Celebrating decades of eggsellence

Having celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2018, Braswell Family Farms continues to develop its proposition with the introduction of new packaging for its Natural Choice brand and the start of production from its second pasture-raised and first free-range farms

The creation of new packaging for Braswell Family Farms’ in-house egg brand – Natural Choice – was the logical next step after the company’s rebrand in 2017. Two years ago, the egg and feed provider took to adopting its current name, having previously been known as Braswell Foods. The rationale behind the decision was simple – the North Carolina family business was eager to expose its nature as a family farm and establish a strong connection with consumers. It was a move that addressed the well-documented trend of people nowadays developing an interest in the provenance of the food they consume and the background of the brands they engage with.

Furthermore, the Natural Choice brand will serve as a stepping stone for consumers looking to trade up from commodity eggs to more nutritious offerings, eventually leading them to the Eggland’s Best brand that Braswell also produces.

As Braswell’s in-house brand for specialty value-added eggs, Natural Choice has a strategic importance for the business and it is no wonder that a great amount of time was spent on redesigning its packaging in the months since we last spoke with Trey Braswell, the company’s fourth-generation President, about a year ago.

“We knew that it was necessary to follow up the company rebrand with a redesign of our Natural Choice carton,” Trey begins. “Previously, it was really simple and did not even reference the name of the company. We took our time, brainstorming and going through different ideas to come up with a new logo. After incorporating some features that were present in the old logo, we designed very beautiful packaging that really catches the eye, and that will hopefully make our brand stand out on the retailers’ shelves.

“The central theme of the new logo is the old Boddie Mill that was the birthplace of the company. We are proud of our heritage and we wanted to create a personable design that makes the consumers feel comfortable with who we are and what we stand for,” he adds. “In order to enhance our connection with them, there is a personal note from myself on the inside of the lid that explains our values. We are hoping that the new package will stimulate people to find out more about us by visiting our website and following us on social media where they can get to know us better and learn more about our employees and producers alike. This way, we are looking to gain their trust and allow them to build a knowledge of where their food is coming from.”

It is now a time of exciting preparation for Braswell, as the new carton is about to hit the shelves of American retailers within the next 30 days [at the time of writing]. Awaiting customers’ reactions, Trey demonstrates confidence that the feedback will be positive, drawing upon the favourable reviews the package has elicited at multiple trade shows. “Retailers’ initial comments have been really encouraging and we hope that the consumers will be equally as impressed. We have got some new distribution points and we look forward to making the new design available for the wider public,” he enthuses.

The release of Natural Choice’s new packaging means that Braswell continues to gather pace in the first year since the company’s 75th anniversary. Describing it as “a gift from the Lord”, Trey vaunts the dedication and hard work of all the business’ employees and their families throughout the years claiming that it would not have been possible for Braswell to reach the milestone without their efforts. “It is they who have laid the foundations from which we have been able to grow. It really is a blessing that Braswell has been around for four generations and we do not take any of that for granted, so all of our team members, past and present, deserve all the praise for making the business what it is.”

In celebration of the anniversary, Braswell organised a series of events that saw it welcome first its employees and their families at Boddie Mill, and then many of its vendor partners. Trey comments: “As a business, we know just how important our relationships with these vendors have been for our success. This is why we wanted to thank them and we did so by hosting an oyster roast event at Rocky Mount Mills with more than 150 partners in attendance.”

Going forward, for Braswell it is now a matter of “picking off a lot of hanging fruit”, following the developments it has initiated since the beginning of 2019. In the space of just two months, between March and May, commenced the production of the company’s second pasture-raised and first free-range farms, both of which are a source of great optimism for Braswell’s future prosperity, according to Trey.

“Both markets have emerged as big growth areas in recent years,” he states. “We are fortunate to be partnering with great farmers and we feel we can be highly competitive in the coming years. We are planning to make significant investments in infrastructure, a proportion of which will be directed towards new technologies, new housing, and further expansion into these markets. We definitely feel like there are a number of good opportunities on the horizon for us and this – together with the overall great health of the company – is another reason why we wake up each day feeling truly blessed,” Trey concludes.