all< >Visit Site

Re-Branding California's
Food Stamp Program

With nearly 40% of eligible Californians not getting the help they need to feed their families, we partnered with the California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) to reduce the stigma around the state's existing food stamp program and create a more welcoming, accessible program for low-income families.

We began by leading a work session with an extensive and complex network of stakeholders including the Department of Social Services, Department of Public Health, Governor’s Office and other state agencies, in addition to intermediaries and community service organizations that facilitate and promote the food stamp program. We developed the agenda to understand their objectives, challenges and barriers with the existing Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and brand. This resulted in the implementation of an action plan that included the creation of messaging architecture, development of a new brand identity (name, tagline, design), and extensive research testing.

As a result, after an inclusive and iterative design process that included key informant interviews, focus group testing, and qualitative research on the various options, we introduced “CalFresh – Better Food for Better Living” in 2010. Our new brand design captures the goal of a successful nutrition assistance program: accessible, simple, fresh/modern and empowering.

This effort could not come at a more opportune economic time. The current economic crisis has increased attention and interest in nutrition assistance. Over 3 million Californians now purchase food through the program. At the same time, economic experts and policymakers recognize the economic stimulus benefits of the program. The United States Department of Agriculture states that every $1 in benefits generates $1.84 in much needed-economic activity for the entire state. With the increased relevance of the program, the launch of the new name comes at a time when it can have the greatest impact on participants, health, California agriculture and the economy.

Credits: Lake Research Partners, Andrew Jeske, Jennifer Kaye