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Tessemae’s Innovative Branding Disrupted the Health Food Market – Here’s How They Did It

Tessemae’s , the innovative dressing brand that has disrupted the grocery market as we know it. It’s the company that proves it’s possible to produce clean, fresh meal solutions without compromising the quality of condiments to drive their sales. It all started when a mother, Tesse Vetter created a lemon garlic salad dressing for her sons Greg, Brian, and Matt to help them clear their salads at dinner when they were growing up. The dressing gained popularity so much that in 2009, Tesse’s eldest son Greg Vetter founded Tessemae’s with the original Lemon Garlic Dressing made by his mother being the first of the brand’s products.

How Tessemae’s gained its success. A family business that blossomed.

Together with his brothers, Greg Vetter secured distribution at a Whole Foods store in Annapolis, Maryland. Tessemae’s has seen a steady rise in production and revenue. Here is what the three brothers did to gain traction in the competitive market:

Photo Credit: Tessemae's
Photo Credit: Tessemae’s

From one product to multiple, natural products. Keep it simple, but push the limits.

Tessemae’s keeps it simple. They started with just one product, the Lemon Garlic Dressing. In no time, it has come up with a variety of different dressings, condiments, marinades, and toppings that are naturally out of the box from what you might traditionally expect from a sauce company.

Sleek and modern packaging designs that get noticed.

Tessemae’s recently received an honorable mention design award for the 2018 Nielsen Design Impact Award. The brand’s freshly redesigned packaging highlights the bottle toppers and their wrappers in a trendy, color-coordinated method that corresponds with each flavor. Their cool names and clean label concepts appeal to customers in an exciting new way that gets people excited about eating their products!

Tessemae’s salad dressing is all-natural. They also cater to niche customers who are seeking  Vegan, Paleo and “Whole30” condiments.

The brand thrives on being quite unique from its competitors. It taps into a market underwhelmed with organic condiments. In addition to its non-artificial feature, it also appeals to the vegan market with products like the vegan-friendly Ketchup and barbecue sauce. The organic nature of Tessemae’s products also made it a top seller for diabetics, paleo eaters, and the Whole30 Movement.

From left to right, brothers Matt, Brian and Greg Vetter make an assortment of salad dressings and marinades at their manufacturing plant in Essex. (Image: Baltimore Sun)

They started locally and expanded nationally.

Don’t underestimate the power of your local market. Tessemae’s started locally in Maryland and has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. The family business, by 2017, had taken over roughly 10,500 stores nationwide and online, a number they intend to double this year. They also aim to expand their manufacture space upwards to 150,000 sq ft.

Tessemae’s is currently competing with already-established big dogs of the salad dressing industry like Kraft and Marie’s Dressing and they’re not leaving any time soon. In fact, Tessemae’s is already partnering with grocery stores like Safeway, Costco, and Whole Foods, and also with hotels like the Courtyard by Marriott. Business owners of all sizes can certainly borrow a leaf or two from Tessemae’s innovative branding.

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Laura Smidt

Laura Smidt is an up-and-coming writer who enjoys poetry and picnics. She majored in creative writing at NYU and is currently embarking on a journey to publish her first book. A lover of travel and adventure, you can find her at your favorite remote destination.

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