flavor and fun in granola bars


Sunbelt Bakery Granola Bars not only compete against a bevy of national brands, but also in a category known for being—well, boring. The challenge we and Sunbelt Bakery shared was repositioning the brand and growing share in an increasingly stagnant granola bar category.


Moms want their families to eat granola bars because they’re a “better choice” than other snacks. But, let’s face it, not many people are going to get excited about eating a basic granola bar—especially kids.

Getting the party started

We helped Sunbelt Bakery change the granola bar paradigm by launching over 15 different products, including flavors the category had never seen.

To get the word out in a fun way, our production machine created hundreds of pieces of eye-popping content.

Key art


When Sunbelt Bakery discontinued production of Oatmeal Raisin, brand lovers on social media clamored to #BringBackOatmealRaisin! We not only obliged, we gave them a megaphone—by featuring their names and comments in our campaign.

We also saw an opportunity to make a deeper connection with fans. So, we chose 150 of our most passionate followers and surprised them with personalized mailers that included their original social media posts. Plus, their fandom was rewarded with a special gift: some of the very first Oatmeal Raisin bars made for the relaunch.

Influencer activation

To stoke the excitement even more, we sent product samples and branded milk glasses to key social media influencers. Soon after, they were raisin’ a glass to our big news all across the country!

Launch Ad

When this ad officially re-launched the product, pent-up demand was ready to explode. Oatmeal Raisin quickly became Sunbelt Bakery’s best-selling flavor online.

Building Brand Advocacy & Retention

Our unique content marketing platform shared content with tens of thousands of official Sunbelt “Bakery Fresh Friends” (BFFs). They, in turn, shared the content on their personal social media platforms, generating millions in organic reach.

Note: The Nielsen Measured Value of our Bakery Fresh Friends was 6.2 times the national granola bar average.

Philanthropic cause

We created a “Blot Out Breast Cancer” event, shot video of the enthusiastic public response, and shared content as part of a wholistic breast cancer awareness campaign executed on social media, at retail and on packaging.

“In the moment” content

By referencing cultural happenings throughout the year, we kept the brand top-of-mind. We even found a way to make the NCAA’s March Madness relevant to parents who might not watch basketball…we created a mini slam dunk contest that was a social media hit.

The Sunbelt Lifestyle

We also crafted lifestyle content that featured our core audience interacting with the brand in fun and engaging ways—videos that were eagerly consumed and shared by our BFFs.

Sunbelt Bakery Lifestyle Accessories

To keep brand lovers engaged and loyal, we continually offer opportunities to own and win Sunbelt Bakery accessories.

Using Flavor and Fun to Build Retail Distribution

Just as we reshaped the granola bar paradigm for consumers, we reimagined how to get the attention of retail buyers who tightly control shelf-space. Instead of sending out the usual product introduction packet, we created fun and interactive sampling events—delivered right to the desks of retail buyers at key accounts.

These assets were directly credited with appointments that landed major retail accounts.

Launching Sunbelt Bakery DTC

Johnson Group worked with the Sunbelt Bakery e-commerce team to launch the brand’s first direct-to-consumer campaign including:

  • Conversion rate optimizing the Shopify page
  • A/B testing creative to determine and place the highest-converting asset
  • Determining the optimum price to offer free shipping
  • Determining the markets with the highest online conversion

DTC results

Reaching the ideal prospects

  1. We identified the most profitable consumer segments through market research and segmentation.
  2. We launched campaigns for each segment using our Proprietary Digital Tools to ensure best-in-class performance and granularity in tracking.

Proprietary digital media tools

Custom Analytics Dashboard

Complete, granular results at your fingertips.

Terri™ SaaS Platform

Auto generates thousands of Google AMP landing pages for industry-leading speed and optimization down to the asset level.

Petri Dish™ Full-Funnel CRO

Ensures you continuously have the highest performing creative assets.


Multi-touch attribution model optimizes each media platform to final conversion.

Full-funnel, CRO media

Each Campaign’s ROAS was tracked daily and precision-optimized to the highest performing DMAs, media platforms, and creative assets.