Case Study

H.K. Anderson

Challenge

One of the oldest pretzel bakeries in the country wanted to relaunch as a more energized and relevant brand, including introducing its first branded product in its 120 year history.

H.K. Anderson Pretzel’s new line of better-for-you snacks, its first branded product after 120+ years of private label manufacturing, was coming to market. The company needed assistance in developing a new brand identity, including the positioning, tone, and personality of the four flavors of HK Anderson all-natural pretzels. Due to their limited distribution plan, they wanted to focus aggressively on building an online presence.

Solution

We positioned HK as a healthful snack through a trade-in campaign and sports team partnerships, and brought the brand to life with a mascot known online and off.

Recognizing the increased demand for healthy snacks, the team developed a platform called “Trade Up to Healthier Snacking” and invited families to trade in their chips for a better snack alternative: all-natural pretzels. To add credibility to the message, the team formed a partnership with Pop Warner Little Scholars, encouraging youth football and cheer students to stay active and involved in their local communities.

Given the crowded snack market, the team knew it needed something else to cut through the clutter: a mascot. On April 26, 2011—National Pretzel Day—“H.K.” was born, a seven-foot tall pretzel man boasting his own blog, Twitter handle and Facebook page and the star of a series of viral webisodes. HK, supported by his entourage, began to travel the country, sampling pretzels at events in Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Results

The brand-new, limited distribution product enjoyed tremendous sampling and online reach, ultimately leading to acquisition by a major consumer goods company.

H.K.’s brand recognition skyrocketed as a result of these efforts, both online and in local markets, despite limited distribution. Based in part on the timeliness of the launch in the rapidly expanding healthy snack market, the positive consumer reaction and creative campaign execution, H.K. was acquired by a major consumer packaged goods company and has since expanded into the national retail channel.