Vancouver, BC (March 10, 2020) – Founded in 1997, Level Ground Trading of Victoria, BC is dedicated to trading fairly and directly with small-scale producers in developing countries, and to market their products in North America, offering their customers ethical choices. Level Ground have been partnering with Subplot Design Inc. since 2010 when Subplot completed a re-brand and packaging re-design for all Level Ground’s coffee and other products. 


A brand new coffee packaging lineup rolls out today across Canada and the U.S.


The company has steadily grown a local, national and international loyal following for their range of coffees, as well as their other product lines of tea, spices, dried fruits and cane sugar. However, as the company and brand evolved and grew, Level Ground began to compete with more sophisticated brands farther afield, and needed to check back in with consumers to ensure they were connecting in a meaningful and relevant way.


Consumer focus groups confirmed that Level Ground’s positioning and mission was right: to celebrate the actual farmers and producers with whom Level Ground maintains direct, personal and business relationships. Level Ground’s own coined term, “We shake the hand that farms the land”, was the key.


“We learned a lot from talking to our consumers and people who have grown to be brand lovers over the last 10 years”, says Level Ground founding partner, Laurie Klassen. “We learned that our packaging was working and resonated with consumers but there were several areas that we could refine and tweak to make it more relevant.” 


A major insight from the focus groups was that consumers buy based on taste and flavour and not necessarily country of origin.


“We have had an amazingly close partnership with Level Ground over the last 10 years, says Roy White, Subplot Design Inc. Founder and Creative Director. “This was a case where they didn’t need ‘repositioning’ per se, but a sharpening of focus and strong messaging already there.”


The design solution retains the key equity elements such as the growers profile picture, the kraft colour and the flavour specific colours familiar to all consumers. However, flavours are now named based on taste and flavour profile. The kraft has been retained but dialled down in favour of a more prominent flavour colour while the typography has been stripped down to key communications and updated with a more modern contemporary font and a more simple, direct, approach.


“We always trust Subplot when working on product redesign or development. Roy and his team bring a deep knowledge of the packaging industry, and challenge our assumptions on the way things should be. In all cases, the resulting product design is high calibre and beyond our satisfaction”, adds Level Ground founding partner, Laurie Klassen.


Level Ground Trading’s coffees can be found at leading Canadian retailers such as IGA, Choices Market, Costco, Thrifty Foods and Fairway Markets, as well as independent grocery stores and cafés across Canada and the U.S. 


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