Built a Regional Brand into a Snacking Powerhouse

Sources: IRI, Spins, Kar Nut Company

Kar Nut Company 360° Brand Development


Ready to Expand Beyond Michigan Roots

  • Private label dominates the category.
  • Lots of regional players.
  • Little to no brand awareness despite strong sales.


Establish a brand architecture for two brands without cannibalizing each other.


  • 40% of people plan for and purchase snacks in advance.
  • Traditional snackers: crave variety, want taste and to satisfy hunger.
  • Fitness/wellness snackers: read labels, shy away from ingredients they don’t understand.
  • Consumers seek snacks that fuse new flavors and deliver new functionality.


  • Reposition Kar’s as “The American Trail Mix”.
  • Prioritize functional snacking and indulgent culinary flavors for Second Nature.
  • Establish innovation programs to drive ingredient selection and manufacturing.

Go-to-market Strategy:

Kar’s Nuts: Detroit Born 1933: The American Trail Mix
Second Nature: Instinctively Good Snacking Ought to be Second Nature


Bookended the trail mix category.

Scope of Work

  • Audits & Analysis
  • Audience Insights
  • Research & Insights
  • Trend Analysis
  • Brand Positioning
  • Visual Strategy
  • Packaging Design
  • Branded Ecosystem
  • Sales Collateral
  • Photography Guidelines
  • Brand Bible

“What I appreciated most was the interactive nature of the process. In the end we feel that we evolved as a company in our understanding of what distinguishes our brands. This creative yet disciplined approach produced results that energized the entire organization.”

– S. McKinnon, VP Sales & Marketing, Kar Nut Company

We helped Kar’s and Second Nature use brand architecture, brand positioning and product innovation to successfully bookend the trail mix category. What’s your brand’s growth challenge?

We Can Help