Sparked 5x Growth in 18 Months

Sahale Snacks 360° Brand Strategy

The State of the Brand

After hiring a series of award-winning design firms to iterate multiple packaging designs, the Sahale Snacks brand team were still challenged by slow velocity at shelf. The brand offered fruit-and-nut blends with culinary flavor profiles, snacks ideal for mountain climbing and other outdoor pursuits, but lack of clarity was dragging sales dramatically. 

The brand had been discontinued by one major retailer and was losing traction elsewhere; their remaining outlet, a club chain, was getting, shall we say, very impatient.

How We Helped

Our 360° Brand Development quickly identified a couple of problems: First, while the packaging was beautiful, it didn’t “read” well on shelf. Second, our shopper data showed that consumers just didn’t get the product. Sahale Snacks was sold in bulk cans, and the culinary flavors (like balsamic and Thai) didn’t fit consumers’ expectation for a typical trail mix. Is this something you’d serve in a crystal bowl at a cocktail party or a snack for a day hike? Finally, in addition to a brand name that’s unfamiliar and hard to pronounce (it’s a mountain in Washington state), the product naming convention was too esoteric.

We first helped them SKU rationalize down to 8 products, named in plain English with appetite appeal. We changed their positioning to promise a “Beyond Ordinary” snacking experience and updated the packaging with super close-up photography to accentuate the products’ flavor and freshness. A new line of single-serve, portion-controlled pouches created trial; once consumers tasted the product, they were instant fans and repeat buyers. 

The big-box retail partner, instead of being a pressure point in the new brand strategy, became our biggest external advocate for the change. We engaged the retail team and helped accelerate the brand’s relationship in a positive way.

The Results

In the first 12 months after implementing our strategic guidance, Sahale Snacks went from $12M to $48M in sales — their first-ever profitable year. Sahale expanded beyond the club store channel to reach other grocery retailers and convenience stores and became the best-selling brand of snack nuts in North America. In 2014, Smucker’s bought the company for big dollars.

  • Unleashed our 360° Brand Strategy Development, Audit & Analysis, Audience Insights, Research & Insights, Brand Positioning, Visual Strategy.

  • Took the brand from a big-box chain to grocery and convenience retailers everywhere and dominated the snack nuts category.

  • Sparked the brand’s first-ever profitable year.

  • Grew sales from $12M to $48M in Year 1.

“Retail Voodoo helped us see our category in ways we could never imagine. The results speak for themselves.”

– Erika Cottrell, VP of Marketing, Sahale Snacks

We helped Sahale Snacks disrupt the snack nuts category. What’s your brand’s growth challenge?

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