decaf 

Tasting notes: A clean mouth feel with a hint of sweet watermelon. All the flavour but without the caffeine.

The source: Peru

Logo: FT

Deliverables & Additional Information

Websites for further reading:

Rainforest Alliance 

Soil Association


For guidance on how to submit your work, please adhere to the main Deliverables information which can be found at the YCN website.

Any additional information referenced in the brief can be found in the supporting Project Pack at the YCN website.