Colorado-based honey company Rice’s Honey re-brands to emphasize locality of product
For The Greeley Tribune
Local Hive Honey
Greeley, Colo.-based honey company Rice’s Honey, recently re-branded to emphasize its production of local honey throughout the nation. The company also announced a new partnership with Pollinator Awareness Through Conservation and Education. PACE is Butterfly Pavilion’s nonprofit global initiative to restore habitats, strengthen populations and reintroduce pollinators into native habitats around the world.
The new Local Hive Honey bottles will start making their way to Rice’s Honey’s distributors in March.
For more information on how and where to purchase Local Hive Honey, go to localhivehoney.com.
Rice’s Honey bottles are getting a sweet new look.
The Greeley, Colo.-based company has been headquartered in city limits since 1924, and the honey bottles that have long sported a photo of founder L.R. Rice with an emphasis on the words “Raw and Unfiltered” are being re-branded.
Sure, all of that will still be on the new bottles, but the current owners of the company invented a design that emphasizes the true locality of the brand. The new brand? Local Hive Honey, from L.R. Rice and his family.
Tony Landretti, CEO of Rice’s Honey, said the brand refresh started in August as a way to elevate the company’s presence and reach consumers in a different, more educational way. According to data presented by Landretti, honey is the 11th fastest growing category in grocery stores. Raw and unfiltered honey, specifically, is projected to grow by 24 percent in the next few years. Consumers, in general, appear to be swapping their sugars and artificial sweeteners for honey, Landretti said, presenting Rice’s Honey a golden opportunity to capitalize.
“We thought, ‘how do we differentiate ourselves from everything else on the same shelf?’” he said. “(The re-brand) is how we’ll separate ourselves in a sea of sameness.”
Each new bottle is designed to display the region where the honey in the bottle originated. The bottle also will showcase the floral sources of the bees that made the honey to distinguish the taste and color it will have.
For example, Colorado honey, with floral notes of alfalfa, clover and wildflowers, has a darker color to it and a different taste than, say, honey from the Great Lakes area, which boasts floral notes of alfalfa, aster, basswood, clover and goldenrod.
The emphasis on “local” comes from a place of transparency, which Landretti said is important to today’s consumer. By showing exactly where the honey is produced on the package, company owners hope to further connect their customers with the more than 150 Rice’s Honey beekeepers throughout the nation.
On the backside of the bottles, map locators will show the region the honey was made and tell the Rice family’s story.
“It shows the footprint on the bottle and why it’s different than the product sitting next to it on the shelf,” Landretti said.
In addition to the bottle re-packaging, Rice’s Honey announced earlier this year its partnership with PACE, which stands for Pollinator Awareness Through Conservation and Education. PACE is Westminster-based Butterfly Pavilion’s nonprofit global initiative that aims to inform people about the importance of bees and pollination. A portion of the proceeds from each Rice’s Honey bottle will be donated to PACE’s cause — furthering the education aspect of the company’s re-brand, Landretti said.
“It was important for us to educate about the importance of pollination in the ecosystem,” Landretti said. “(The partnership) was an opportunity for us to not only help a local organization, but also reach people on a more national and global scale.”
Local Hive Honey’s retail distributors will essentially choose which honey bottles are available in their stores — so honey from every region might not be offered in your Greeley supermarket. But Landretti said Colorado markets will likely sell primarily Colorado honey, whereas Michigan likely will sell Great Lakes honey, and so on.
Customers will start seeing the Local Hive re-brand on grocery store shelves throughout March and April, Landretti said. National distributors of Rice’s Honey include Walmart, Costco, Kroger and Sprouts, among several others.
Rice’s Honey’s updated website launched March 1, and through it, customers can buy whatever honey they want or find a store close to them that carries it. The website features videos of Rice’s Honey’s many beekeepers explaining how they make their honey. “Keeper’s Corner” is another new feature on the Rice’s Honey website, which allows local beekeepers to interact with one another and provide personal beekeeping tips.
It adds an educational aspect that wasn’t there before.
“It will bring local to life,” Landretti said.