Kar’s Nuts has been providing consumers with a variety of snack choices dating back to 1933 when Sue Kar used to roast and sell peanuts to Detroit Tiger fans. Today, it’s Sweet ‘n Salty Mix in the little purple bag is a best-selling brand of trail mix. Sensing more growth potential, equity firm Palladium Partners LLC purchased a majority stake in the company and led the charge to expand the brand from its Midwestern roots to the East and West coasts.
With snacking trends moving toward “better-for-you” choices, Palladium partnered with Seattle-based brand strategy firm, Retail Voodoo, to create a two-tiered strategy. According to David Lemley, Founder/Chief Strategist, Retail Voodoo, “Our research confirmed that two distinct audience types would be loyal to each brand with little overlap. They could bookend the snack nuts category by repositioning and rebranding their namesake as ‘The American Trail Mix’ – evolving the overall portfolio from a single hit (Sweet ’N Salty) to a thematic suite of innovation with regional storytelling opportunities for penetration into new markets – then bring the clean ingredient functional food strategy into the ‘Second Nature’ line of products.”
At the same time, rather than abandon the Kar’s legacy, Retail Voodoo embraced it by utilizing the tagline: “Detroit Born 1933,” and evoking a subtle baseball theme for the look and feel.