Ocado has abandoned its no-frills approach to own-label packaging in favour of bold designs with colourful swirls.

Design agency Jkr was brought in to overhaul the packaging, which since the first own-label products were launched in 2010 has featured little or no illustration.

Working to a brief that emphasised the need to build brand affinity and make people happy to see the packaging in their kitchens, Jkr produced an array of colourful designs based around the Ocado swirl.

“The original designs weren’t great or inspiring, whereas the new ones are really lovely and exciting visually,” said Stephen Bell, creative director at Coley Porter Bell, the design agency behind Morrisons’ own-label overhaul.

Ocado said that as an online retailer it was less constrained design-wise and could focus more on the brand than a bricks ‘n’ mortar supermarket, which would normally use food images to whet appetites and signpost.

Designs could be simpler and bolder online, agreed Bell. “I haven’t seen anything so abstract in own label before - supermarkets have to convey food cues more overtly,” he said.

Ocado set out to build an own-label range of 1,000 products that would fill the gaps in the Waitrose budget offer. However, progress in building the range was slowed last year by the need to build capacity at its Hatfield warehouse and today there are still only 450 products.

The new branding will be used in other Ocado branding material.