The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the award of grant funds through the Marketing & Branding Services Grant Program to thirteen value-added dairy processors across six Northeast states. The funds will allow awardees to access professional marketing and branding services to elevate their businesses. The grant program is intended to help increase consumer awareness of regionally produced dairy products, develop market channels and distribution opportunities to increase product placement, support innovative strategies to increase consumption, and increase business revenues.
The awarded businesses produce an array of dairy products, from the familiar yogurt and ice cream to more specialized items like chocolate goat milk, ice cream cakes, artisan cheeses, or A2 milk. Over the next year, the grantees will partner with marketing and branding professionals on projects to refresh and relaunch brands, develop new products, diversify market channels, advance digital marketing strategies, and more. A total of $437,653 was awarded in grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000. Grantees were required to match at least 25 percent of the awarded funds with either in-kind or cash funds.
- Bridgman Hill Farm of Greensboro Bend, VT will use $38,275 to refresh the Oak Knoll brand of fluid goat milk and create a brand strategy to achieve increased sales outlets and volume.
- lu•lu Artisan Ice Cream (Harmack LLC) of Vergennes, VT was awarded $30,000 to redesign packaging and create marketing and promotions materials to increase sales of their farm-to-spoon ice cream cakes and pints.
- Henry Farms of Knox LLC of Knox, PA will use $15,000 to build on their farm’s current marketing efforts and develop a plan to enhance the visibility and consumer awareness of their A2 Advantage product line.
- J & R Family Farm LLC of Orleans, VT will receive $15,840 to develop the cheesemaker’s business plan, marketing plan, and marketing materials with the aim of growing milk processing volume and sales.
- Maine Organic Milk Company LLC of Whitefield, ME will utilize $33,000 to develop a holistic brand identity, new marketing materials, and new packaging design.
- Mapleline Farm LLC of Hadley, MA will receive $29,500 to refresh their label and messaging, generate materials and tools for accessing new markets, and build a better base in existing markets.
- Moxie Ridge Farm & Creamery (Fiasco Enterprises LLC) of Fort Edward, NY will use $33,488 to fulfill increased demand in current markets via launch of aged mixed-milk cheese production and engage current and potential customers.
- Naturally Golden Family Farms Cooperative Inc. of Enon Valley, PA was awarded $50,000 to unify their branding, develop a marketing strategy, target additional markets, and launch new products.
- Pioneer Valley Milk Marketing Cooperative Inc. dba Our Family Farms of Greenfield, MA will utilize $50,000 to implement a digital marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and loyalty and drive the purchase of new products.
- Ploughgate Creamery LLC of Fayston, VT will receive $24,800 to enhance their website and digital marketing strategy with the goal of increasing direct-to-consumer sales of their cultured butter.
- Vale Wood Farms of Loretto, PA was awarded $40,000 to refresh their established dairy brand through modernizing their logo, updating product packaging, and generating cohesive marketing materials.
- Wright’s Dairy Farm Inc of North Smithfield, RI will use $50,000 to develop a branding and marketing strategy for increased ice cream production and sales volume at a new location.
- Anonymous cheesemaker of PA was awarded $27,750 to use for crafting and executing a digital media marketing plan to generate new sales and increase customer engagement.
Project Highlight: Wright’s Dairy Farm Ice Cream Expansion Project
Wright’s Dairy Farm and Bakery in North Smithfield, Rhode Island was awarded $50,000 to develop and implement a branding and marketing strategy for expanded ice cream production and retail at a new state-of-the-art food hub in Providence.
The multi-generational business already has a dedicated customer base willing to travel to their on-farm production and retail location. The new food hub location provides not only an opportunity to make more ice cream but the chance to tap into an urban market – which the business describes as “taking a small piece of our farm and dropping it in the city.”
Through their grant project, Wright’s Dairy Farm aims to do just that. The marketing contractor they selected will help them develop a name and logo for the new location to complement the current brand while distinguishing the Providence location. After refreshing the brands for the farm and new location, the contractor will create a comprehensive 12-month marketing plan that the business can build off in the coming years. The contractor will generate content for social media and advertising as well as physical materials like signage, menus, and packaging.
Finally, the contractor will conduct market research to expand the fleet of mobile ice cream scoop shops. The goal is to identify potential locations for two new Wright Scoop trailers beyond the business’ existing two units.
Photo courtesy of Wright’s Dairy Farm