Transplanting an ancient tradition to the youngest nation on earth


Designworks, in partnership with JWT, developed the name, branding and packaging concept for Zealong, premium quality Oolong tea grown near Hamilton, New Zealand - the first Oolong tea to be grown outside of China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Oolong is a luxurious ceremonial tea prized in Chinese culture for its purity. When on a trip to New Zealand more than ten years ago, the Taiwanese owner of Zealong saw that the Waikato region had perfect growing conditions for Oolong. He realised that Oolong from New Zealand could command premium prices in Asia because it was grown in a cleaner, greener environment.

A decade on, with a large quantity of Oolong ready for export to China, the company desired a unique name that would work in both New Zealand and Asian markets. It also needed a luxury brand identity and packaging design that reflected the growing environment and would appeal to a new, younger generation of cash-rich Asian consumers for whom gifting and drinking Oolong forms an important cultural role.

The name Zealong is an obvious fusion of New Zealand and Oolong, The strong diagonal and horizontal lines of the Z in Zealong became the brand's shorthand and inspired the cool packaging concept: a gift-like box that opens on the diagonal.

The Z concept carries through to tins held inside the box and the wider collateral where black on black (New Zealand's national colour) patterns strengthen the luxury cue, with hints of bright fresh green representing the product's contemporary attitude and pure green source.

Deliverables: naming, brand expression and packaging design.