Introducing a healthy European dairy product to the United States

Bill Bruce9 Sep 2013 (Updated 12 Nov 2013)

A clear understanding of evolving consumer behaviour helped McLean Design and new client PS Let’s Eat introduce an unfamiliar but über healthy European dairy product called German-style quark to a highly skeptical American market.

“Our design team created a brand called Elli as the latest cool arrival to the US dairy aisle,” said Ian McLean, founder and creative director of McLean Design Inc. “Elli quark has a contemporary, Euro-chic feel, designed to appeal to consumers as a smarter, healthier dairy snack.”

Quark is a creamy, cheese-like product with yogurt-like features, a classic staple in Europe but almost entirely alien to US shoppers. The challenge was to present it as captivatingly different but not strange, European but not elite gourmet.

“Elli captures a youthful, forward-thinking aesthetic,” said McLean. “That helps it differentiate from typical dairy products, which are good for you, but not actively healthy like quark.”

The carefully crafted design claims its European heritage with a modern sensibility that expresses an enlightened awareness of healthy choices. The approachable packaging conveys that Elli quark delivers more flavor than cottage cheese and more nutrition than Greek yogurt, the new category darling.

“By boldly calling out Elli’s beneficial qualities on the front panel, we reinforce the honest, straightforward vision of the brand,” explained Jane Wight, senior designer at McLean Design. “We also provide distinct nutritional information for today’s data-driven consumers who actively seek smarter solutions.”

The McLean team created the overarching brand vision, including brand positioning, brand naming, packaging design, sales materials, web site design and content development, and consulted on other elements of the marketing plan to help establish and extend the new brand identity and voice.

“McLean Design did an amazing job,” said Preya Patel Bhakta, founder of PS Let’s Eat. “Their strategic approach helps a new product like ours differentiate on shelf while communicating a true representation of what’s inside the package. The creative team attends to the details, but always keeps the big picture in mind.”

Garnering impressive buzz at healthy food expos, in trendy magazines, and all along the manufacturing and distribution chain, Elli quark has gained entry to Whole Foods and a host of other mainstream and specialty grocery stores.

Source: McLean Design