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Bros Before GMOs

Injecting a bite of personality into a deliciously different brand.


Distribution at Publix
Increase sales
New regions added
at whole foods

The Ask

When they started their company, brothers Marshall and Elliott were ahead of the curve. Driven by their shared intolerance of both gluten and bland snack food, they created a gluten-free snack bar that lived up to their standards. And so The Gluten Free Bar (The GFB) was born and distinguished itself in the health food aisle as a surprisingly tasty snack. But as demand for gluten-free foods increased, so did their competition.

A decade later, their original branding started to get lost on crowded shelves. Sales began to slow and Walmart even dropped them from their stores entirely. They came to Gel to rebrand and get back on track, asking us to build a brand as remarkable as their product.

The Challenge

As we audited their existing brand we realized their name was actually a limiting factor. “The Gluten Free Bar” didn’t still resonate with a company whose product line was now 85% Bites rather than Bars.

They were also too narrowly focused on functional benefits (gluten-free, high protein, etc). Those are valuable selling points, but they would resonate more if the brand created an emotional connection with their customers. They needed to tell the story of who they are and why they do what they do.

The Solution

Our research revealed a big overlap between the values of The GFB’s core demographic and the values that have guided Marshall and Elliott in their business decisions. Beyond making great tasting healthy food, they’re also deeply committed to having a positive social and environmental impact (The GFB is a Certified B Corp and operates from a Zero Waste facility). The brothers could make a deeper connection with customers based on their shared desire to eat good and do good.

We decided to make The GFB a founder-centric brand. We renamed them “The Gluten Free Brothers” (which also allowed them to scale their product offerings) and we tapped into the brothers’ real personalities to inform the brand’s persona, messaging, and visuals.

Trusting our Gut

By leading with these two brothers and their value system, we found our emotional hook. Consumers could still feel good about what they were eating, but now they could also feel good about why they were eating it.

Aggressively Good

We brought our strategy to life with a brand identity that is eye-catching, modern, and brimming with personality. Mouthwatering macro-shots of the food maximize taste appeal and make a hero out of the snacks themselves, displaying pride in their products. Typography, color, and personality were all “big-ified” to match our bold new tone.

Talk the Walk

The visual identity is complemented by a tone-of-voice that is earnest and humorous. Clever banter between Marshall and Elliott acts as an engaging device to communicate brand benefits and values while also deepening the relationship with the customer. 

Packed with Personality

Bold colors and a modern design grab your attention. A window into the product shows customers that what you see is what you get, building trust along with clear and concise typographic callouts that assure you The GFB’s products are as good for your body as they are for your taste buds.

Salable &

Our approach of flavor-packed photos paired with vivid colors and (typographic system that feels more personal with handwritten callouts and typographic elements about health – connect emotional to rational) provided The GFB with a consistent and scalable system for creating new brand artwork, which they applied to great effect across their website and social media channels.

Not-So-Bite-Sized Sales

The GFB’s new founder-focused brand has captured the hearts and taste buds of health and world conscious snackers across the country. Walmart took them back and now offers even more of their products at more stores than before. They’ve expanded to 3 new regions of Whole Foods, achieved nearly 100% distribution at Publix, added 2 new bites to their lineup at Meijer, and are now available at convenience stores across the country such as Bloomberg Office and GetGo Cafe & Markets. Unit sales in October were up 66% compared to the previous year. It’s safe to say that our favorite snack’s new era is off to a healthy start.

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