UK based Notorious Nooch is a brand of nutritional yeast which comes in various flavours. If you haven’t yet heard of nutritional yeast and it’s sounding a bit funky, it’s a deactivated form of the raising agent which mimics the flavour of cheese (particularly parmesan) and can be found in most health food shops.
Designed by Wildish & Co, Notorious Nooch aims to make a statement in its niche market. The design studio’s co-founder Sam Fresco notes that in the UK market, there is “only one real player” in the nutritional yeast market but one that hasn’t evolved in decades.
Fresco eats a plant-based diet himself and noticed that recipes requiring nutritional yeast weren’t specific and that the products available weren’t tailored to the modern vegan’s use. Instead, he wanted to create a branding that reflected how people actually use the product.
Veganism and its accessibility has come a long way since the days of 90s lettuce salads. Notorious Nooch capitalises on this with flavours such as Smokey Bacon and ‘Immature’ Cheese. While nutritional yeast is traditionally found in health food shops and used as a vitamin supplement, more modern uses place it as an ingredient for vegan “junk food”. It was therefore important that the brand stay away from medicinal branding in order to stand out on the shelves.
Inspired by the alt-milk brand Oatly, Wildish & Co aimed for branding that is “fun, slightly nostalgic and a little bit hippie”. The team selected a “restricted core palette” that represented the two core flavours on offer – green and yellow for cheese, and red and pink for bacon. They paired this with 1950s style cartoonist designs of smiling burgers and hot dogs which also reflects the animal rights support behind many vegan diets.
The smiling iconography has also become a social media success. They stop the brand from having a serious tone and have been used to review consumer’s dishes.