Back to the Roots Case Study: Blooming a brand

Background

Growing mushrooms on countertops and living room aquaculture. With a unique product line targeted at the green DIY consumer, Back to the Roots found itself struggling to quickly communicate product offering and messaging on shelf. As part of a truly grassroots effort, Back to the Roots had been designing their packaging using internal resources. And while they were indeed creating attractive designs, the work lacked a strong sense of branding or brand consistency.

Back to the Roots had become known as “the mushroom guys” but with the expansion into a second product line, a fish-tank aqua-ponic system, they needed to re-define themselves — and direct consumer attentions toward a consistent brand name and not a consumer-generated byproduct of a single product line.

Already firmly planted within Whole Foods Markets and other local natural food markets, Back to the Roots sought to expand product placement into broad retailer base; from Home Depot to Nordstroms and Costco.

Objective

  • Create a branding system that would unify their products across multiple retail channels
  • Assure communication of their unique products at-a-glance
  • Improve structures to best show products on shelf and address production issues

Before

Process

After a thorough assessment of their current packaging and their current target retailers, we did a structural and brand exploration across both existing product lines. A range of logo treatments, imagery style, communication and structures were executed across 4 concepts.

Solution

To address existing equities, we maintained their original craft-board boxes and a whimsical illustration style, however, bold pops of color to guide the consumer’s eye to important pieces of communication were added to the design, along with appealing imagery of their unique products in-use.

Expansion

When Double Six Design did the original re-brand in 2013, we could not have anticipated the momentum it created for Back to the Roots. After the release of the new packaging, they quickly signed merchandising agreements with Home Depot and Costco. And Whole Foods, their most enthusiastic retail partner from day one, began inquiring about their next product line extension and innovation.

The subsequent two years brought a rapid expansion of their product line, most recently with their venture into the “Ready-to-Eat” category in 2015. Moving from “Ready-to-Grow” products to “Ready-to-Eat” products marked a significant leap in product category offerings, but the decision aligned perfectly with the company’s mission to better connect people with their food.

While maintaining the established brand system, Double Six added a warmer color palette to the new product category, along with food and ingredient imagery to amplify consumer appetite appeal on shelf. The earthiness and personality of the “Ready-to-Eat” product line feels cohesive and connected with the “Ready-to-Grow” products, while different enough to establish each product line in its own category.

Results

Since 2013, Back to the Roots has achieved the following:

  • Expansion from 2 SKUs to 12 SKUs
  • 37% revenue growth
  • Distribution from 1,200 stores to 14,000 stores worldwide