Mmmm…..Rodda’s clotted: an institutional Cornish favourite used to crown a proper cream tea and unchanged for more than a century. Sold for as long as I can remember, in little creamy coloured pots, and packaging with Rodda’s name in gorgeous red. I’ve worshipped the sight of it in supermarket chiller cabinets, the golden glow has given them an irresistible aura.
So imagine my surprise, being invited to see the unveiling of the new Rodda’s branding, to see not red but blue?
I must have taken a sharp intake of breath, an involuntary gasp. My heart cried: Oh what have you done? My head wanted to embrace the new logic…Blue? It looks like Deft ware, is that a good thing?
This is, alongside the pasty, a product that it so Cornish it is part of our soul. Changing it’s face is a bit like replacing a long established character in a popular Soap with a brand new actor. We can never imagine we’ll forget the old one and can’t imagine that the new one might actually be better?
But Rodda’s felt it had to change it’s look. Outside Cornwall, folk saw Rodda’s as a cream reserved for a holiday treat on scones with jam. However, it’s a cream more versatile than that. You can add it to puds, make chocolate truffles with it or stick it in mashed potato. Chef’s like it in cooking because – almost like adding a stock cube – it hold more flavour in sauces that ordinary cream.
Rodda’s also make a premium butter, a delicious creme fraiche and produce milk. In a bid to increase their product range further, images of clotted cream on scones narrows rather than expands how folk in England and beyond view the brand.
To be honest, I like the new branding very much indeed, even tho’ others have said the blue reminds them of mould or the white leaves them feeling rather cold. Out has gone the picture postcard view of St. Michael’s Mount and the image of the cream tea. The milk maid has had a make-over bringing her up to date. I love the iconography of fat Cornish Choughs, tin min and lighthouse and the little St. Piran’s flags on the ship. Blue is fresh, and reminder of the sea, whereas the red is the colour of a low fat milk top – which, as we know, clotted cream is very full fat! And the Rodda’s name is now in Gold (can’t argue with that)
I’m sure we’ll love our new Rodda’s milkmaid and guard her with paternalistic pride.
“I’ve had some difficult briefs before,” said the designer, “but I’ve never had to design to please a whole county before!”
I can see the whole spin-off of this design on everything from tea-towels and china-ware to tins of clotted cream shortbreads and fudges. I’m expecting growth in Rodda’s giftware ranges.
On balance, I think it is a bold move but a wise one away from their traditional image. I might still produce the involuntary twitch thinking I miss the red lettering and warm creaminess of the old style, however I like the image so much better as it is instantly more memorable than a jam and cream scone.
- Devon Cream Teas – The Inadequate in Pursuit of the Inexcusable (malpoet.wordpress.com)
- The cream tea wars (bbc.co.uk)
- Is whip cream and fresh cream the same (wiki.answers.com)