Skip to content
106 year old Meiji, Japan, what will happen in the next century?
Japan has the largest number of time-honored brands in the world, and the good reputation they have built with their hearts is an example for modern brands to learn from. Whether it is the logo image that is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, or the design with “mystery” hidden everywhere, it is worth further discussion. Among them, Meiji Meiji, as the king of the snack industry, can’t be ignored. How does this century old brand make people see it often and keep it fresh? Now follow brand to understand and learn Meiji’s unique design!
1916-1971, the launch of household products
Meiji Meiji chocolate, milk, yogurt
Meiji, founded in 1916, is a candy company originated from sugar making – Tokyo Zhiguo Co., Ltd. The founding company soon established a business dealing in Western candy and dairy products, and then successively expanded its product portfolio to other foods. Since its establishment, Meiji Meiji has been adhering to the goal of “creating a better life for people and communities with good nutrition”.
At that time, Japanese consumers were very fond of Western-style candies with different flavors from traditional Japanese candies. At that time, only a small number of Companies in Japan made Western-style candy, but they failed to meet people’s demand for these popular products. Therefore, most stores sell imported products. Tokyo Fruit Co., Ltd. hopes to bring happiness to the public by further popularizing Western-style candy.
Western style candy made by Tokyo Fruit Co., Ltd
Began to produce caramel and biscuits at the factory in Tokyo
The birth of Meiji milk chocolate ace products
In the 1920s, chocolate gradually became popular in Japan, but at that time, no chocolate company in Japan had top-level production equipment. In this context, Tokyo Fruit Co., Ltd. imported manufacturing machinery from Germany and invited german chocolate manufacturers to provide production technical guidance. This initiative led to the introduction of Meiji milk chocolate in 1926.
This chocolate was very popular with consumers in the next few years, so Meiji brand became famous, and Meiji has become a synonym for chocolate in Japan. Meiji brand chocolate products have been popular all over Japan since then. Although the taste has not changed, the outer packaging has undergone six visual adjustments. Meiji milk chocolate is still packaged in brown and gold, which is very similar to the original product in 1926.
In addition to classic milk chocolate, the packaging design of Meiji’s main product the chocolate series is also worth mentioning. The chocolate series has simple and fashionable packaging and outstanding design sense. On the back of the packaging, there is a radar chart containing bitter, sweet, sour, fragrant and other tastes. You can choose the taste according to your preferences. Open the packaging, and the chocolate is divided into three small bags with different packages. Each chocolate has four different lines. According to Meiji, different lines can taste different cocoa tastes.
The poster design used for product publicity also reflects the aesthetic style of each era. Creative picture layout, even today, will not feel outdated.
Style changes of posters in different periods
Meiji delicious milk is determined to promote milk
After Japan stipulated in 1928 that milk must be sterilized by pasteurization, Meiji group obtained regulatory approval for the production of milk and built a pasteurization processing plant. Since then, the group has begun to produce and sell its first milk brand, Meiji milk. Since the 1940s, in order to stand out in the fierce competition, the group has explored many ways to realize the differentiation of Meiji brand and increase the attractiveness of its dairy products to consumers. These efforts promoted the birth of the new brand “Meiji delicious milk” in 2002.
Among them, Meiji milk, which is best known to the public, is this milk box with a roof like top, called gable top, designed by the famous Japanese designer Sato Zhuo. Compared with the traditional rectangular box, it is said that the tilt angle can pour out the last drop of milk in the box. The blue and white packaging mainly reflects the “original flavor” of Meiji milk. The logo font on the outer package has been carefully designed and adjusted for many times. In order to reflect the feeling of “the last drop of milk is also smooth and smooth”, a fuller rounded font has been made.
A small gap is also designed in the opposite direction of the packaging opening, so that people with visual impairment can easily distinguish the opening direction when they can’t see clearly. (source: hellopd)
The patterns on cows are the places where milk is produced: the American continent, the Japanese archipelago and Eurasia. These designs are all “little eggs” made for users to discover.
Such a careful machine design makes people smile
Meiji plain yogurt is reliable and healthy
The explosive growth of products in the market is gradually coming to an end. Japanese consumers began to pay attention to the added value of products rather than product types, and demanded that products be reliable and beneficial to human body. The opportunity for the birth of “Meiji Bulgarian yogurt” was the Osaka WorldExpo held in 1970, when Meiji employees tried authentic pure yogurt in the Bulgarian Pavilion. So in 1971, Japan’s first pure yogurt “Meiji” was launched.
This yoghurt was once known as Japan’s national yoghurt. From the original packaging to now, it has been replaced by more than 20 versions of packaging design while maintaining the brand logo and blue and white brand color.
“Choose Meiji for yogurt”, Meiji yogurt poster around 1950s
1946-1995, focusing on the nutrition industry
Dairy products, sports products
Throughout its history, Meiji group has always attached great importance to the research and development of nutritious food. In order to support the healthy growth of children, the group has been providing formula food for the market since the 1920s. In order to make greater contributions to people’s health, the group began to produce penicillin and operate pharmaceutical business in the 1940s. Since then, since the 1970s, the group has focused on the development of health food.
In 1946, Meiji group began to produce penicillin and started its pharmaceutical business
In 1961, Meiji group established a basic research center to focus on antibiotics
Dairy products provide essential nutrients
Since its early days, Meiji group has not only promoted milk as a beverage, but also used it as an additional source of nutrition for infants and people receiving medical care. Later, it developed its own production technology, which led to the launch of its own brand – soft curd Meiji formula in 1951. Up to now, Meiji group has been continuously optimizing its formula foods and committed to improving the convenience of products. For example, in 2007, Meiji dairy launched the world’s first independent small package, instant solid block formula.
Breast milk substitutes – liquid milk
Meiji milk powder was published in Meiji dairy advertising in kindergarten, a magazine published by the primary school Museum in 1956.
Nutritious food, born for sports and fitness
Meiji group, relying on its knowledge of pharmaceuticals and its expertise in food texture and flavor, continues to develop products that can help consumers stay healthy. In 1980, Meiji group launched Savas (zabas) protein supplement for athletes and sports lovers. In 1995, the group launched VAAM amino acid sports drink. Nowadays, these products are still extremely important and indispensable for the daily training of all kinds of personnel engaged in sports and fitness.
Protein brand Savas (zabas)
Amino acid sports nutrition beverage brand VAAM
From 1958 to 2012, Meiji delicacy was delivered to the world
Biscuits, ice cream
Meiji group has been committed to expanding its business worldwide since it began exporting antibiotics in 1950. Since the 1970s, Meiji group has also significantly increased the international sales of candy and dairy products, and established manufacturing businesses in various countries to directly supply products to the local market.
In 1958, the group launched the first antibiotic in Japan, Meiji kanamycin.
In 1971, after Japan lifted trade restrictions on candy and food, the group began to develop and sell products for the markets in these regions through partnerships with Asian and European candy manufacturers. At present, hello panda biscuits are sold in more than 40 countries, which proves the success of this strategy.
“Mushroom mountain” (きこのの mountain) is a chocolate biscuit snack sold by Meiji company since 1975. The combination of chocolate and biscuits is designed into the shape of mushrooms for packaging and production. Four years later, they launched a chocolate cookie snack called “bamboo shoot village” (たけのこののののののののののののののののののののののの.
Since the launch of the two snacks, a never-ending battle in the snack industry in Japan has also begun. The Japanese spontaneously formed “mushroom pie” and “bamboo shoot pie”, arguing endlessly about which of these two snacks is better. They even gave scientific data to debate, such as the chocolate content of mushrooms and bamboo shoots, the proportion of salty and sweet, and so on.
Therefore, a large-scale popularity contest was held in 2018, with Japanese star Matsumoto run as the chairman of the general election committee. After more than 180 days and nights of voting, the bamboo shoot sect finally won, and their story of “love and kill” came to an end.
Meiji essel Super Cup, launched in 1994, has entered the market with parity, strong milk flavor and 200ml large capacity as its selling points, and broke the price common sense of 100 yen and only a small cup of ice cream at that time.
In order to allow consumers to taste the delicious ice cream “without leaking a drop”, designer Keita Suzuki has made great efforts in spoon design. When eating, people naturally use the irregular side to dig the edge, and the color of the spoon is changed from general transparent color to gold, and the material is changed from wood to plastic, which increases the brand texture.
Design concept: even disposable products should pay attention to user experience
Since 1998, create new health value
Health food and medicine
In recent years, Meiji group has been increasing efforts to invest in the research and development of more nutritious food and more effective drugs, and strive to directly meet these health needs. In 2021, Meiji group put forward a new slogan – “create and enjoy a new concept of health”, which reflects the commitment of the group’s employees to bring health and well-being to more people around the world through innovative products.
Km biomedicine has established a system that can produce influenza new strain vaccine for 57million people
Launch the hypertension treatment drug “Meiji amlodipine” (amlodipine)
Launch of antidepressant reflex
Launch influenza HA vaccine KMB
Provide healthy food and solve bad habits
As the life expectancy of the population in developed countries has increased significantly, more and more consumers choose healthier eating habits. Meiji group focuses on developing and selling health-oriented products by extracting health value from lactic acid bacteria and cocoa. For example, in 1998, Meiji group launched the “good chocolate habit” that pursues the health value of cocoa polyphenols.
In 2000, Meiji baileyou LG21 was launched, which uses lactic acid bacteria LG21 that can play a role in the stomach. In 2009, Meiji baileyou R-1 was launched, widening the texture of the bottle cap and making it easier to unscrew.
Meiji Meiji’s design really achieved what the designer Sato Zhuo said: “design is not to make earth shattering events, but to make improvement suggestions for a specific problem in real life.”
Original title: what makes Meiji, which has been operating for 106 years, a time-honored brand in Japan?
Author: Ma Junlin; Source: brandd’s curiosity (id:brandmag), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);