The Varo brand was founded back in 2011 by Nigerian husband and
wife team Omamo and Elizabeth Binitie with a mission to “bring a taste of authentic Nigeria to the streets of Britain”. 

They’re on a mission to make Nigerian cuisine more accessible to UK consumers while promoting the eclectic cuisine of West Africa, including Jollof Rice.

Family (and friends) first helped Varo get its brand Shelf Happy® in 2014, but more recently have developed Varo’s new brand proposition- paving the way for a complete pack refresh and updated brand story for their Microwave Jollof range.

With over 1.5 million West Africans living in the UK, we knew that the product was previously popular with Nigerian diaspora. However, we wanted to convert curious consumers from other backgrounds, and for this we wanted to lean heavily into provenance.


Nigeria is world-famous for its parties, music, dancing and most importantly, fantastic food. So, we developed the big idea of ‘Instant Owambe’ to fuse all of this together, using the Yoruba slang for the vibrant and colourful celebrations commonly associated with weddings and birthdays to
stand out on shelf and attract
adventurous foodies.

The visual identity was inspired by the vibrant ‘Aso Ebi’ traditional dress of the Yoruba people at events, linking the party-in-the-mouth flavours of the rice with the festivities of Owambe via bright colours and patterns.

The refreshed design was a hit on retail and paved the way to a brand extension in the form of a jollof sauce and marinade, coming in two spice levels and giving the consumer the “Owambe” flavour in every meal.