Lemon Coolers or How to Snag Brand Equity Legally


In recent years, there have been a number of retro product re-issues by the original company. But a brand doesn’t have to be from the original company to grab the latent brand equity from a classic product that has been discontinued.

One way to grab the brand equity from another brand (and company) is to introduce a previously popular product under a NEW brand name.

This works particularly well with food brands, because even if a consumer would like to have the OLD brand, under the old logo, what they really want is the taste sensation, not the brand name. Ideally, you would have both, but you don’t have to.

You harken back to what was good, and the consumer responds.

This is evidenced by these Lemon Cookies, which are obviously copies of the tasty Lemon Coolers which were a product of the Sunshine Bakery. Sunshine merged with Keebler and left Lemon Coolers in the old cookie graveyard.

For some reason or another, Sunshine discontinued them, even though they had a large fan base.

In the case of this tasty knock-off (here seen at Dollar General in Lively, Virginia), they have given it a generic name, yet made the tagline “Cooler than Ever.”

This is smart, as it does not confuse the customer by tricking them into thinking the old product has returned. But the “cooler” on the front indicates they understand the nature of the product. The consumer instantly understands that the product is inspired by the original, and will likely taste authentic.

Keebler could always come back and reintroduce Lemon Coolers, but until then, fans can be happy with this version.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website BrandlandUSA.com has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

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1 Comment

  1. I loved Lemon Coolers! Unfortunately the “Lemon Cookies” are not even close to the original. I think I will just stick with my fond memories.

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