words by Julia Marsh, images by Akansha Kukreja & Mitchell Johnson
How do you feel about condiments? Ketchup, mustard, mayo – how important are they to you?
The MFAD class of 2019 wasn’t sure what to expect as we entered Carbone Smolan agency for a special talk with non-GMO condiment master Scott Norton. For our course entitled “Theory to Reality,” Ken Carbone invited the co-founder of Sir Kensington’s condiments to speak with us about his experience bringing ideas to life.
As a cart of fries and samples of various Kensington’s condiments circled the table, Norton launched into a talk about business and integrity that was nothing short of inspirational. His profound interest both in design and in our class gained our total attention.
A large portion of Norton’s ideologies center around the reasons we love food so much. Eating is a peacetime activity. It is a time to connect and develop a relationship with nature. His business model asks why so many of our foods are pumped full of chemicals. If we care where our hamburger meat comes from, why don’t we also care which ingredients go into the ketchup?
According to Norton, Sir Kensington’s is founded on the principles of integrity and charm. The integrity derives directly from their mission; to deliver quality foods made with pure and real ingredients. The charm arises in the more design-y element of the company – their mascot, Sir Kensington, whose developed personality includes humorous and verbose vernacular.
Humor helps people to trust Sir Kensington’s commitment to quality. Norton claims that humor creates trust because it conveys that someone is non-threatening. In this same vein, Norton shared some of his more unconventional marketing practices, including a French Fry Museum (because, of course, french fries are the ultimate companion to condiments). The space included scientific diagrams of the french fries of New York, curly fries and garlic fries preserved in glass bell jars, and other delightful fry related antiquities. This kind of methodology has won Sir Kensington’s a good amount of success, including Unilever’s recent adoption of the company.
Norton finished the talk with words from his grandmother; “Don’t be a go-getter. Be a go-giver.” We couldn’t agree more.