Private-label pistachio farmer breaks out of its shell with new branding

Jul 2, 2023

Touchtone Pistachio engaged Little Big Brand to create packaging and branding for its nuts.

California-based Touchstone Pistachio has been growing premium pistachios for private-label clients for more than 30 years. Recently, the nut farmer decided to branch out on its own and introduce nut products for retail shelves under its own name. To do that, they needed a consumer-facing company identity, messaging, packaging, and other elements around their brand.

To learn more about how Touchstone Pistachio and agency Little Big Brands (LBB) collaborated to launch the new packaging, branding, and identity for the nut company, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery connected with two LBB leaders:

  • Richard Palmer, executive creative director
  • Katie Lopez, senior account director

Jenni Spinner: When Touchstone first reached out to LBB, what sorts of goals and concerns did they come to the table with?

Richard Palmer: The goal was to be a strong No. 2 brand in the category led by Wonderful. The category is a sea of sameness with nearly identical brand stories resulting in white noise. There was an opportunity to be disruptive with a much more authentic and meaningful story highlighting their people-first culture.

JS: Then, how did the LBB team work to turn their goals for the Touchstone brand into a logo, packaging, messaging, and other branding components?

RP: We went through consumer evaluation, category audits & semiotics, stakeholder interviews, brand positioning, and naming to pave the way for an insightful creative exploratory. We developed the brand’s “Product of Love” positioning and brand story to celebrate the company’s positive energy and commitment and desire to do good for all. The packaging itself evokes a sense of optimism and care, with the intention of reflecting a culture that is committed to its people, community, and industry as a whole.

JS: Specifically, “The People’s Pistachio” is the tagline you and the client came up with. Please tell us about that, and how it encapsulates what Touchstone Pistachio is all about.

RP: The organization/brand cares deeply for all its employees and local communities, and is very socially minded. It was important to communicate that in an engaging way. The brand needed to feel grounded and real, the opposite of big brands following trends. Touchstone will never have a Super Bowl ad; you won’t see them at award shows, and they don’t have influencers. They are pistachios with purpose.

JS: Can you please share how the client responded with the branding you came up with?

Katie Lopez: They loved that the visuals spoke to craft and care and felt it was spot on.

JS: What about consumers—how have the new packaging and other branding aspects resonated with snackers?

KL: This just launched in retailers this month, so we are still awaiting a response but retailer buy-in has been very positive and we are certain consumers will embrace a brand that resonates with their values.

JS: What’s next for the company and brand—any news about new products, lines, markets, etc.?

KL: The immediate focus is to establish themselves as the second-largest grower-processor in 2023, along with supporting the launch of this new consumer-facing brand.

JS: Anything to add?

KL: We love the recipes they share on their website, touchstonepistachio.com/recipes. They will make anyone a pistachio believer.

from Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery

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