By Katie Spring, Outreach & Content Specialist at NE-DBIC
The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC), hosted at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, provides support to dairy businesses through projects that promote the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products.
"Goat milk isn’t weird. Goats kind of are!"
That straightforward yet playful sentiment is what you’ll find on the new Oak Knoll Dairy website. And the couple behind the milk would know – Ryan Andrus and Annie Rowen tend to 500 goats on Bridgman Hill Farm, a goat dairy that supplies all the milk for the Oak Knoll label.
Ryan & Annie with some of their goats
In 2022, Oak Knoll Dairy got a brand overhaul thanks to a Dairy Marketing and Branding Services grant from the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC). The new branding not only updated the labels and website graphics, but also wove together the story of Ryan and Annie, who started Bridgman Hill Farm in partnership with Jasper Hill Farm, before taking over the 30-year-old Oak Knoll brand when its founders retired.
“Since receiving the NE-DBIC grant and subsequently rebranding the Oak Knoll Dairy bottles, sales have increased by 75% in terms of total milk volume bottled weekly,” said Leigh Falzone, an account manager with Bridgman Hill and Jasper Hill Farm.
“The grant allowed us to execute in-depth market research, a brand identity study, and a full re-design of all branding assets in order to launch the rebranded bottles. We took a close look at which attributes, health benefits, and key words would resonate with customers, and tested several design concepts until we found the one that spoke to our brand’s values and personality,” Leigh said.
The new Oak Knoll Dairy website homepage
The positive feedback from retailers, distribution partners, and consumers has been overwhelming. In the second half of 2022, Oak Knoll was able to increase sales after supply shortages on the West Coast caused buyers to look for new options.
“We believe the beautiful new bottles and clear messaging on the labels aided in the ease of that customer transition and the superior freshness and quality of milk has kept them with Oak Knoll since,” Leigh said. “We were so grateful to be in the right place at the right time with our product to take advantage of the opportunity to gain new customers.”
The new labels for Oak Knoll Dairy goat milk
As 2023 gets underway, Oak Knoll continues to work on diversifying their distribution channels as they explore expanding their reach to get goat milk into the hands of more customers. After all, goats may be weird, but goat milk is delicious.
Visit their website to see the full Oak Knoll rebrand.
The Dairy Marketing and Branding Services grant will re-open in April 2023. Learn more about this funding opportunity here.