Mauna Loa was founded in 1976 in the shadow of the mountain that is the brand’s namesake. In the 40+ years since then, Mauna Loa has grown to become the #1 brand of macadamia nut. Beloved in Hawaiʻi, given regularly in Asia, and enjoyed with nostalgia in the lower 48, Mauna Loa is one of Hawaiʻi’s most iconic brands.
Macadamia nuts offer many of the benefits that today’s health-conscious consumers are hungry for. For starters, they’re low in carbs, high in fiber, and have an outstanding ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s. What’s more, they’re vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and keto and paleo-friendly. What’s not to love, right? Still, most consumers considered them a special treat rather than an everyday snack. We were tasked with helping to change that, reimagining Mauna Loa’s branding and website to invite new consumers—and new product lines—into the brand without alienating current consumers who cherish the brand’s rich heritage.
One of their more recent product lines added to their array of offerings is dairy-free ice cream. Being the frozen desert it is, Mauna Loa faced many obstacles causing their profits to melt away due to shipping costs when carts being ordered quantities less than enough to pay off the value of shipping the produce. The challenge being how to create an intuitive experience for their non-dairy ice cream to reach success outside of stores and on the website.
Hawaiʻi is a brand of its own. For decades, it’s been a destination for active and enlightened individuals alike, seeking wellness of mind, body, and spirit. The reimagined brand, packaging, and website were designed to bring that raw “force of nature” to consumers around the world. Our work began with the articulation of a new brand voice and story—one that captured the spirit of Hawaiʻi and invited consumers to find that spirit anywhere, creating the “macadamia powered paradise” they most longed to find. The new website features vibrant illustrations of landscapes from throughout the Hawaiian Islands, which put Hawaiʻi’s natural wonder front and center and helped to invoke the “force of nature” at the heart of the brand. These, along with evolved, more natural colorways, helped to better convey the products’ simple, plant-based power. Mauna Loa’s new look and feel transferred seamlessly from salted snacks to frozen desserts with the brand’s introduction of macadamia milk-based “ice creams.” And with the dairy-free ice cream being introduced to the website, we solved Mauna Loa’s harsh ice cream shipping challenge – requiring ice to be ordered in multiples of 6 only. By developing an ice cream bundler, Mauna Loa was able to have their frozen dessert reach their consumers online through the gamified experience. Audiences were now able to create their own paradise pack by mixing and matching new and bold flavors. Whether it is a path to purchase or a voyage for macadamia insights, the evolved website embodies the personality of the brand in every moment.
Mauna Loa’s core products and new innovations has spread across the mainland United States, gaining shelf space on hundreds of new store shelves in both the natural and conventional level. Also, the rebrand was just recognized by NOSH as the Best Packaging of 2021. Upon rollout of the Mauna Loa Ice Cream bundler, they nearly sold out of all their dairy-free ice cream within the first week of the launch.
Our new branding increased sales by +20.4%. With the redesign, we aspired to win over consumers with our evocative packaging intimating the vibrant nature of Hawaiʻi, while also positing that our snacks fit into consumers’ wellness journeys. With double-digit growth like this, it looks like we succeeded.