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Sign of the Cookie Times – Rebranding a Kiwi Icon

Media release

Sign of the Cookie Times – Rebranding a Kiwi Icon

Michael Mayell

Cookie Time Limited (CTL) today rolls out the first of more 900 signs destined to top local dairy roofs from the far North to Invercargill; and all part of its biggest refresh of its flagship brand in 20 years.

The rebrand, gearing up for the company’s 30th birthday next February, features Cookie Time’s beloved Cookie Muncher adding his thoughts ‘graffiti’ style to the new dairy signs, as well as franchise vans and point of sale. His marker pens scribbles play on the Cookie Time name: ‘It’s always Cookie Time’, ‘Good Cookie Times, bring them’, ‘Must be Cookie Time! and so on.

The first of the 956 dairy signs went up in the company’s Christchurch hometown today at Kirk Road dairy, one of the first dairies that Cookie Time founder Michael Mayell delivered to. Mayell, who started Cookie Time in February1983 at the age of 21 when he put 70 glass cookie jars on the counter of 70 Christchurch dairies, was on hand to install the sign.

Dairy signs will be installed throughout the country over the next three weeks. The six versions of dairy signs have also been put up on the Cookie Time head office roof to mark the launch.

The rebrand, more than a year in the making and led by award winning Dow Design and an internal CTL team of seven, also features new packaging for the brand’s 20 different types of cookies. Four new products are also being launched – a Nut & Chocolate Fix, brand new four packs of graduate (medium) size Chocolate Chunk and Triple Chocolate, and a new seven pack of rookie (mini) size Triple Chocolate cookies.

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Michael Mayell, who holds CTL 50:50 with brother Guy Pope-Mayell says the rebrand has been a major undertaking to refresh and modernize while retaining a true Kiwi flavour.

“We know the Cookie Time brand and the Cookie Muncher have an iconic place in Kiwi culture and hold fond memories for many people, so this was all about re-engaging and putting the focus on real cookies made with real ingredients – brought to you by Cookie Muncher.

“With double digit growth across the Cookie Time range, we know we’re doing the basics right. But with our 30th anniversary coming up in early 2013, we felt the time was right to do something special to set us up for the next 30 years.

“Cookie Muncher’s also pretty close to our hearts and we thought it was time he got his own ‘voice’ to share his thoughts on what Cookie Time means to him,” Mayell says.

CTL is in major growth mode with significant investment in brand, new plant and business systems. In March, it was voted best New Zealand owned company at the annual Grocery Retailers' Association (NARGON) awards, also taking out gold for best small business for the fourth year running, plus a silver medal for most efficient distribution.

In the last 12 months, sales of the Cookie Time range grew 10%*. Latest available
grocery industry statistics**, for the quarter to 12 August, show the company’s world first One Square Meal bars are the number one muesli bar brand in total New Zealand supermarkets.

The company has also got a big focus on international licensing mainly through its world-first One Square Meal bar, but the first offshore licensing deal for Cookie Time brand saw gluten-free cookies released into Australia in July.

Last week, the company was granted a patent for One Square Meal which confirms the meal bar as a world class invention and the first of a new class of nutritionally balanced food and beverage – with sole rights to sell product within it.

Lincoln Booth, CTL general manager, says the company remains ambitious in its growth plans.

“It’s been a big and challenging year for us, with a number of major projects across the line. While investing in a recession is counter-intuitive for many companies, it is perfectly in tune with CTL’s entrepreneurial spirit. We are pleased with progress to date and 100% committed to continuing to innovate and lead the market,” Booth says.


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