Land O’Lakes new packaging focuses on farmer owned credentials

The dairy giant has replaced a design featuring a Native American woman, used since the 1920s, with a declaration of its co-op model

US agri co-op Land O’Lakes has adopted new packaging for its products, which showcases its co-operative ethos.

First unveiled in February, the packaging includes a new front-of-package design that features the phrase “Farmer-owned since 1921, spaced around the Land O ’Lakes brandmark.

Some products also include photos of real Land O’Lakes farmers and members and text that reads “Since 1921” and “Proud to be Farmer-Owned: As a farmer-owned co-op, we stand together to bring you the very best in dairy.”

With the new packaging, Land O’Lakes has dropped the Native American woman logo it had used since the 1920s. The move was welcomed by lieutenant governor of Minnesota, Peggy Flanagan, who is only the second Native American woman to be elected to statewide executive office in US history.

She posted on Twitter:  “Thank you to Land O’Lakes for making this important and needed change. Native people are not mascots or logos. We are very much still here.”

The old Land O’Lakes packaging featuring a native American woman logo

Formed by a group of Minnesota dairy farmers in 1921, Land O’Lakes has grown into one of the country’s largest co-operatives, with annual sales of US$15bn (£12bn). The co-op says the new packaging marks its upcoming centenary celebrations.

“As Land O’Lakes looks toward our 100th anniversary, we’ve recognised we need packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture – and nothing does that better than our farmer-owners whose milk is used to produce Land O’Lakes’ dairy products,” said president and CEO Beth Ford.

“As a farmer-owned co-op, we strongly feel the need to better connect the men and women who grow our food with those who consume it. Our farmer-to-fork structure gives us a unique ability to bridge this divide.”

Senior vice president Heather Anfang added: “Research shows that consumers care about farmers and are excited when they learn Land O’Lakes is farmer-owned. We’re eager to share that message with shoppers and extending that farmer-owned story to our packaging is arguably our most direct vehicle to communicate with consumers.”

Land O’Lakes plans to fully roll out the farmer-owned packaging across its products by the end of 2020.