Customization Delivers Profitable Differentiation for a Large Retail Chain

How Calico’s Customization Capabilities Provided A Unique And Profitable Holiday Gift Item To A Large National Chain

The Need

One of the largest club store chains, with over 600 retail stores, prides themselves on offering members quality products at incredible value.

The products they offer are a combination of leading national brands and an exclusive, premium-quality, private-label brand. Each year, the club focuses on delivering highly desirable and unique, giftable items to compete effectively during the busy, holiday-centric fourth quarter. 

The club store chain was seeking a new item for their important fourth quarter in 2017.

The item needed to meet multiple criteria, including:

  • Fit their premium-quality standards and merchandising guidelines
  • Be appropriate for both self-use and gift occasions
  • Differentiation – be uniquely theirs; not offered anywhere else
  • Address the needs of their shoppers 
  • Meet a set price point and deliver a specific margin

“We Are So Pleased With The Excited Reaction From Consumers When They Tasted The Fudge And How Well The Fudge Sold. Calico’s Agility and Customization Capabilities Were Very Impressive And Made The Program Success Possible.”

Club’s Bakery Broker

The Solution

The challenge was presented to Calico Cottage given Calico’s #1 position in the fudge market, the ability to provide differentiation through customized solutions, and Calico’s reputation for having the finest product in the marketplace. It was clear that Calico needed to develop customized branding, packaging, item size, flavor assortment, merchandising display and graphics to meet the club’s needs.

Calico Went To Work

  • Calico designed a custom-branded, 2 lb. party-platter that would retail for $13.99.
  • The 4 flavors included were selected because of their popularity, seasonal relevance and cost parameters.
  • A customized, pallet-display unit was designed with trays for easy delivery at the club and four-sided shop-ability for consumers. The graphics were customized, too!
  • Special shipping arrangements were made so the product remained fresh throughout the 13-week selling period.

The Results:




The Fudge Program Exceeded Its Goal By +20% And Delivered $1.2 Million In Retail Sales During The Selling Period.

Sell through was faster than anticipated – so much so that incremental product was ordered after just two weeks of sales in the stores. Even though this is a fresh product, there was virtually no waste due to the sales velocity. “We are so pleased with the excited reaction from consumers when they tasted the fudge and how well the fudge sold. Calico’s agility and customization capabilities were very impressive and made the program success possible,” stated the owner of the club’s bakery broker.

The club chain is so pleased with the results that plans are underway for another wave.

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