Dean Foods Midwest division is rolling out a fresh packaging redesign for the Dean's branded products featuring a prominent, modern Dean's logo.

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill.-Dean Foods Midwest division is rolling out a fresh packaging redesign for the Dean's branded products featuring a prominent, modern Dean's logo.

It is the first major overhaul of the Dean's packaging and logo since the company and its storied name were purchased by the former Suiza Foods in Dec. 2001.

The new logo is simply the Dean's name in a blue Italic font, with a white, gold and blue stripe under it framing the words "Since 1925." The Dallas-based Dean Foods will introduce the new look through a year-long million dollar promotion started March 28.

Pat McColgan, v.p. of sales and marketing, Midwest, said the Dean's Dairy Group launched the campaign at participating grocers in the Chicago, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Madison and Milwaukee metropolitan areas.

"The Dean name in the Midwest has always had a lot of equity," McColgan. "After the merger went through we thought we would find out what people really think about the Dean's brand, so we held some focus groups and so forth. People told us that it symbolizes quality and that it's just a great product and it's a name they trust."

No surprise there, for anyone in the dairy business. Dean was one of the strongest companies and brands in the industry for decades before the consolidation race of the 1990s lead to the creation and merger of the nation's two largest dairy companies.

But before this redesign, the name was being underutilized on packages, McColgan says.

"I looked at our package and said to myself ‘if the Dean name means that much we sure are not very proud of it,' because we just had that really small Dean's on the package. So I said ‘let's put that name out there.' That's why we came up with the big Dean's logo with the swoop.

"Because of what we heard from the consumer, we really wanted to make it look like a premium product, and we're pretty excited with the results."

The comprehensive campaign will include print advertising in major daily newspapers throughout the region, radio, coupons, as well as in-store enter-to-win opportunities, with a grand prize of a $50,000 "New Look" kitchen remodel, courtesy of Airoom, Lincolnwood, Ill., one of the Midwest's most well known kitchen remodeling experts. Dean Foods will provide five second place winners, one in each market, with a "mini-makeover" featuring four new appliances.

McColgan said the promotion with Airoom is especially exciting.

"The latest thing on TV is the extreme makeover, so we decided to tie it in with the kitchen makeover," he says. "We did some radio and did some advertising in the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times and we put up some point of sale material."

McColgan is confident that the campaign will be a success.

"We've just had the roll-out last month, so we don't have a lot back on it yet, but we've heard nothing but positive things from everyone involved," he says. "And I think we are selling more product because of it. I've seen higher sales everywhere, especially in the cultured products."

Ice cream has not yet been brought into the makeover, but it might in the near future, McColgan said. The roll out required about six months of planning.

"This has been a pretty big project-it affected 15 plants and many people, and it affected more than 300 SKUs."

New truck graphics are also in the works.