Over the Moon for Moon Pies

The fourth-generation, family-owned Chattanooga Bakery has been making MoonPies, since 1917.  An Appalachian coal miner told a traveling salesman 51wSWNDD7lL._SX300_from the bakery that he wanted a big snack to eat at work, a snack as big as the moon.  The bakery started selling the s’more like snack one month later.  Tory Johnston, vice president of marketing at Chattanooga Bakery said, “Our brand has always been known as the ‘working man’s lunch” (as cited in Green, 2014).

Though MoonPies are now sold at many major retailers, consumers can depend on finding them at Cracker Barrel and Walmart.  These retailers have access to MoonPie’s target market: the working class.  In addition, Johnson said that the brand has an “Americana, nostalgia appeal” (as cited in Green, 2014) which would align with Cracker Barrel’s core brand identity.

I found MoonPies at Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrel masterfully stocked and displayed the MoonPies.  They stood out and fit in at the same time.  The restaurant and store have a reputation for doing this with products it sells in its “Old Country Store”.   The merchandise is carefully selected to enhance its position as a good old fashioned country store.

The MoonPie package was updated after twenty years of the same logo. New York city-based The Goldstein Group, which specializes in rebranding of iconic American heritage bands” (“New packaging”, 2012), was hired to update the look of the packaging.  MoonPies had been packaged in a standard blue-and-yellow box and was not proprietary.  The colors had become generic as other manufacturers used similar colors to package their snacks Pare, 2012).

The firm did a “historical review of the MoonPie brand” and found that the 1930s package, the height of the MoonPie brand, had an appealing midnight blue scheme (Pare, 2012).   The new look uses deeper yellow and blue colors and features a large moon, clouds and stars in a nostalgic-looking package.

moonpie_featureA picture of a MoonPie lies resting on a fluffy cloud to highlight the texture of marshmallow.  Terri Goldstein, founder of The Goldstein Group, spoke about the MoonPie image found on the package, “Digital rendering captures the highlights and appetite appeal better than photography.  The final illustration has unbelievable taste appeal and, along with other elements of the brand’s new trade-dress, can be copyrighted” (as cited in “New packaging”, 2012).  The celestial theme, digital photography and colors set the MoonPie package apart from other more typical snacks found on retailers’ shelves.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store logo.  (n.d.).  [Online image].  Retrieved from http://www.crackerbarrel.com

Chattanooga school achieves world record with MoonPies.  (2012, September 29).  [Online image].   Retrieved from http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/19675099/chattanooga-school-achieves-world-record-with-moonpies

Green, A.  (2014, January 23).  MoonPie Moonshine expected to hit shelves next month.  Retrieved from http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2014/jan/23/moonpie-getting-into-moonshine-market/129809/

Harker, J.  (2014, January 4).  MoonPie drop, Mobile AL New Year’s Eve, 2013.  [Online video].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_UiXPhd2Bo

International Literacy Day on Facebook.  (2015, September 8).  [Online image].  Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/MoonPie

Moonpie Competition.  (2015, June 20). Annual RC- Moonpie Festival.   [Online image].  Retrieved from http://www.tnvacation.com/events/12361/

Moonpie Hiring Ad.  (2015, August 29).  #hiring.  [Online image].  Retrieved from https://twitter.com/moonpie

New packaging rockets MoonPie sales.  (2012, April 10).  Retrieved from http://www.pffc-online.com/flexpack/10224-new-packaging-rockets-moonpie-sales

Pare, M.  (2012, August 19).  Chattanooga Bakery hoping new packaging will boost sales of iconic MoonPie.  Retrieved from http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2012/aug/19/chattanooga-bakery-hoping-new-packaging/85471/

Personalize your MoonPie box.  (n.d.).  [Online image].  Retrieved from http://moonpie.com/personalize

 

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