CASE STUDY: Granarly

Whiskey-Soaked Granola Proves It’s Tasty To “Go Against the Grain”

There’s granola and then there’s Granarly, the snacking granola brand that, as the company’s slogan suggests, “Goes against the grain.”

It all began in 2015 where Morgan Potts, at just 23, started her granola company, Granarly, in Shreveport, Louisiana. It wasn’t your typical business venture start-up; it all started with a [literal] dream.  

The same week that Morgan Potts got accepted into veterinary school she had a vivid dream “out of the blue” about creating whiskey-soaked granola and the dream even supplied a name – Granarly. At this point, she had never made granola before in her life, but something about the dream stuck in her head. So, she made the unique whiskey-soaked granola and was pleasantly surprised by just how tasty it was. When she decided to bring it with her in small jewelry bags on a snow-boarding trip and share it with friends, she knew she was onto something. 

“It tasted amazing, and people seemed to really enjoy it,” says Potts.

After the rousing success of her first audience test, Potts got to work making her whiskey-soaked snack dreams a reality. 

From Granola Dream to Granarly Reality

It took everything she had to establish Granarly as a brand and start selling her granola to the public. She didn’t have a comprehensive business plan at the start but decided to forge ahead, putting every penny she earned back into the business. 

“I started doing what I could with what I had,” she says.

At this point, Potts had no idea that in only a matter of years, Granarly would become her full-time job. 

In the beginning, she was a one-woman machine, creating and packaging every batch and bag of granola by herself. She was ordering her granola packaging supplies: kraft bags on Amazon, and hand drawing the design onto each label. With her hand-packaged and hand-labeled granola bags, Potts was successfully able to get Granarly into 70 stores.

Granarly’s packaging prior to partnering with ePac.

Her past work experience helped her launch the brand, too. Prior to starting Granarly, Potts worked as a personal assistant to the owner of a wholesale peanut company. There, she learned about food manufacturing, the production line, and just about everything else that went into running a food business. The peanut company later became her co-packer, taking over the production and packaging for Granarly. But in the beginning, it was just Potts working hard to take Granarly to the next level, and one way she really wanted to do that was through packaging.

Granola Packaging That Sells

In 2016 Morgan Potts moved herself and Granarly to Austin, TX, where the company is based today. As the brand grew, Potts made adjustments to the packaging where she could, like upgrading to locally printed labels, but knew that a better package was a must for her brand to experience real growth. 

“We wanted to get into a lot more stores, and Austin is competitive. I knew we needed a package that looked legit,” she says. 

Her current granola packaging was becoming expensive, time-consuming, and didn’t look as professional as she wanted.

“I wasn’t seeing a lot of return sales and the packaging didn’t look that great on the shelf. Since people can’t sample the granola, the packaging has to entice them. It was the first thing I wanted to change once I had a little bit of money,” says Potts.

A Chance Encounter With ePac

At first, Potts wasn’t even sure whether or not she could afford custom pouches, nevermind how to start finding the right packaging company. But she found her answer in an unexpected place: a subscription box she received in the mail. 

“There was a cookie pouch in there and I loved it! I called them and asked them where they got it and that’s how I found out about ePac,” says Potts.

Potts called ePac and learned all about the convenience, quality, and affordability of digital printing. She was thrilled to learn that ePac was opening a location right in her own backyard of Austin, Texas.

“It was the perfect match! ePac was very helpful and walked me through the whole process. It was so easy to send the design over and get them printed. Plus, they’re so quick, I got the packaging so fast,” says Potts.

Before finding ePac and digital printing, Potts didn’t think that high quality, fully branded, custom bags were a possibility for her brand. She had heard that when buying custom packaging she would face huge minimum order quantities and cost, something that wasn’t feasible for her start-up brand. When she heard she could order from ePac with a low minimum quantity, could mix the four SKUs in the one print run, and it would be affordable, it was a game-changer.

“I’ve told so many small businesses about them (ePac). It’s hard starting up! With ePac, the service is fast and the pouches look and feel good; they’re amazing,” says Potts.

And it isn’t just Potts who likes the pouches. Since adopting the new packaging into the product line-up, the brand has seen significant growth, and it’s opened the door for the brand to be sold in some pretty key accounts. 

“It’s been cool to see the growth we hoped for since the packaging change. Since we received the bags, we’ve grown tenfold and got into all of the kitchens in Facebook headquarters in Austin, and it’s all because of the packaging!” says Potts.

With digital printing, small, start-up and even medium-sized businesses can enjoy short runs, flexibility in ordering, and affordable printing costs. Ready to see how digitally printed flexible packaging, pouches, and bags can give your brand the professionalism you’ve been dreaming about? Call us today for a free quote

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