Discussion about the current rise of brands featuring Taiwan style design sense by the Michelin-standard hand-shaken-style drink evoking common people memory

▲Hunny Tea and Chef André Chiang of “RAW” cross collaborate in a new-concept drink that purely embodies the Taiwan style from the inside out.

In recent years, it could be said that “Taiwan style” has become the hottest key word in the design world. “I am proud of being a Taiwanese” has long replaced “the grass is always greener on the other side” and become the trendiest aesthetics.

In 2018, designer Godkidlla stepped onto the stage to receive the Golden Melody Award for Best Design with a pair of blue-and-white slippers. His unruliness, his strong grass-root dress-up and works all seem to be announcing to the entire island: Taiwan style civilian culture is the latest trend. Compared to the minimalist style of the designer Aaron Nieh, who rose to prominence a few years earlier, we can also see an interesting shift of aesthetic taste in Taiwanese people.

▲The album design made by Godkidlla for the up-and-coming band “Sorry Youth” uses the vigorous lines making you think of traditional prints to show Taiwan’s mountain and sea sceneries. It has won multiple major awards, including the Golden Melody Award for Best Album Design and Golden Pin Design Award.

The appeal of this Taiwan style trend is not just about “vulgar but powerful”. When a design evokes the warm common people memory or the nostalgia for traditional things, making us realize “how wonderful the familiar and unremarkable things are”, therein lies a great power.

Design is not merely art – it’s also a part of the product. When Taiwan style designs are being incorporated into daily products and food and people have a certain trust in the products that are “Made in Taiwan”, the “Taiwan products” market with the combination of local quality, local culture and local design has potential that cannot be ignored. It is also the focus that many brands shape themselves now.

Hand-shaken drinks upgraded from grocery-store drinks

The drink to be launched at the end of September is a typical case. The hand-shaken drink brand “HUNNY TEA” invited sought-after Michelin Chef André Chiang for a cross collaboration to reinterpret three common local drinks using French cuisine techniques. The premium packaging and the eco-friendly reusable PET bottles aim to gain whole new experience for everyone in the similar hand-shaken drink market.     

Chef André Chiang’s French restaurant “RAW” is known as the hardest-to-book restaurant in Taiwan. This restaurant, with the title of 2 Michelin stars, uses French cooking techniques to reinterpret local Taiwanese food. This is the first time the successful and popular Chef André Chiang crossover to tea drink, making people newly expect the familiar hand-shaken drinks in lives. This can be called the best presentation of the “Taiwan quality”.

“I have chosen 3 best-selling classic drinks from the 1960s to 1980s in Taiwan. As soon as Taiwanese people sip them, they will think of classic memory from growing up.” From the clues given on the official video, we can find that the drinks are Yakult, guava juice and asparagus juice. These drinks are the memory of childhood – that can be bought with just a couple of coins at any roadside grocery stores. Also, Guava juice is often seen in Taiwanese weddings.

The package for the three drinks is inspired by the colors and outlines. The greenish and reddish florescent colors are eye-catching but not tacky, which are wonderful presentation of the “Taiwan style design sense”. The reusable PET bottles quality is not only great but it is also environmentally friendly.

▲The clear and identifiable colors and outlines of three classic drinks are axiomatic of the origin of Taiwanese memory.

“Hunny Tea’s” founder used to work in advertisement and is meticulous about brand design. The brand is known for high-quality local food, such as the milk part in all drinks. It uses Xiuguluan Milk, the so called the best milk in Taiwan, from JJ Farm in Hualien. The “super mango pomelo sago” launched in this June is an upgrade of a familiar traditional drink. The collaboration with Chef André Chiang has effectively reinforced the brand’s image and enhanced media exposure. The idea of “Use local food to create a premium Taiwan taste” has thus left a deep impression on people’s mind.

“Taiwan style” is in vogue that cannot be ignored. To make people feel a brand has a caring bond with local lands, to promote self-identity and to bring back and sublimate collective memories are believed to be lessons many brands are working on. In an age of globalization, finding our own unique voice is the key to being seen by the world.

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