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Kar’s Nuts with Updated Packaging

Product Snapshot: Kar’s Nuts has been providing consumers with a wide variety of snack choices dating back to 1933 when Sue Kar used her tiny home kitchen across the street from Tiger Stadium in Detroit to roast and sell peanuts to Tiger fans. Today, its award-winning Sweet ‘n Salty Mix in the little purple bag is America’s best-selling brand of trail mix.

Seeing the tremendous growth potential, New York-based private equity firm Palladium Equity Partners LLC, purchased a majority stake in the company and led the charge to help expand the brand from its Midwest Michigan roots across the East and West coasts.

With snacking trends moving toward “better-for-you,” choices, they partnered with Seattle-based brand strategy firm, Retail Voodoo, to create a two-tiered strategy. According to David Lemley, founder/chief strategist, Retail Voodoo, “Our research confirmed that two distinct audience types would be loyal to each brand with little overlap. They could effectively bookend the snack nuts category by repositioning and rebranding their namesake brand as, ‘The American Trail Mix—focused on American classics flavors, then, bring the clean ingredient functional food strategy into the ‘Second Nature’ line of products.” This empowered their internal teams to establish a thematic approach to innovation from ingredient selection, manufacturing and to influence the marketplace by bookending the category of snack nuts and trail mixes.

“What I appreciated most about working with Retail Voodoo 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,” says Scott McKinnon, vice president of sales, Kar’s Nut Company.

The brand team then began redesigning the logo and packaging. Tapping into its hometown pride, and recapturing its legacy, Retail Voodoo recommended they use the tagline: ‘Detroit Born 1938,’ on all the packaging. Further paying homage to its roots, a baseball theme was designed for the look and feel—one that evokes the earlier version of their packaging, but with contemporary cues to reflect quality and freshness.

The American Trail Mix evolves the overall portfolio from a single hit (Sweet ’N Salty) to a thematic suite of innovation with regional storytelling opportunities for penetration into new markets (East and West coasts).

The new products have started to roll out and, according to John Peters, director of Sales, Kar’s Nut Company, “The work done by the Retail Voodoo team is off the charts. Customer response has been incredible and the new look will definitely increase sales exponentially.”

Pricing ranges from 99 cents to $1.99 for single-serve tubes of nuts, $2.99 to $3.99 for 5.5 oz. 1 lb. bags, and $11 to $15.00 for multi-unit pricing (24-packs and 48-packs).

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Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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Retail Voodoo Rebrands Kar’s Nuts With Hometown Pride

Kar’s Nuts has been providing consumers with a variety of snack choices dating back to 1933 when Sue Kar used to roast and sell peanuts to Detroit Tiger fans. Today, it’s Sweet ‘n Salty Mix in the little purple bag is a best-selling brand of trail mix. Sensing more growth potential, equity firm Palladium Partners LLC purchased a majority stake in the company and led the charge to expand the brand from its Midwestern roots to the East and West coasts.

With snacking trends moving toward “better-for-you” choices, Palladium partnered with Seattle-based  brand strategy firm, Retail Voodoo, to create a two-tiered strategy. According to David Lemley, Founder/Chief Strategist, Retail Voodoo, “Our research confirmed that two distinct audience types would be loyal to each brand with little overlap. They could bookend the snack nuts category by repositioning and rebranding their namesake as ‘The American Trail Mix’ – evolving  the overall portfolio from a single hit (Sweet ’N Salty) to a thematic suite of innovation with regional storytelling opportunities for penetration into new markets – then bring the clean ingredient functional food strategy into the ‘Second Nature’ line of products.”

At the same time, rather than abandon the Kar’s legacy, Retail Voodoo embraced it by utilizing the tagline: “Detroit Born 1933,” and evoking a subtle baseball theme for the look and feel.

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Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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Rebrand By Retail Voodoo Salutes American Hops

Yakima Chief Hops is a 100% grower-owned international provider of American style hops. With a goal of global leadership and ecommerce, they turned to Seattle-based brand strategy firm Retail Voodoo to help establish a new brand strategy. The Retail Voodoo team created a new logo that represents the past, present, and future of the organization, as well as the science of hop growing.

“We wanted to celebrate their American heritage by using an earthy red and blue that set the stage for a modern, Americana theme: timeless, bold, and iconic,” says Founder/Chief Strategist David Lemley.  The new tagline reads: “American Hops from the Pacific Northwest” while interlocking rings of the new logo are connected with a stylized hop cone that mirrors the company’s core mission of connecting family farms with quality breweries. The full rollout and launch of the brand coincided with the September hops harvest.

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Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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Hops Rebrand Brings in Americana to Celebrate Company’s Heritage

Written by Anne Marie Mohan

New packaging for Yakima Chief Hops uses a new color palette and logo to represent the company’s American heritage, high-quality hops, and long-standing relationship with the Yakima nation.

The explosive popularity of craft beer is fueling the dominance of American-style hops, which are known for big, bold flavor. One hundred-percent grower-owned Yakima Chief Hops, based in Yakima, WA, is the largest international provider of American-style hops.

The company as it is now was formed in 2014 when two industry leaders, Yakima Chief Inc & Hopunion, LLC, formally merged to form Yakima Chief – Hopunion, LLC (YCH HOPS). In 2018, the company changed its name to Yakima Chief Hops, honoring more than 30 years of connecting family hop farms to the world’s finest brewers. With a goal of global leadership and e-commerce, the company turned to brand strategy firm Retail Voodoo to help establish a completely new brand strategy.

According to David Lemley, Founder/Chief Strategist, Retail Voodoo, “We worked directly with them to clarify how they talk about hops, hop farming, their mission, and their history. This led to a new positioning focused on farming and science. We then helped them build their marketing and global e-commerce programs and did a complete rebrand, including a new tone, voice, packaging, marketing, and advertising materials.”

Says Kate Ruffing, Chief Marketing Officer, Yakima Chief Hops, who led the brand transformation efforts, “We have entered a new age in the hop industry where beer-drinking consumers really care about the ingredients that make their favorite beverages. The brewers are looking to help tell the story about hops and why they choose to support family farms by purchasing the highest quality hops for their brews. We want to share that story with brewers and beer drinkers around the world.”

The Retail Voodoo team noted that other hop brands are indistinguishable: similar in color, hue, typeface, and imagery—essentially a sea of green sameness. They created a new logo for Yakima Chief Hops that represents the past, present, and future of the organization as well as the science of hop growing. “Additionally, we wanted to celebrate their American heritage and their long-standing relationship with the Yakama nation by using an earthy red and blue that set the stage for a modern, Americana theme: timeless, bold, and iconic,” says Lemley.

The new tagline reads: “American Hops from the Pacific Northwest.” The interlocking rings of the new logo are connected with a stylized hop cone and mirror the company’s core mission of connecting family farms with the world’s finest breweries by supplying the highest-quality hop products as well as the connection of two grower-owned companies.

“When we needed help differentiating our brand in an increasingly crowded marketspace, Retail Voodoo and their unique process gracefully and effectively led the organization to a compelling and exciting space,” adds Ruffing. The full rollout and launch of the new brand coincided with the September 2018 hop harvest.

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Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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Honey Product Packaging Buzzes with Vitality

Written by Anne Marie Mohan

Wedderspoon’s Manuka Honey brand is expanded with new products and a package redesign that has a bright, inviting look and feel, and is more premium, approachable, and easier to read.

In the late 19th century, researchers discovered the antibacterial qualities of honey, but today we know that not all honey is the same. That’s why Malvern, PA-based Wedderspoon, the number one-selling Manuka Honey brand in North America, needed to clearly communicate its point of difference to a global audience of wellness-minded mainstream consumers. The honey is sourced from New Zealand, where bees feed off the nectar of the Manuka flower.

Wedderspoon turned to Seattle-based brand strategy firm Retail Voodoo to rebrand and create new product lines beyond jarred honey. According to David Lemley, Founder/Chief Strategist, Retail Voodoo, “We helped Wedderspoon clearly communicate that they are the only brand to take a stand for 100-percent raw non-GMO Manuka products with superior medicinal properties and allow them to expand outside the natural channel for growth.”

This began with a new mission statement: to mainstream Manuka honey by making products to help busy modern people buzz with vitality. Retail Voodoo’s strategy work focused on expanding the audience for Wedderspoon by finding products and communication strategies that would resonate. The three new product lines include Manuka Honey Plus Shots, Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey, and six fresh skincare products for face, hands, and body.

Once the product lines were chosen, a communication toolbox and design language were chosen for rebranding existing products and applying to new ones. The bright, inviting look and feel is more premium, approachable, and easier to read with strong shelf presence playing off the brand positioning, “buzzing with vitality.”

“Retail Voodoo led our team through the process from brand positioning to final design in order to create cohesive, spectacular imagery across six categories that captures the heart of Wedderspoon,” says Rebecca Remley, CEO, Wedderspoon.

The new wordmark and typography are sophisticated, clean, and approachable for a global audience, while the symbol, a whimsical bee logo, equates Manuka with honey. Color is used to differentiate and emphasizes product characteristics, and a bee watermark and brown rules serve as the primary graphic elements used on packaging and off-pack applications.

“The rebrand strengthens their strict rating system, commitment to sustainability, and visionary approach to creating new products,” notes Lemley. “They are creating a global community of loyal followers dedicated to living with authenticity and vibrancy.”

Adds Remley, “We appreciated the methodical approach that Retail Voodoo deployed throughout our engagement, from diagnosis to the final design phase.”

The new products began rolling out this summer.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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Raw Honey Buzzing with New Look

Manuka honey brand Wedderspoon needed to communicate its point of difference to a global audience of wellness-minded consumers. The brand turned to Seattle-based brand strategy firm Retail Voodoo for a rebrand and new product lines beyond jarred honey.

The agency came up with a new mission statement: mainstream Manuka honey by making products to help busy modern people buzz with vitality. Then, Retail Voodoo focused on expanding the audience for Wedderspoon by finding products and communication strategies that would resonate. The three new product lines include Manuka Honey Plus Shots, Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey and six fresh skincare products for face, hands and body.

Once the product lines were chosen, a communication toolbox and design language were chosen for rebranding existing products and applying to new ones. The look is bright and inviting and the feel is more premium, approachable and easier to read with strong shelf presence. A bee logo and watermark adds to the design, with color used to differentiate and emphasize product characteristics.

Read on Packaging Strategies

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana