MAKING A UNIQUE, HEALTHY KIDS’ SNACK SHINE ON THE SHELVES
Eriko, a mother of three from the beautiful island of Hawaii, set out to make an on-the-go, organic, vegan ‘jello’ for kids, inspired by her own mother’s plant-based take on a popular and healthy Japanese gelatin dessert that is not well-known in the US. She sourced a small co-packer and launched Zellee Organic in California in 2016. After some trial and error, Eriko realized the original branding could not command the premium price point equivalent to the high-quality ingredients and taste experience. She brought her unique organic Zellee concept to BeyondBrands, challenging us to develop packaging that would read ‘louder’ and more disruptive on shelves and that would clearly define the value proposition of the brand.
BeyondBrands needed to execute a complete revamp of the packaging design, beginning with a brand architecture process to fully determine who the consumer is and where the brand should live on shelves and in the digital world. We wanted to create packaging as disruptive and unique as the brand and founder herself. In addition to packaging, Eriko needed to source a new domestic co-packer who could provide a consistent product for a lower price. Previous sales managers and broker groups left Eriko and her co-founder with no clear strategy to ensure a healthy and successful brand. That’s where BeyondBrands stepped in.
BeyondBrands begins each project by building the strategy, including defining our audience and positioning vis à vis competition, and determining the brand’s unique value proposition and personality. These elements come together as the Brand Essence, a blueprint for building the brand’s identity and marketing communications approach. We needed to highlight Zellee’s convenience and broad usage possibilities, while underscoring that it offers the plant-based, healthier version of alternative jello products.
After developing the Brand Essence, the creative team set out to design playful, unique packaging and collateral with a contemporary, yet timeless feel. We aimed to make Zellee’s design unlike any other brand on the shelf and clearly define the value for the customer, both young and old, so that it would be: “Trusted by parents. Craved by kids…and parents.”
SOLUTIONS & TACTICS: MAKING THE MARKETING GEL
Our first tactics to address branding issues involved successfully completing the brand strategy and packaging design. After that, we needed to pull together a strong, reputable cast of sales members who understood the product and aligned with our goals to turn around the brand experience and position Zellee for expansion. We spent eight months developing the new sales management team, which involved sourcing, training and managing a best-in-broker team in multiple regions. BeyondBrands on-boarded the Zellee merchandising and demo teams in key regions, significantly expanding brand presence and driving sales.
IMPACT & ROI
After the revamped packaging was put into place and the new sales network and broker team established, the work paid off immediately in terms of praise and increased presence from the media, and positive feedback from customers, buyers and industry experts in response to the new packaging. We achieved lower COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) with stabilized operations, which also reduced voids and provided the ability to be competitive with pricing on shelves, and drive volume deals.
The brand leveraged BeyondBrands’ relationships, combining them with the work of the broker team executing the sales strategy we developed. As a result, Zellee was approved in Whole Foods (SoPac), Sprouts, Thrive Market, and key independent accounts in multiple regions, more than doubling the number of doors and significantly increasing sales. These efforts opened additional distribution warehouses with UNFI & KeHe on a national level and introduced new channels.