Pearls Olives
D E S I G N
Tesser Inc., San Francisco, California
M A R K E T
United States
before
Black Pearls Olives had been on the
market since 1992 and were a hit with
consumers. So when the manufacturer
Musco Olive Products Inc. acquired its
largest competitor, adding lines of
green and specialty olives, they
wanted to build a new packaging
architecture to accommodate all the
new varieties while reinforcing the
well-known Pearls brand. Research
showed that consumers recognized
the yellow color and bursting olives on
the old label design. Additionally, the
name “Black Pearls” was widely recog-
nized and liked. Tesser concluded that
an effective redesign would feature
these key elements prominently—
while improving on the rest.
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after
The label redesign presented an opportunity
to rebrand the parent company itself.
Research proved that customers knew the
Black Pearls name, but had no awareness of
Musco Olive Products. In fact, many thought
Musco sounded like a big corporate con-
glomerate. It was time to get credit for the
fact that Musco was a family-run business
and develop a memorable mark that con-
sumers could relate to and connect with.
m a n u fa c t ur e r ch a n g e of f oc u s
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Since 1940, the family-owned-and-oper-
ated Musco Olive Products in northern
California packaged olives for the food-
service industry, and in the past decade
hit the retail market with its Black Pearls
line of black olives. But since purchasing
its largest competitor in 1999, the com-
pany has branched out with green and
specialty olives—and has become the
first company to offer a complete line of
retail olives at all price points.
Rea son for Redesign
Because it no longer focused exclusively on black olives,
Musco needed a brand identity that more accurately
summed up its quality and breadth. Market research
showed that the Pearls name stood out in consumers’
minds, while the manufacturer identity barely made the
charts. The company decided to rebrand itself and its
olives and wanted a system of packaging that would
distinguish the subbrands (Green, Black, Mediterranean)
at first glance on the store shelf.
Additionally, Musco and its creative firm, Tesser Inc.,
agreed that olives as a food were due for a rebrand.
Traditionally, olive branding approaches had ranged
from utilitarian foodstuff’ and ‘mamma-mia Italian
ingredient’ for black olives to ‘fancy-schmancy appetizer’
for specialty olives,says Tré Musco, CEO and creative
director of Tesser (who, as a member of the Musco family
himself, understood the client’s needs all too well).
American consumers, however, have long used olives
as a convivial snack item for get-togethers. The creative
team felt strongly it was time to give olives credit for
being the healthy, versatile, and family-friendly snack
item that they are.”
Redesign Objectives
Retain key brand elements such as the Pearls name,
color yellow, and “bursting” olives
Update the parent company brand and integrate new
product offerings
Complement a widespread marketing campaign
The Results
The new Pearls line is proving to be a major retail success,
with penetration into 70% of the U.S. market, and volume
sales that rank it first in its category. The manufacturer
reports that brand recognition is at an all-time high.
Additionally, consumers have been writing to Musco to
report their delight with the label design and its effect on
their purchasing decisions.
Pearls Olives Design Process
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