The German Packaging Museum’s “Packaging of the Year” award goes to a brand icon from Eastern Germany: “Kathi Tortenmehl”. The product is presented in a design that is simultaneously modern and classic.
“Kathi” is one of the brand icons from Eastern Germany and has been in existence for 70 years. Today, the manufacturer of baking mixes in Halle (Saale) is not only a figure of regional importance and market leader in the East, but also the national number two in this segment, the German Packaging Museum informs. In appreciation of its role as a “classic” of international packaging design and at the same time as recognition “for the proven courage of self-similarity”, “Kathi Tortenmehl” has been awarded the “Packaging of the Year” 2021 prize of the German Packaging Museum on the occasion of the company’s 70th anniversary. The award was presented at the 24th Packaging Dialogue of the German Packaging Museum in Heidelberg.
The company “Kathi – Nährmittelfabrik Kurt Thiele” began in a garage in Halle (Saale). The baker Kaethe Thiele, whose initials explain the brand name “Kathi,” may be considered the inventor of the baking mix. She came from a family of bakers – her husband Kurt had founded a wholesale business for bakery supplies in 1936, the year of their marriage, and initially primarily undertook the distribution of the products she had developed. Necessity was the mother of invention: the experience of everyday life in the GDR made the founder aware of the hardships of housewives in the economy of scarcity. The ingredients needed for a cake were therefore immediately portioned to the required quantity and bundled as a baking mix. The “certainty of success” later developed into the modern concept of “convenience”.
Formative design elements
The cake flour was the first baking mix for the end consumer on the German market. In 1953, the packaging already featured formative design elements that can still be found today. Over the years, the logo “Koche und backe mit Kathi” (Cook and bake with Kathi) has become a red branded tab in the upper center of the package. In GDR times, the logo was greatly reduced in size, but today it is once again in the center of the package. The pack illustration is still dominated by the finished product of the baking mix – then as now, the various possible uses of the cake flour as a cake base or sand cake can be found on the front of the packaging. The corporate color red plays a dominant role. To this day, the brand identity of this traditional brand has evolved under very careful management, while retaining its roots in an appreciative manner. In its citation, the jury stated, “What is impressive is the consistent validity of the design language, which continues to be used without compromise.”