Stew Leonard’s Gets A Fresh New Look In Dairy

Stew Leonard’s, the beloved Northeast grocery chain and title-holder of Ripley’s Believe it or Not’s ‘Word’s Largest Dairy,’ has unveiled a fresh new look that creates a brand billboard like no other. Stew’s partnered with branding firm, Little Big Brands, to reinvent the private brand in the dairy.

In typical Stew Leonard’s form, Stew himself was in attendance to kick off the project and for the major milestones. Stew’s enthusiasm, insights, and inspiration were a key component in finding a fresh face for private brand in the dairy aisle that still embodied all that Stew’s is known for. The assignment itself focused on enhancing and strengthening the overall look and shopability of this section, without losing the personality and charm that exists.

“Stew Leonard’s stores are unique, as the majority of products are the Stew Leonard’s brand, with very few national brands throughout the store,” said Pamela Long, partner, Little Big Brands. “So it was essential for us to spend quality time in the stores themselves walking the aisles, understanding how the brand was being used across its many different categories so that we didn’t create work in the dairy aisle that designed us into a corner elsewhere. We needed to know the work could live long-term and extend in myriad ways if successful.”

The final design is a thoughtful evolution of the brand, continuing to evoke pride, heritage and the brand’s playful quirkiness. The famous ‘Boy and Cow’ illustration synonymous with Stew’s received, even more, prominence and a slight clean up on pack. A large woodcut billboard is locked up with the brand across the top of pack to clearly communicate the product type, with strong color-coding supporting this new and improved shopability. Claims and support copy were kept to a minimum which helped the overall look from feeling too rigid or contrived. The result is billboarding on steroids when you figure the hundreds of cartons of milk that line their dairy shelves.

With the dairy look being very well received, the new design and architecture quickly spread beyond milk so far has been incorporated into Stew’s yogurts, ready-to-drink beverages, and ice creams, with more products being added all the time.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.