The spices, seasonings, extracts and condiments produced by Richmond-based global food manufacturer Sauer Brands Inc. has a new look.

But while the bottles and packages have been updated with a different design — including a new logo, larger lettering and green bottle caps — the company says its products have not changed.

“It’s more shopable and fresher and appealing to a broader audience. Consumer feedback shows that a younger audience finds it appealing,” Sauer Brands spokeswoman Erin Hatcher said. “But it is the same great quality and sourcing and flavor that we are known for. None of that is changing.”

The rebrand includes all 175 products that the company makes. New labels on spice jars with green bottle caps are starting to appear in grocery stores now. The new look for seasoning mixes and packets will roll out in early 2020.

The company’s Duke’s Mayonnaise brand is not getting a makeover.

The rebrand design was handled by Richmond-based advertising and marketing agency Elevation, which began working on the project about two year ago to improve Sauer’s shelf appeal in grocery stores. Elevation was hired before Charlotte, N.C.-based private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners acquired C.F. Sauer’s food business in August.

The idea and vision behind the rebrand was to “breathe some new life into the brand,” said Frank Gilliam, a principal and creative director at Elevation.

“It is very competitive in the spice category,” Gilliam said. “The product level name [on the store shelf] was relatively small, so when you are walking the aisle of the grocery store and making a decision quickly, you need to see what you are looking for as soon as you can.”

For instance, the typography of the Sauer name on the bottles and packaging is bigger and bolder.

The previous label and packaging design forced the company logo and product information within a box. “Everything had to be so small to all fit within that box,” he said.

The lid color also changed to green, giving the Sauer spices and extracts a unique color scheme, he said. It had been red.

“We did a lot of research on the other brands and wanted to create a cap color that was unique to Sauer,” Gilliam said. “When you look at the spice aisle at grocery stores, the lid is the majority of the real estate as every cap color is what is associated with a brand.”

McCormick, a dominant player in the spice and seasoning business, uses bright red on its bottle caps and packaging.

“We wanted to be unique on the shelf,” Gilliam said about changing the color. “Sauer didn’t want to be confused with one of those competitors.”

Hatcher, the Sauer spokeswoman, said the packaging is a lot cleaner and more readable on the shelf, which had been a “pain point” before the rebrand.

The green cap color helps the product stand out on crowded store shelves and the larger lettering makes it easier for shoppers to quickly find the items, she said.

“It is bolder and fresher and brighter,” she said. “We did a lot of consumer research and got a lot of positive feedback so we’re excited about it.”

The labels on the bottles and packaging also have custom photography showing some of the ingredients and ways the product can be used in making food.

“We added some appetite appeal images, so on the package or on the vanilla extract box we were able to bring in more flavor cues with appetite appeal imaginary to elevate the look of the product,” Gilliam said.

The company, which began by making vanilla extract in Shockoe Bottom in 1887, has changed its look many times over the years. The last major rebrand took place in 2007.

About 70% of the nearly 90 spice jars are shipping now with the new labeling on them, Hatcher said.

From the Archives: C.F. Sauer Co. through the years

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