Nothing But ventures outdoors

Wine pairings and a mobile ranger sampling station are helping the Gay Lea snack brand meet adventurers where they are.


Gay Lea’s snack brand Nothing But is making a big bet on the Great Outdoors.

The dairy co-op’s three-SKU portfolio of better-for-you dried snacks is coming to the active lifestyle set via a range of shopper marketing engagements.

In store, there are floor display units, created by the Gay Lea team internally, originally rolled out to Sobeys but now being released more broadly.

According to the brand, these shopper units allow for retailer flexibility and communicate its strong selling points which align with better-for-you messaging. There are also mobile coupons on discount coupon site Checkout51, which will include in-app videos and home screen banners, managed by Agency59.


On shopper displays and on pack, “protein” is the number callout, according to Monika Giasson, product manager at Gay Lea Foods. 

That, along with “sugar free” and “low carb,” are key to outcompete dried cheese brands out of the U.S., and to appeal to its audience of fit snackers.

She says Gay Lea listened to what the trends were, what its core adventurer consumer was saying, namely that they want to stay fuller longer, to fuel their very active lifestyles. Also prominently showcased, on pack and through display, is the “100% cheese.”

To further strengthen the connection to the Great Outdoors and reach a new consumer set for the relaunched snack, the brand is running a cross-promotion at 450 LCBO locations, starting September 12.

For approximately one month, the brand is pairing Cheddar and Smoked Gouda with Pelee Island Winery’s Canoe Series Wines via sampling, driving a natural wine and cheese combo to appeal to hikers and cottagers.

But the messaging isn’t all indoors.

The snack brand is meeting hikers and campers were they are courtesy of an Adventure Supply Co. Mobile Pop-up Fuelling Station. Nothing But rolled out a custom Ranger Station footprint (top) that has been visiting Ontario adventurers at popular spots and offering them special samples and a curated activity kit, giving them a chance to trial the product and better connect with the brand.

“We definitely wanted to do sampling for the launch,” Giasson says.

Obviously, COVID makes everything a challenge when planning [sampling]. “We were able to work with [agency] Chalkboard to come up with a great idea, where we were able to have it be a mobile pop up shop…which allowed us lots of flexibility.”

To further drives awareness and product trial, there’s also a condo media display component, working with Vertical Impressions, and also social and online targeted digital advertising by Qode and SearchKings.

Purpose Ink is handling the brand’s PR.