Blue Goose is a Canadian organic & natural food company that specializes in high quality beef, chicken and fish. Originally founded as a cattle company in a remote region of Western Canada, the company had recently expanded into new protein categories in anticipation of a national roll-out. Blue Goose sought to overhaul the fledgling brand so as to improve its low (and sometimes, zero) awareness. As it was shifting from a niche brand to a leading mass-market player, Blue Goose needed to strike the right chord with consumers.
Believability was at an all-time low.
In the organic & natural food category, established food brands were jumping on consumers’ increased interest in eating clean, muddying the category with buzzwords and misleading imagery in an attempt to tout healthy aspects of their products. Transparency is at the center of everything the brand does, as it was the main reason the company was established in the first place. We had to define an evocative brand purpose and create a compelling brand identity & system that would not only leap off the shelf, generating consumer interest, but also prove to skeptical Canadians that Blue Goose is the real deal, and build trust in the brand.
Make the truth visibly undeniable.
Blue Goose needed to assuage doubts around the category and assure them that their quality products did deliver the benefits promised. We uncovered the insight that social responsibility and environmental benefits from organic and natural foods are “nice to haves” to consumers – what really spoke to them are those relating to personal health. Blue Goose could differentiate by connecting its products’ properties with tangible personal health benefits, and do so in a highly visible way.
Let the animals do the talking.
We needed to show that Blue Goose had nothing to hide – whether it was about the top-notch treatment of its animals, or the land that they lived on. A simple, uncomplicated design solution was chosen, one that would overtly tell the brand’s commitment to humane treatment of its animals and tie it to the notion of healthy, quality products. This approach meant breaking the category convention of brandishing generic “farm” imagery, and required the team to make a long trip out to the farm to witness first-hand and honestly depict the environment.
To embed this story into all aspects of the design, at every consumer touch point, hand-drawn illustrations of the cows, chickens, and fish serve as the focal point for the packaging. The animals themselves are the canvases for rich and true representations of their natural environment and the conditions they grow in.
From a broader packaging perspective, blue as the brand colour was chosen as it separates the brand from competing marques (as it’s a colour not traditionally associated with food) and enhances the colouring (and perceived quality) of the meat at the point of purchase.
Since its launch in April 2013, the number of stores carrying Blue Goose products has skyrocketed from 23 in Western Canada to 849 nationwide, with the brand securing buy-in from two of Canada’s largest supermarket chains. Thanks to its arresting identity and packaging, Blue Goose has succeeded in imparting its compelling story to unfamiliar shoppers, stolen incremental retail space, and effectively silenced its competitors on grocery store shelves.