Project Description


Billy Bee is Canada’s best-selling honey and one of Canada’s most recognizable food brands. It was purchased by McCormick in 2008, and in 2011 Marovino was asked to refresh the brand. We asked consumers what they thought of the brand and we were surprised to discover that Billy Bee has a tremendously loyal following and many respondents of our survey actually said: “Don’t change my Billy Bee!”

Our design objectives were clear but conflicting. The client wanted better shelf presence and more visible branding. The consumers didn’t want their Billy to change. We were very careful to retain the Identifiers of the brand–the wordmark, the colour palette and the bee itself–then we very carefully enhanced them to maintain familiarity. The rest of the visual elements were re-prioritized or eliminated.

The increase in sales volume was noticeable within the first six months.

We had one outstanding challenge left: the bear bottle. While we love the bear we didn’t feel that it supported the brand positioning. The mold is a stock mold used by many honey producers across North America. We suggested that the client consider replacing the bear with a…bee!  The skepticism was palpable. “We’ve tried it in the past. It didn’t work!”

After a lengthy discussion, we were given the go-ahead to propose concepts to add a bee to the lineup. A year later, in collaboration with the shrink-wrap printer, polymer consultants, internal engineering team and the client, Billy the bee was born and he has been flying off the shelves ever since!

Old packaging

New packaging