I Want (Russian) Candy (Wrappers)

Thanks to once-a-year visits from Sergey Safonov, I’ve become a member of the Ozersky Souvenir chocolate covered nut sweets fan club. The candies taste great, but that’s not enough. (After all, I live in Ghirardelli territory.) Where Ozersky shines is in its character design: adorable anthropomorphic fruit and nut packaging.

Because I just climbed out of the Internet rabbit hole, I can now tell you that the wrappers for these delicious sweets (as well as the entire Ozersky Souvenir corporate identity including a new original font and logo) were designed by Artemy Lebedev back in 2008. Lebedev answered a familiar problem with a solid design solution:

Ozersky Souvenir confectionery produces a great variety of chocolate-glazed fruit and nut sweets sold in individual wrappers. Other companies also do that (pphhh, unoriginal followers). Customers may not see any difference between treats with similar names and boxes. So, to make Ozersky Souvenir sweets stand out from the rest, we turned them into real live characters. We gave them cute faces and original Russian-sounding names.

Smart move. The nutheads are charming and memorable.

Lebedev’s nutters don’t just have names; they also have personalities:

There are male and female sweets, and each of them is named after a fruit or berry with a Russian patronymic added to it. All characters have unique personalities—Peach Alexandrovitch is a fun person and Raisin Vasilyevitch is thoughtful; Pear Borisovna is a caring mother and Strawberry Nikolayevna is a woman of fashion.

My favorites so far are Hazelnut Petrovich who “is sure to fill [children] with energy and give them mental strength. As for adults, hazelnut is a mere stockpot of vitamin E, which saves youth and beauty” and Almond Ivanovich, “the Russian King of Sweets whose delicate taste will be fancied and memorized by both children and adults”. Although, in all fairness, I’ve yet to become acquainted with the “handsome foreigner, Kumkwat Karlovich”.

If that sounds awesome to you (congratulations, you have a pulse), and you also happen to be an Orthodox Jew, check this out: In late 2011, Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz, OU Senior Rabbinic Coordinator worked with Ozersky Souvenir to set up its OU certification, which means that Peach Alexandrovitch, Pear Borisovna and the whole gang are totally kosher!

The best way to get an official bag of Ozersky Souvenir sweets is to invite Sergey over to your home. In a pinch, you can buy bags online here.

Russian candy wrappers

Astute readers may recall that Sergey last visited in November, and know that the likelihood of the Ozersky Souvenir sweets lasting the winter in my house is absolute zero. I owe Present and Correct a “thank you” for kickstarting today’s distraction of awesome old Russian candy wrappers. Click through for fifteen of my favorite designs.