Case Study

An evolving hard cider brand asks for a return to their roots

Case Study

An evolving hard cider brand asks for a return to their roots

/ Woodchuck: Intro


To celebrate 25 years in business, Woodchuck requested a revamp. For years, their Woodchuck, “Chuck,” had been the face of the brand: a lovable mascot to spearhead an approachable, trusted company. As the business evolved, Chuck was phased out. Woodchuck decided to replace Chuck with an apple, hoping to compete more seriously with its main competitor, Angry Orchard.

/ Woodchuck: The Challenge

Staying true to the
consumer and the brand

Pabst Brewing Company had stepped up to acquire Woodchuck, which had fallen from its #1 spot as the top-selling hard cider in the United States — losing out to Angry Orchard. Hoping to return to their roots, Woodchuck Hard Cider wanted Chuck’s presence back in action, which meant a refresh of their logo, packaging, and label. With this, the company wanted to reposition the beverage, giving Chuck a more personality by identifying him as modern yet approachable.

Before and after of the Woodchuck Hard Cider brand design by Sprout Studios
/ Woodchuck: The Approach

From the ground up

Partnering with Amalgam, we started by exploring Woodchuck’s history of design and brand evolution, then created a woodcut illustration of Chuck holding their main ingredients: apples.

Design evolution of the Woodchuck Hard Cider brand by Sprout Studios

Standing out in
a crowded market

The woodcut helps to highlight the authentic heritage and craftsmanship of this Vermont brand. Shadows and highlights give Chuck a more mischievous look, adding to his character. 

The labeling system was designed to accommodate the five core cider varieties Woodchuck offers, as well as seasonal and limited editions ciders. We simply swapped out the pop color, graphic pattern and cider name while maintaining the overall brand language.

Woodchuck Hard Cider product lineup pictured outdoors with trees
Woodchuck Hard Cider pint glasses
Woodchuck Hard Cider logo designed by Sprout Studios
/ Woodchuck: The Outcome

Brand Awareness

The pivot to an updated look meant that Woodchuck Hard Cider now aggressively competes with the big dogs of the cider business, namely Boston Beer Company’s Angry Orchard brand. Immediately after the rebrand, Chuck quickly regained its #1 status and has remained there ever since.

/ Woodchuck: The Outcome

Innovation and beyond

An elevated brand gave the company a continued opportunity to make a strong mark on the cider industry. Rather than stick to simple flavors of ciders, Woodchuck Hard Cider began innovating, creating a limited edition series inspired by seasons, flavors and so on. These experiments worked well with Woodchuck’s desire to present itself as a modern yet approachable brand: the experiments aren’t avante garde, instead, they’re fun, lively, yet familiar. 

The visual brand language was designed to accommodate these series. By sticking with the round center lockup at the core and making the name, background color and pattern interchangeable as needed, Woodchuck Hard Cider can quickly and easily differentiate a series as desired.

/ Woodchuck: Testimonial

“Love the aesthetic!
Keep on keepin’ on Chucks!”


Cider Connoisseurs

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