David and Oliver: From country to city

David and Oliver: From country to city

Ziggurat share their story on how they redesigned these wild game sauces to appeal to a wider consumer base…


David Holliday and Oliver Shute are men on a mission: they want to bring products made from wild game to our tables. In 2011 they launched their company to do just that. Two years and two rebrands in they were not making the headway they knew they could. Was it possible to change their brand to reach not only people who already eat game but also those with a propensity to do so?


Chefs and former flatmates, David and Oliver had for many spent their spare time travelling in their van around the British countryside, sourcing wild game, and then turning it into delicious soups, stocks and pasta sauces. In 2011 they decided to turn their hobby into a business and David Oliver was launched.


They knew they were tapping into a growing food movement. More and more people are turning away from the mass-produced farm-bred meat, and towards a more traditional, sustainable version. Yet, by 2013 it was clear the business was not taking off as it should.


“We had achieved only mediocre success,” recalls David Holliday. “It’s a competitive market, and the key problem was that we were only reaching people who eat game. We were not tapping into the far larger market of people who don’t currently eat wild game but would if they knew about it.”


He continues: “We knew that Ziggurat Brands had worked with similar brands such as Higgidy Pies and Bottlegreen, so decided to talk to them. By the end of our first meeting with the team there we felt they had got our brand. By the time we had seem their initial designs we were convinced they had, and we were inspired by what they were doing.”


The first change Ziggurat made was to insert ‘and’ into the name. “David Oliver sounded too formal, too ‘Country Life’ to reach the affluent, urban experimenters we wanted to tap into,” explains Dan Kimmins, Design Director. “We needed to bring the brand back down to earth.”


Splitting the name also allowed Ziggurat to introduce the two characters, David and OIiver, who are the embodiment of the brand. The logo, now full of life, tells the story of David and Oliver, it excites the customer, portraying exactly where the ingredients have come from and going to. The countryside green dials up the British heritage along with the iconic tweed jackets and caps. The new slogan ‘Wild about Britain’ emphasises the British source, and highlights the passion of the brand. 


Ziggurat has created a brand mark which can be constantly updated with different ingredients as the offering and the seasons change. “We’ve created a brand which is flexible and will enable David and Oliver to develop this range and work across all pack formats,” says Kimmins.


Holliday is confident that this new brand will allow his company to fulfil its potential. It is set to be listed in Waitrose, Sainsburys and Ocado later this year. It is adding ready meals – duck cassoulet and venison lasagne – to the range, is expanding into export markets such as France and Belgium, and Holliday looks ahead to when it will expand its supermarket presence beyond the fresh food aisles into BBQ rubs and vinaigrette. 


It is a rebrand that has genuinely inspired the business owners. Holliday concludes: “In building our company to this point we have had to raise a large amount of money and much of it has been spent on the three rebrands. I wish we had gone to Ziggurat first time.” 


Stephanie Cornwall
Stephanie Cornwall