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  • Client:
    Punk Rawk Labs
  • Type:
    Branding & Packaging
  • Deliverables:
    Brand Strategy


When it came to taste, vegan cheese had a reputation for being inferior to its delicious dairy-based counterparts. And category conventions -- like bland packaging and medicinal names -- were only furthering this perception.

We needed to overcome the uncertainty around the taste of our plant-based cheese and entice the flexitarian and food curious to discover that vegan cheese didn’t have to be a compromise. It could taste just as delicious as their favorite block of cheddar.


We knew our target was interested in plant-based proteins and sustainable foods but they felt like eating vegan cheese meant they had to sacrifice taste. They also believed choosing it made them appear to be a bit fussy.

But our big ah-ha was that they had never given thought to the inclusiveness of vegan cheese. And when introduced to this idea, they were actually excited about eating a food that could be shared (and devoured) by anyone.

01 | Positioning

We realized we had the opportunity to leverage the inclusiveness of our vegan cheese and invite everyone to the table to connect, to unwind and to celebrate with our deliciousness.

02 | Naming:

We landed on the exotic name Kotatsu, which translates to table in Japanese. This reflected the essence of our positioning -- everyone is welcome at our table -- and it was a tribute to our founder’s Japanese heritage.

03 | Packaging:

The vegan cheese category was filled almost exclusively with white, medicinally-branded products. We wanted to take a fresh, different approach. We combined a distinctively bright color palette with a bold illustration of a cheese plate. This reflected our “open table” positioning and helped increased appetite appeal -- all while popping at the shelf.