The story: Salt of the Earth Bakery, founded by husband and wife Haskel and Alexandra Rabbani, has relaunched its artisan baked goods in a fresh new structure and design worthy of these supremely delicious treats. The bakery turned to branding partner Little Big Brands, specialists in strategic design and sustainable packaging, to lead the effort.
The challenge: “Rebranding the best cookies and brownies on the planet was no easy task,” says John Nunziato, creative director, Little Big Brands (LBB). “When you try them, you’ll understand why our inspiration was to make each box into a piece of art.”
Salt of the Earth’s owners also faced what every brand owner has to overcome: a lack of time. Though Alexandra, executive chef at Salt of the Earth, had been working on the recipes for years, the company exponentially grew overnight in the fall of 2010 after a visit to Whole Foods led to an order placed the next day. The brand soft-launched in 2011, and the Rabbanis haven’t stopped since.
“For some brand owners, especially independent brands, they are juggling a thousand different jobs,” explains Pamela Long, partner and director of Client Services, LBB. “You may only get a limited amount of time and focus on the branding component. Make the most of it to get questions answered and anticipate next steps.”
Firms working with brand owners should also be flexible. “They might be on fire one week needing a whole host of work, and then radio silence for the next month as they are figuring out other challenges,” says Long.
“If you can roll with the punches and seamlessly pick up where the job left off, you can provide the most value to clients. Piggyback work instead of working in a linear manner. There is no reason copywriting and naming can’t happen at the same as structural development. Save clients time by being a resource for other suppliers they might need, such as manufacturers and printers.”
Keeping the packaging and branding process from stalling or reversing due to challenges is hard work for all parties, to be sure, but extra effort by the agency will come as a welcome relief to swamped brand owners.
The solution: Salt of the Earth Bakery creations are unique in that each product is paired with the finest sea salts from around the world. Equally unique now is the packaging structure. Both cookies and brownies are housed in a custom kraft box that hinges similar to a jewel box, from packaging manufacturer Unimac Packaging Group. It also features a large diecut window on top where the product is visible.
“There are a couple of ways we paid homage to the brand’s heart and history,” says Long. “For the Rabbanis, and Alex in particular, these cookies and brownies are her heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears. She has worked countless hours (and baked countless batches of cookies) to develop these amazing treats. We really felt a responsibility as their branding firm to take the same care with their branding and packaging.”
The brand identity was cleaned up, given a more organic font, and depth and dimension were added to the mark. Vibrant colors contrast the kraft paper and are painted on the top and sides, with solid color peeking out from the bottom panels of the box. Typography was chosen to reflect the handcrafted nature of the product.
Each product features playful text on front of pack. Take for instance, The Wild Oat: A Very Adult Oatmeal Raisin. A luscious oatmeal cookie with voluptuous raisins, a slap of aromatic spices and a kiss of Bali Rama sea salt. Napkin optional. Or perhaps you’d prefer, The OMGCB: Holy Mother of Brownie. A sweet assault of decadent chocolate brownie with rivers of handcrafted caramel and French sea salt. Damn!
“The product names and copy that live on the boxes were developed to be as unique as the flavors themselves and add a little fun and whimsy to the brand,” says Long.
The entire package breaks category norms, just like the product itself.
“We’re thrilled to have packaging that now truly reflects the heart and soul of our brand and all the love that goes into each cookie and brownie we bake,” says Alexandra Rabbani.
The cookies come in five flavors: The Cookie, The Chocoholic, The Wild Oat, The Good & Evil and The Heavenly Oat. The brownies come in five flavors as well: The Brownie, The Kona, The Mayan, The OMGCB and The Nutty One. They are currently sold in fine food and natural food stores throughout New York and New Jersey with aggressive plans to expand throughout the East Coast.