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Giving a friendly, everyday face to fine cheeses

“Fine cheeses are a complex category, and streamlining the offer was an exciting challenge that required bold thinking from lg2 and Agropur. The arrival of Monsieur Gustav was a happy event for us!”

Hubert Théorêt

Marketing Director, Fine Cheeses, Agropur

For some, fine cheeses are synonymous with enjoyment and sophistication. In recent years, a whole new base of consumers has discovered the category, driving sales up across the country. These new consumers have different expectations and needs than long-time fine cheese enthusiasts. For dairy cooperative Agropur, a major player in the fine cheese category, it was the perfect opportunity to rethink its product ecosystem, consolidate its assets, strengthen its ties to this new clientele and build loyalty in the category.

lg2’s expertise was tapped to create a portfolio strategy and a brand-new, original identity that would reflect this distinctive family of products. We set out to enable consumers to make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing fine cheeses instead of trying them on a whim. 

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Restructuring and simplifying the fine cheese portfolio under a single brand

The first step was to optimize Agropur’s fine cheese portfolio. Over the years, the cooperative has made and distributed over 100 fine cheese products. This situation had become unmanageable for the company and was out of step with how new fine cheese lovers consume the product. Given all this, embracing the idea of streamlining and regrouping many Agropur products under a single brand came naturally.

Breaking industry codes

The competition on category shelves is fierce, so we had to make sure that the new brand would stand out. This prompted us to move away from the traditional fine cheese territory, dominated by religious and classic references.

We were convinced that consumers were ready for a brand that broke established codes, as was the case for craft beer drinkers a few years ago. Fine cheese fans were primed for a more modern, simple and accessible brand. A refreshing tone would also allow us to grow our clientele by attracting consumers who might initially feel a little intimidated by this refined category.

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Meet Monsieur Gustav: The friendly guide for consumers

To achieve this objective, we created a character to assume the role of matchmaker between flavourful fine cheeses and their new fans. Meet Monsieur Gustav, the brand’s new face. A generous and fun-loving foodie, he is presented as a messenger and guide who democratizes the often complex world of fine cheeses.

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A pared-down style, from packaging to brand platform

We chose a colourful, no-frills style that marks a clean break with the category’s more classic graphic codes. A simplified packaging was critical to maximizing our communication with our target consumer. We completely redid the information hierarchy, and the rich, flexible brand platform now connects Agropur to its consumers clearly and efficiently, from the products’ packaging to POS advertising and content.

A bright future for Monsieur Gustav

Monsieur Gustav appeared on consumers’ fine cheese platters at the end of summer 2021. His arrival in stores was followed by a noticeable jump in sales. It is too early for us to share business results, but we can say that we are delighted with the warm reception that the new brand has received.  

However you slice it, lg2 and Agropur have accomplished a small revolution in the fine cheese world, and we’re looking forward to following the adventures of Monsieur Gustav in the coming years…

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CLIENT

Founded in 1938, Agropur Cooperative is a leader in the North American dairy industry. The cooperative has 2,974 members and 7,700 employees, all working to bring its vision – better milk, better world – to life each day. Thanks to its 31 plants in North America, Agropur is a major supplier for the industrial, retail and foodservice sectors, in addition to producing a wide range of consumer products.