New face for New French Bakery

by Jennifer Barnett Fox
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New French Bakery, Minneapolis, MN, has evolved from a cluster of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN-based neighborhood bakeries into a national supplier of fresh and frozen par-baked breads. During that progression, New French Bakery strived to remain consistent to the idea that bread remain as close as possible to the baker’s hand.

Peter Kelsey, owner and head baker, worked with European manufacturers to customize the company’s equipment to “perform as extensions of a baker’s hand.” Today the company produces more than 700 artisan bread and roll SKUs, including a number of organic varieties.

In an effort to share the New French Bakery artisan experience with as many consumers as possible, the company collaborated with Duffy & Partners, a Minneapolis branding and design firm, on a rebranding effort in late 2009. The team unveiled a sleek new design with bold lettering and blue and gray accents.

Package slogans were designed to get straight to the point with phrases such as, “Take Bake Yum!” and “Take Bake Slice Savor Smile.” Product development revolved around the nononsense insight that the celebration of simple, everyday things is powerful, according to Tricia Davidson, Duffy & Partners’ principal and managing partner.

“Smart companies gear up and break away from the pack during an economic downturn,” said Joe Duffy, chairman and principal of Duffy & Partners. “Strategically investing in refreshing a brand leads to increased sales and positions a company to maintain those sales into economic recovery.”

The new design targets consumers who appreciate a gourmet-quality food experience but lack the time to create products from scratch. Flavors were based upon consumer feedback from New French Bakery sales at farmers markets and from the company’s long-term Take & Bake retailers. Package sizes range from 9 to 12 oz and retail for $2 to $3.

The new packaging design is featured online at , at New French Bakery’s Minneapolis/St. Paul in-store operations, as well as on packaging and point-of-sale (POS) materials for its fresh and par-baked products sold in the US, Bahamas and Cayman Islands. The branding introduction is supported by retailer education, a POS program that provides product excitement and flexibility for consumers and products to assist with bakery inventory.

“New French Bakery delivers the highest quality breads based on age-old traditions of the craft of artisan baking, and it does so with an understanding of modern-day living,” Ms. Davidson said. “New French Bakery believes that as buyers try the concept, they will find that the public is more than ready to buy artisan bread in a package.”