The history of Rõngu Mahl dates back to 1986 when the company started producing juice concentrates and jams. By improving the production processes and technologies over the years, the company was eventually able to omit the use of preservatives. The confidence was boosted with the identification of hand-picked wild strawberries as a unique raw product and by 2012 it was clear that the domestic market was too small. The conclusion was that a purposeful expansion to foreign markets was in order, instead of merely tipping a toe. Germany was identified as the first main target.
As a brand name, Rõngu Mahl was too difficult for foreign markets and did not reflect the actual value offer. It also did not provide any information on the properties and benefits of the main product – juice concentrate. The extensive branding process culminated with the identification of the value core, formulated as “the taste of pure nature”. This was followed by a name search, with constant fluctuation between Estonian and English versions. These included Karo, Laanehüva, Mehka, Mekk, Mõts and Noos on one side and Savage, Wildeast and Seewald on the other, to name but a few. The eventual winner was the Estonian name ‘Küllus’ that has just the right amount of exotic character and accuracy of meaning.
Developing a visual identity proved to be a real challenge for the creative team, because the small area on the package was to become the main representation of the brand. The ideal image had to be striking and attractive, as well as organic and natural, capable of enchanting consumers. The winner that emerged from a cloud of numerous ideas was a fantastic tree of abundance, heavy with different fruits. It overshadowed the other ideas, such as abundant baskets or mountains of berries. The new image was an ideal match for the name, being functional and playful at the same time. Everybody involved in the process thought that it was a perfect hit.
The domestic rebirth of Küllus and entry into foreign markets was a good example of Estonian tenacity. The market and product portfolio growth has happened quietly, without extensive media coverage – but the reach is expanding and the success story continues.