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Neal Brothers reinvents its brand

They made some changes to the brand to tap into the US market

summer picnic kettle chips

The Neal Brothers have come a long way from making croutons in their mother’s kitchen in 1988.

Today, the company makes a wide range of products, including mayonnaise, sauces, salsa, and, of course, chips.

But co-founder Peter Neal says it’s easy to become bored with a look when you see it every day. The solution? A redesign to freshen things up.

Last July, the brothers met with the folks at Whole Foods at their buying office in Austin Texas.  “We were given the opportunity to sell into all of the regions of Whole Foods and exclusivity with them in the U.S.,” explained Neal.

However, the brothers were told that the photos on their packaging wouldn’t resonate with American customers. Colour blocking was suggested so that the chips would stand out on shelves.

SirachupNB Chips sirachup

“We were more than happy and ready to redo the packaging, and we needed to for U.S. regulations,” said Neal.

Whole Foods also wanted a uniquely Canadian flavour. While the brothers do sell a flavour that combines Sriracha with ketchup (Srirachup), Neal said ketchup flavouring just doesn’t do well in the U.S.

In the meeting, Whole Foods suggested Montreal steak spice.

“We were in Texas, in barbecue country, and they were asking for Montreal Steak Spice,” said Neal.

When the Neals walked out of the Whole Foods offices, they got in touch with Jackman Reinvents, a Toronto-based firm that specializes in brand reinvention.

Neal also emailed friends and posted to social media asking if Montreal steak spice was popular.

“I had an incredible amount of people who wrote back saying that they loved Montreal steak spice,” he said. “Bingo! We had an iconic Canadian flavour on a kettle style chip. It certainly isn’t something done a lot in Canada or the U.S.”

They also decided to use a similar colour blocking motif on their kettle chips as they did with their line of tortilla chips.

Along with the package redesign, the company also decided to simplify the logo, removing the strands of grass above the name, and opting for a straight black motif.

“We’re getting pictures from the top Whole Food stores in New York and Chicago with big, beautiful displays, so we’re happy,” says Neal.The new packaging and flavour are being launched in September. In Canada, it will launch for CHFA East in Toronto next month.

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