Croatia in a Box is a new cultural tourism brand acting as ambassador for the local cultural heritage as well as for top authentic fine food products from small producers launched just recently in the form of a product line and an online shop…
The core product is a contemporarily designed gift box whose visual identity in the context of Mediterranean colours communicates some of the key symbols of the Croatian heritage – interlacing, Glagolitic script, Pag lace, the Sinj Alka, gingerbread hearts, Šibenik caps, ornaments from the rural areas, fishing nets and meanders. Still, it’s not all about the box. The emphasis is really on the substance, for which the creators of Croatia in a Box – Anatolij Lazinica and Sanja Milardović Lazinica – have assumed the responsibility.
As well as the name of the product, they have also created the short list of the highest quality fine food products of small producers, presenting a synergy of Croatian food production culture from all the regions in 13 thematically devised packages available in the Internet shop www.croatiainabox.com.
This promotes the finest local fine food offer of small producers who do not themselves have the resources or the export distribution channels. The platform Croatia in a Box will incrementally enhance their international recognisability and potential for growth. The local public will get access to highly acceptable gifts for business associates, friends and family.
Credits for the contemporary representation of the identity of this Croatian product through the branding of the Croatia in a Box gift box is Izvorka Jurić, award-winning designer in the area of visual communication and product identity. The attractive design of the gift box lifts it outside just packaging and means it can later be used for decorative purposes in interiors as well as for storing little objects.
How did Croatia in a Box come about?
Croatia in a Box is the venture of economists Anatolij Lazinica and Sanja Milardovic Lazinica. It is rooted in their family traditions of food production. Sanja’s family have been making Pag cheese for several generations, while Anatolij comes from a line of olive growers from Skradin. Food production and the related cultures of the table and giving are innate to their personal identities. Croatia in a Box is first of all a passion, and then a business enterprise.
Anatolij Lazinica, director of Croatia in a Box, outlined the reasons for launching this brand and the features that make it one of a kind on the market. “We thought up the brand Croatia in a Box because of the need to take the next step in the promotion of local, authentic products by small makers, who do not go in for it because they lack the resources – in both time and finances. In short, any elements for upgrading the business are absent. On the other hand, existing shops for fine food products work only at the level of the local shop, the souvenir shop, and don’t get into the strategic approach in branding, and a number of their products are not based on a high quality selection. This means that are the point of sale the products are not appropriately presented, and so the tourist cannot discern their significance or quality level.
We’ve also noticed that on the local marketplace there is no selection, no ongoing promotion of quality. But right at the heart of the Croatia in a Box selection there is quality. Our task is to build up our credibility with products that we’ve chosen because we think they can stand shoulder to shoulder with their competition on the international market. Our selection is fluid, in time it will be built up.”
“Selection criteria are top quality and ecological production. At the moment not all the products have got eco-certificates, but they are in the pipeline. Some producers have got very fine products, but don’t produce on the necessary scale; we’ve been forced to select those who have somewhat bigger production capacities, in view of our export orientation.
As well as savouries, sweet things and alcoholic beverages, we have also chosen use objects that go together with some particular product. For example, the wooden beaker called Zvig designed by Ema Gerovac is in the box Zivjeli or Cheers and accompanies plum brandy”, pointed out Sanja Milardović Lazinica, brand manager of Croatia in a Box.
Thematic boxes – Croatia in a Box
The selection of products is currently split up over 13 themes and boxes of various sizes whose names have been dreamed up by copywriter Igor Poturić: A Square Meal I and II, Dream of Istria, Island Hopping, Her Majesty – Olive, Pressed to Impress, The Flower of Salt, Grandma Knows Jam, How Sweet, A Delightful Dessert, Zhee-Vyeh-Lee, Spirit of Rakija and the own brand product, a beach towel in a box A Towel With a View. The attractive design of the gift box makes it a natural not only for packaging but also for use in decorative purposes and for the storage of smaller objects.
How did Croatia in a Box come about?
“We were developing the brand for about a year and a half. Although we know the domestic food production market pretty well, we had to explore all the products and the capacities of their makers. Once again, we realised that a good number of producers don’t have the right kind of packaging, and so we set off to develop a single packaging design that would present their quality and Croatian origin in a uniform manner.
At the beginning I thought that I would be able to design the packaging, but this was a total fallacy. Then we looked at design students, but it turned out that they didn’t have enough experience for a good result, and so we turned to the best professionals in the area. And so we arrived at Izvorka Jurić, who has got an outstanding track record in packaging design in Croatia.” – Anatolij Lazinica, director of Croatian in a Box, explained the very beginnings of development of the brand.
How was the actual box of Croatia in a Box designed and the branding devised?
Izvorka Jurić, creative director of the product and designer, presented a view of the communication of the Croatian heritage different from the usual, expressed through the visual communication of Croatia in a Box. “This gift box, Croatia in a Box, shows Croatia in a different, fresh way, and makes an interesting, valuable and high quality gift. The basic idea is based on the communication of the Croatian heritage that differs from the usual manner, in the attempt to avoid the corporate and very often cold tricoloured national identity and establish the kind of identity that represents the traditional values and the cultural heritage of Croatia in a modern and emotional manner.
For this reason the identity has the objective of drawing the attention and standing out among the classic premium offer in this segment, to convey the emotion (the experience of Croatia) and present Croatia as a place rich in colours, flavours, savours and pleasures (the Mediterranean, Slavonia, the richness of the crops, sun, sea, sky, a rich cultural heritage…).
(photos/Maja DanicaPečanić /Domagoj Kunić)