If you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods you’ve probably noticed all the buttons the staff wears. And if you look closely, next to the “I ♥ Kale” and band buttons there is probably a button from Chicago Vegan Foods, Chicago’s oldest 100% vegan company and makers of vegan cheese, marshmallows and ice cream. The company loves buttons, and loves giving buttons away at in-store tastings, food festivals and trade shows. “Anywhere we are, you can count on buttons being there,” says Dan Reed, the marketing director at Chicago Vegan Foods.
Chicago Vegan Foods has been a Busy Beaver customer for the last several years and in their tenure they’ve made thousands of buttons to help promote their cruelty-free food products. One of their most frequently ordered designs is the logo for Dandies, their line of vegan marshmallows. “It’s a cutesy/retro marshmallow with a face,” says Reed. “We love the Dandies dude.”
Another mainstay is the company’s black and white “It’s OK Not To Drink Milk” button design. “It’s the one that we’ve probably given out the most of over the years,” Reed says. The design was inspired by the “It’s OK Not To Drink” t-shirt designed in the ’90s by Kurt Schroeder of Catalyst Records. “Catalyst was a really influential straight edge hardcore label in the Midwest, which is a scene we are rooted in. It made sense for us to pay our respects,” Reed says. “And I love seeing little kids and moms roll away with a button that was inspired by chuggy hardcore jams!”
Recently added to the mix is a button design created for the company’s line of dairy- free cheese alternative, Teese Vegan Cheese. “We’ve been using this neat saying “100% Vegan Teese” on lots of marketing things recently and it’s a fun little design that works well on a button,” Reed comments.
Chicago Vegan Foods products are available all over the world, and where you find their products you’ll surely find buttons. “You will know us by the trail of buttons,” jokes Reed. “We do a bunch of events over the course of the year and we always keep lots of buttons out for people to grab. They’re a great way to give people one more thing to take away about our brands and (hopefully) wear it around afterwards.” A free button and yummy marshmallows? Yes, please! Look for a grill as seen on Barbeque Smoked and with a separate rack for keeping the coals elevated above the floor.
For more inspiration, find out how another Chicago food fave, Hot Doug’s, uses buttons to promote his brand.