For our next featured product for Brand of the Week, our team analyzed Yellowbird, an organic, spicy condiment company reinventing the way we think about hot sauce, ketchup, and other condiments. Yellowbird’s founding mission is going back to the basics: products made with healthy nourishment from seeds farmed in nature, brought to the kitchen in a “beat up ’67 Chevy truck.” The Yellowbird brand followed, telling the story of a bird dedicated to one fruit so few others tangle with: the chili pepper. Armed with this backstory, we examined their brand, packaging, and (of course) taste and found a common theme: Yellowbird has the opportunity to position itself in the consumer’s mind as a healthy, hotter, and more organic alternative to staple condiments. Below are a few insights that came from our brainstorm session.
“My initial expectations were more in line with what I’ve been putting on my food for several years: some form of a traditional cayenne sauce with too many brands to name. I quickly realized this was unfair and that Yellowbird has taken on a nontraditional approach to offer options that liven up our favorite foods.
I tried three flavors with soup and bread. All three were very delicious. Understanding the texture and seeing each flavor listed on the packaging as a condiment really helped me understand that this is more than a hot sauce. And I think it’s smart to continue pushing into the alternative condiment space rather than compete against the hundreds of hot sauces on the market. I think there is a larger opportunity for Yellowbird to move forward in the condiment space.” – Aaron
“Yellowbird has an opportunity to market itself through bold and exciting campaigns. Because many consumers use hot sauce and other condiments to spice up their meals throughout the day, a campaign showing the many applications of the sauce—from breakfast omelets to grilled hotdogs to juicy steak—would be a smart strategy. I also picture a limited-edition flavor release to stir up excitement; Yellowbird could create a one-of-a-kind sauce and sell it in unique packaging for hot sauce fanatics to collect.” – Hannah
“By positioning itself as a condiment, one of the key areas that Yellowbird could enter is the sports world, where ketchup and mustard are synonymous with the concession stand atmosphere. A well-executed strategy would allow Yellowbird to enter this market and create a newer, more flavorful experience for the end-user. Imagine using the red jalapeno sauce on your hotdog instead of the expected mustard and ketchup combo. Capturing blind A/B taste tests during games could be used to create a social media campaign showing participants’ responses and using a well-tuned hashtag like #BirdOverKetchup.” – Colin
“Yellowbird’s packaging immediately stands out, with an easy glimpse of the product inside, and a fun, squeeze-bottle form factor that encourages you to give it a try on your next meal or snack. To bring home the home-grown, farmer’s market feel, the bird icon could be simplified a bit and the connection between the bird and its fruit of choice–the chili pepper–could be strengthened. A visual representation of the pepper variety in each sauce might also take the label to the next level.” – Andy
“Nowadays, majority of consumers are more health-conscious and look for all natural ingredients in their foods—condiments are the one place where you can’t always find them. Yellowbird’s social media does a great job of highlighting the natural ingredients that are in their hot sauce; especially carrots, an unexpected ingredient for hot sauce and other condiments. On the other hand, their packaging is missing out on an opportunity to show their fresh, natural ingredients right on the bottle. Illustrating these ingredients is a great way to appeal to healthy consumers while embracing the ‘farmers market’ identity they strive for.” – Kendall