Building the Molensteen brand - Connecting with home bakers through honest packaging.

How a white label product became an exclusive top-shelf brand in one of the biggest national retail chains.

Background

Van Mook is the number one private label supplier for baking products in the Netherlands. Their family business has been acting as a mediator between international food suppliers and the most prominent national retail chains for more than 30 years. Van Mook’s management reached out to us to help them build a new brand for Molensteen, their own line of flours and baking products.

Developing a positioning strategy to set Molensteen apart in a highly competitive market. Translating the brand’s identity through visual design and packaging that would stand out in retail shelves, while at the same time showcasing what Molensteen stands for.

Story

The food industry is taking a huge turn. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what they eat. Respecting both their body and their environment and being rightfully skeptical about health claims. We sat down with the team at Van Mook to find out how they were invested in this growing awareness and to come up with a strategy on moving forward with their brand.

Understanding the audience’s need for transparency and the risk of making unfounded health claims, Molensteen decided on fully committing to being honest. Unbiased facts behind every statement, every ingredient, and every product. Instead of persuading consumers to buy their products, Molensteen’s strategy was to inform their audience and help them make a well-founded purchase decision.

Three types of home bakers

Moving forward with the commitment to honesty, we were curious about what drives home bakers to buy a specific product. Diving deeper into the minds of the audience, we made a distinction between three different approaches to home baking. People baking from scratch, they want to know exactly what they put in their creations. Mostly concerned about allergens or health issues. These people are looking for flours and essential ingredients instead of pre-mixed products.

Second, people looking to bake cakes and other sweet products. Often moms baking with their kids. Knowing that their creation isn’t going to be healthy, they do, however, look for the healthiest option available. The third approach to home baking comes from people who care more about the product than the process. People looking to quickly and easily bake something tasty. By understanding these distinctions, we felt confident to proceed with Molensteen’s positioning strategy.

Brand promise

At Molensteen, we have made it our mission to gain the trust of our audience. We are fully committed to our honesty. We make delicious products that are easy to use. Our products are fair, thoughtfully composed, and as healthy as they can be while remaining tasteful. Our packaging is one hundred percent trustworthy, and we fact-check every claim we make.

Visual identity & language

We designed Molensteen’s visual style to reflect the brand’s message and personality. We wanted to tell our story through a modern design while keeping it understandable and accessible. Focussing the attention of our audience on what matters to them, instead of distracting them with the screaming visual approach embraced by many competitors.

To honor Molensteen’s artisanal heritage, we subtly implemented the millstone pattern through the design system. Molensteen is the Dutch word for millstone.

Content direction & creation

We believe that strong brands capture the consumers’ attention by expressing their stories and values through engaging content.

We asked our team of photographers to join forces with the Molensteen product developers to capture the essence of baking in its purest form. Creating little works of mouthwatering art that compliment the finesse of our audience’s approach to baking.

Webdesign & Social playbook

We designed the UX to seamlessly integrate the authentic offline experience and brand values into an e-commerce environment. Upholding Molensteens promise to educate and inspire its audience, our design utilizes a combination of honest storytelling, social interaction, tasty recipes, and a comprehensive faq.

Our strategy to grow awareness for the Molensteen brand included a social playbook. The playbook provided inspiration and examples for tone-of-voice, interaction, and look & feel through Molensteens social channels. Satisfied with the results, Molensteen’s director of marketing asked us to stay involved in their ongoing marketing and strategy.

Packaging & visual communication

Our approach for the packaging was to stand out by being plain. No screaming marketing claims or vibrant visuals, but focussing on what matters to the Molensteen audience.

Pure transparency and honest communication that is easy to understand. We used muted pastel colors to separate the different product lines and make them easily recognizable to our target audience.

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