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The Beauty in Ingenuity

The Beauty in Ingenuity

I have long understood the power of a rebrand.

The first time I cut my own bangs, I was only three years old. While the outcome may have been a dramatically short pile of curls atop my head that led many to believe I was a bright-eyed little boy, the gravity of a conspicuous new look was revealed to me right then and there.

When Stephanie Swatkow, Director of Marketing for Nature Fresh Farms, tells me that the greenhouse supplier recently rolled out new branding to better showcase the company’s progression, I am reminded that most successful rebranding efforts do not often begin with a bored toddler and a pair of safety scissors.

In truth, most moves to refresh the public’s perception of you begin with a deep reflection of who you once were and an imaginative look at who you want to be.

Peggy Packer: Stephanie, it’s obvious that Nature Fresh Farms has experienced tremendous growth in the past few years through its continuous innovation and research. How does this strategic rebrand represent the company’s next phase of growth in the industry, and how does it better position its products at retail?

Stephanie Swatkow: Essentially, we had grown out of our previous branding and felt it no longer represented today’s Nature Fresh Farms. Nature Fresh Farms is a much bigger operation now, as our geographical presence continues to expand. In the past 18 months, we’ve added the Texas and Mexico markets, and now have a greater portfolio than when we launched 20-some years ago. It was important that the branding evolved along with us.

Before our rapid expansion, our packaging had primarily been designed to get us on the shelf. There was no real brand cohesion to how our products appeared in stores, so we knew there needed to be more intention behind it.

Produce is a very competitive and crowded market. If we wanted to stand out, we had to differentiate ourselves and have more consumer appeal. Our research concluded that our new brand-forward approach, with simple messaging and a clear view of the product, directly accomplished this.

PP: I can definitely see that. When calling out to today’s consumer, striking, recognizable packaging is worth a thousand words. Where was this new look implemented across the company’s portfolio, and how does it demonstrate the quality of the premium products it now encompasses?

SS: Our new brand is an entirely new look for Nature Fresh Farms. We’ve changed our logo and our colors to better reflect who we are. The logo features our inviting greenhouse. Our team loves how this emblem allows for a variety of expressions that represent our personality and the many facets of Nature Fresh Farms—including our produce and our growing practices—in a bold, delightful, and optimistic way.

The logo is the cornerstone of our identity, and it visualizes the pride Nature Fresh Farms has in its process. Our team wanted to ensure our visual identity was as unique as our brand, so we did a lot of work and research to make sure we were truly capturing Nature Fresh Farms’ culture
and vision.

PP: It seems like Nature Fresh Farms puts an immense amount of effort into guaranteeing the refreshed branding meets the needs of both its retail partners and consumers. How does the enticing new look capitalize on rising trends to drive produce sales?

SS: We know by now that consumer behavior changed drastically as a result of the pandemic, increasing the popularity of online shopping. This, in turn, has made packaging and brand recognition more crucial than ever, especially among fresh produce and other perishable goods.

Consumers want to trust the quality of what they buy. They want to know what to expect in terms of flavor and freshness. Shopping for a trusted brand provides a sense of security and comfort, and brand recognition is extremely important in accomplishing this. Companies often use similar tropes for branding in our categories, such as leaves, the color green, etcetera.

“Our company constantly embraces innovation. We truly do find beauty in ingenuity and are continually trying new things.”

Stephanie Swatkow, Director of Marketing, Nature Fresh Farms

Through interviews and research, our company found that many people know who Nature Fresh Farms is, but couldn’t remember what our logo looked like. Because of this, we put a heightened focus on consumer research to ensure our new branding was distinctive and memorable.

PP: And memorable it is! I know the striking new appearance has already graced packaging for Nature Fresh Farms’ core commodities, including peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Will the eye-catching logo be staking its claim in any other categories this year?

SS: Our company constantly embraces innovation. We truly do find beauty in ingenuity and are continually trying new things.

Our premium, high-flavor Hiiro tomato will hit shelves in the first half of 2022, along with a full production of strawberries. At Nature Fresh Farms, we set out with an ambitious goal from the beginning to differentiate our products through quality, consistency, and an exceptional taste experience. With this philosophy, we’re now looking to leverage this expertise to further innovate the North American greenhouse sector and drive fresh consumption of strawberries grown closer to home. We plan to market our greenhouse-grown strawberries early this spring.

Our team has also been trialing something very different: little cocktail watermelons! After reviewing market research, we found that size and waste were the key barriers consumers faced when purchasing watermelons. We wanted to grow something that was small and sustainable, anticipating that our unique size and locally grown offerings will resonate strongly with consumers. Our company is presently trialing these personal-sized melons at the retail level.

The main objective of all our trial programs is to learn how to grow more consistent and flavorful products. We put many hours into developing and trialing products that our team knows will stand out in regards to both quality and flavor, which is why we have chosen to bring these products to market. We know when we have something special to offer, and we are excited to bring more fresh, locally grown products to our community.

Stephanie and I wrap up and she shares the well-thought-out details behind the company’s latest move to boost brand visibility, I feel almost silly comparing such a pivotal play to my own personal rebrand at the ripe age of three.

This is so much more than an abrupt decision to switch up one’s image, but rather an intricate map to growth in an industry that is ever-evolving. It is a ground-shaking transformation that took root under the red roof of the Nature Fresh Farms greenhouse.