Bone broth pioneers level-up with new branding, packaging that will elevate category overall

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Bonafide Provisions
Source: Bonafide Provisions

Related tags Bone broth Bone

As the nascent bone-broth category comes into its own, early pioneers in the space are rebranding with professionally polished packaging that communicates their products’ benefits and points of differentiation to better take advantage of the segment’s rapid growth.

One of those companies is Real Bone Broth, which was founded in 2011 and launched its organic frozen Pasture Raised Chicken and Grass Fed Beef bone broth last year. It relaunched last month as Bonafide Provisions – a name the founders thought better told their story and would help them stand out on increasingly crowded shelves.

Another player is the Bare Bones Broth Company, which was founded in 2013 and offers refrigerated beef and chicken bone broth in new pouches that have a spout for easy sipping and pouring.

What’s in a name: Bonafide Provision’s encoded message

Real Bone Broth’s wild success in the last year is in part because its straightforward name clearly identified its product, founder Sharon Brown acknowledged. However, she said, she wanted to rebrand the company so that it would be less generic-sounding and less restrictive for what the company could one day become.

She explained Bonafide Provision clearly communicates “who we are as people and as a food company,”​ in that bonafide means real or genuine, and provision mean food for the journey.

“The new name tells our story as parents who took a real food approach” ​to helping their son overcome chronic sinus infections and earaches as a young child by feeding him nutrient-dense, healthy foods, including the slowly simmered bone broth that the company now sells in the freezer section of Whole Foods and other retailers nationwide.

Brown was so impressed with how effectively a real food approach to dieting changed her son’s life, she became a clinical nutritionist and certified GAPS practitioner to help others manage their health through diet. This eventually led her to convince her chef husband to develop a traditional bone broth that she could sell to her clients and to the masses through her company. Her niece also helped develop the recipe and build the business.

Bonafide Provisions does not take any short cuts in preparing the broth, Brown said by way of explaining the meaning of bonafide in the name. The company lets it simmer for 24-48 hours so that the minerals and gelatin are fully extracted from the bones into the broth to create a product that can be sipped as an alternative to coffee or tea, used in soups, smoothies, sauces or in place of water in rice and pasta dishes to add nutrients, she explained. The range of uses and benefits from the broth inspired the addition of provisions to the company name, she added.

The new branding also will allow the young company to move into other categories, something it could not easily do with bone broth in its name before, Brown said. She teased that the company will take advantage of this wiggle room later this year when it launches new products.

New packaging elevates brand and category

Bonafide Provisions’ also launched its bone broth in new packaging that highlights the products’ nutritional qualities, including the USDA certified organic seal, call-outs that the product is paleo friendly and GAPS diet approved.

The front panel is dominated by a large window in the shape of a cow or chicken to help consumers quickly identify the type of bone broth and allow them to see the broth, which offers 12-14 grams of protein per serving, amino acids including proline and glycine, gelatin and other minerals.

The back panel “tells a short story of who we are and how we started,”​ emphasizing Brown’s approach to health through diet and all the ways that bone broth can be used – a frequently asked question that clients and consumers have, Brown said.

Rebranding always carries some risk that loyal consumers will not recognize the product, and their sales could be lost. To avoid this Bonafide Provisions included a call-out on the new bags that the broth was “from your friends at Real Bone Broth and even though we changed our name our mission has not changed,” ​said Brown.

Bare Bones Broth Co. opts for refrigerated packs for convenience

Like Bonafide Provisions’ broth, Bare Bones Broth Co. also packs its product in pouches, but unlike its competitor, it opted to go in the refrigerator sector for convenience, which meant finding a package that would protect the broth without the use of preservatives.

“We are really excited about our new packaging, which is proprietary and gives our bone broth a six to eight day refrigerated shelf life, which has never been done before and which other manufacturers said we would never be able to do,” ​said company co-founder Katherine Harvey. 

She explained that the pouches are shipped to retailers frozen so they can thaw them immediately before stocking to give the product a longer sales window and consumers more time to enjoy the broth.

By creating a refrigerated pouch with a window, consumers can see and feel how gelatinous the broth is before they buy it, which tells them it is packed with collagen to help combat inflammation, boost immunity, strengthen bones, improve hair and skin and soothe digestive issues, Harvey explained.

She also boasted that the new pouch comes with a spout – another unique feature in the category that could help give the company a leg up.  

An overnight success story

Both Bonafide Provisions and Bare Bones Broth Co. have experienced explosive growth in the past year, mirroring the overall category’s ascent.

Brown explained that when her company showcased at Natural Products Expo West in 2015 “we didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t have a booth, just a tasting table in the Organic tent, but we still had a line around our booth of people who were interested in our product and our distribution. But we didn’t even know what distribution was,”​ Brown laughed.

“Since then a lot has changed,”​ she said, noting that her company went from “quietly selling a couple thousand units a month online on our ecommerce site”​ to now being nationally distributed at Whole Foods and soon at Sprouts and HEB stores.

“It was an overnight success story,”​ and one that she thinks will continue as more consumers learn about and understand the benefits of bone broth, she said.

Bare Bones Broth Co. has experienced similar growth, going from online only sales, which allowed it to better communicate with consumers to perfect its product, branding and packaging, to soon being featured in refrigerator sections of natural grocers in the West Coast and Northeast, said Harvey, who expects the brand to be available nationally soon. 

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