CASSIES Silver: Stonemill takes it slow

A campaign by Mass Minority drove sales in a declining category by showing what makes European bread-making special..

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This article appears in the March 2018 issue of strategy.

+ Silver: Brand Reawakening

Stonemill Bakehouse was not top-of-mind for shoppers in the bread aisle. Unsuccessful product marketing had hurt the brand and ignited a decline in share of market. What’s more, millennial families weren’t engaged in the packaged bread category, seeing all sliced bread as essentially the same.

Stonemill takes a European approach to bread-making: letting the fermentation process happen naturally over time and using non-GMO, all natural ingredients. It takes a long time to create its product compared to factory breads, which it illustrated in the “You Can’t Hurry Slow” platform during the busy back-to-school period.

Running in Ontario from August 2016 to March 2017 and supported by a $500,000-plus budget, the campaign by Mass Minority included new packaging and even a new name: Stonemill Slow Crafted Bakehouse.

To promote the new positioning, the brand used TV, paid search and blogger partnerships. It also sponsored the Hamilton “Around the Bay” marathon by celebrating the slowest participant in the race. Stonemill filmed her efforts across the city and finishing line, with the tagline “You Can’t Hurry Slow” that likened the slow-moving participant with the slow fermentation process of its bread. Paid search drove traffic to the website, and was supported by blogger partnerships.


The brand saw year-over-year sales increase by 15.1% and dollar sales increased 22.8% in a declining sliced bread category. Visits to the website increased 15-fold and page views increased nine-fold during the campaign period.