Shelf Awareness: 5 Questions With Nourish Snacks Founder Joy Bauer

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Joy Bauer / Nourish Snacks

It’s been three years since Joy Bauer, celebrity nutritionist on NBC’s The Today Show, launched her Nourish Snacks brand via e-commerce. About time for an overhaul, she figured.

So Bauer went back into her kitchen, hired a graphic designer, huddled with her marketing and product teams and in May revealed a more focused product line, bold new package design and Nourish’s first significant presence on US retail store shelves at Target, Wegman’s and Safeway, with Amazon now handling online sales.

Nourish Snacks refresh

“The change was in response to customers,” Bauer told brandchannel about the brand refresh. “I’m fortunate that I’m able to get instant feedback from a diverse group of people throughout the country – from our online sales, from my NBC viewer email, from my social media platforms and from readers of my Woman’s Day column. This allows me to tap into what they are loving and what they’re hoping for moving forward. I really listen!”

Bauer wants Nourish to be known not only for flavor but for its nutrient density and simple ingredients list that make it an ideal better-for-you snack. While Bauer started out with 25 SKUs and a variety of savory as well as sweet snacks, Nourish today consists only of granola bites, albeit in five flavors compared with the previous three.

Nourish Snacks by Joy Bauer new packaging design 2017

The new packaging sets Nourish apart as it debuts in-store in the crowded snacks aisles. Bauer hired a well-known graphic designer, Brian Collins, whose client list includes Nike, Google, Chobani and Facebook. He came up with a modern look that spreads out the letters of “Nourish” into circles on a patterned background, holding its own in a world of eye-catching snack brands like Mast Brothers chocolate.

The design “looks like a melding of carnival signage with a 1970s game-show TV set, heavy on the browns and oranges,” Adweek described it. “The crazy, bold diagonals on the front of the Nourish package are inspired by the colorful stripes on snacks sold at the circus – popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy,” Collins told the magazine. “All those striped containers held the promise of fun and delight.”

#FOJ activities require emergency snacks. Well, "emergency" may be dramatic, but we're snack people…

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Below, Bauer tells us about the evolution of Nourish Snacks—and what’s next.

brandchannel: Why did you believe that you needed to overhaul Nourish in any way, given the success that you were already enjoying?

Joy Bauer: The change was in response to our customers. A few things I’ve consistently heard: Our granola bites were overwhelming favorites; people wanted more chocolate; and while people like the idea of portion control bags, they wanted the option for larger bags as well.

bc: What is it important for Nourish to succeed on retail shelves and not just on e-commerce?

Bauer: We first launched as a direct-to-consumer online snack subscription service. Having recently brought on a new, experienced leadership team, we’ve moved our online sales exclusively to Amazon, and now our primary focus is on our in-store retail presence. That’s because my mission is to make smart snacking easy and accessible—to provide delicious, healthy snacks to the greatest number of people. Therefore, providing wholesome snacks in everyday retail outlets is key.

bc: As you strategized your brand’s growth, what were the strategic priorities?

Bauer: First and foremost, we wanted to present a clear, differentiated position for the brand. We took a look in the mirror, reexamined our message and revised the packaging entirely. Let’s be honest, the better-for-you snack aisle is cluttered with hundreds of snacks that all tend to look the same.

We liked our old packaging, but didn’t want to risk blending in because we have a different story to tell. Our snacks are bold, playful and super delicious. We landed on a design that’s vibrant and upbeat because we’re all about bringing the fun back to wellness.

Another huge priority is to focus on our in-store retail presence. We want to make healthy snacking accessible and delicious. In order to land a coveted spot in the grocery cart, our packages needed to scream “choose me!”

bc: How have you managed to leverage your celebrity effectively on behalf of the Nourish brand but not make the brand all about you?

Bauer: You’ll notice that my name doesn’t appear on the front of the bag—that’s because I want to keep the emphasis on the food. While I’m obviously a huge part of the brand (I’m the founder and Chief Nutrition Officer, which means I make the snacks and live and breathe the brand), I want the snacks to stand on their own. Consumers are smart. They can see through inauthentic celebrity endorsements.

bc: How do you see the potential for the Nourish brand to grow? 

Nourish: I’m already working on developing savory snacks (with no sugar at all) in a variety of flavors. I’m an R&D engine—that’s what excites me most. I’ve been having lots of fun in the kitchen and in the factory, hairnet and all.


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