The story printed on the scrapbook-inspired, red and teal ice cream carton begins: Everyone remembers warm summer days. Swing sets and kick ball. Scooping ice cream into waffle cones that left fingers sticky and mouths pleading for more. It was back-porch perfection.  

These words introduced Red Button Vintage Creamery® to the market and launched one of Associated Food Stores’ (AFS) first, and most successful, self-developed Exclusive Brands. Now, ten years later, the brand exemplifies a true, “One Associated” success story and represents nearly $10.8 million in wholesale sales and multiple product lines including a partnership with Casper’s; the creator of Fat Boy® and other frozen confections based in Richmond, Utah.   

“We’re incredibly excited about the growth of the brand and how far it has come over the past 10 years,” said Boyd Irving, vice president of Exclusive Brands for AFS. “Its remarkable journey from a newcomer to a market leader is evidence of its quality and the strong connection we have built with our customers.” 

In 2014, AFS procurement team members discussed the idea with Casper’s representatives over lunch and many subsequent strategy sessions. Then, along with in-house marketing and design experts, the group began taking the necessary steps to procure, brand and introduce the product. Following months of intense brand development and exploring dozens of concepts, the marketing and design team proposed a name and corresponding brand identity inspired by a simple, but powerfully nostalgic image…a button.  

The hunt for the right type of button was one of many examples of the team’s attention to detail. After an extensive search, a classic-style button from a marketing team member’s “catch-all” kitchen cabinet, with its timeless design and widespread appeal, would serve as an iconic symbol for the brand.   

“The name evokes a sense of nostalgia and quality that resonates with store guests,” said Rand Mickelson, director of communications for AFS. “We felt the name not only captures attention and stood out from other brands but also conveys a promise of premium, handcrafted flavors that transport people back to less complicated, more authentic times.” 

Evoking memories of simpler days when most products were handmade with care and attention to quality, the button, and other expertly crafted design elements, reinforced the message that Red Button Vintage Creamery products are created with traditional methods and recipes, refined through generations. The name and design also provided versatility, a key factor for maintaining a recognizable identity across all touchpoints and potential product lines. 

After multiple planning meetings with Casper’s, intense product development, numerous flavor tastings, focus groups, packaging creation and more, Red Button Vintage Creamery appeared in the freezers of members of Associated Food Stores (AFS) for the first time. 

Guests were fascinated by the new brand with its unique name, instantly identifiable packaging and tantalizing array of fantastic flavors. From Canadian Vanilla to the much-discussed Black Licorice and many others, customers were eager to find their favorite variety of premium, yet affordable ice cream.  

“The design for the Red Button Vintage Creamery brand is all about reinforcing the brand’s story and strategy,” said Katy Carlson, art director for AFS. “By combining classic design elements with a modern twist, we created packaging, and other visual assets that not only stand out on the shelf but also resonate with consumers looking for both quality and value. The work reflects a long-term vision and strategy that was imperative for a strong foundation. It took a monumental effort by many team members, and we continue applying that same type of effort to other branding initiatives.” 

Along with packaging, the AFS trailers, and the drivers pulling them, played a major role in the launch campaign, proudly promoting the whimsical personality of the brand with millions of potential shoppers throughout the company’s service area. Thousands viewed the newly established website ( and saw the marketing and advertising launch campaign. Online influencers posted photos and videos and billboards dotted high-traffic areas. Emails arrived from fans across the country, many asking if the brand was available in their area. The ice cream was featured in local media and trade publications. Most importantly, customers fell in love with the premium, yet affordable, offering that could only be purchased from their local grocer. 

As more shoppers enjoyed the ice cream, freezers filled and sales exploded. Red Button Vintage Creamery ice cream was the most popular product in AFS’ frozen category. In 2016, Associated Food Stores received a Gold Award from Store Brands magazine for the innovative package design. 

Over the subsequent ten years, the brand that began as a lunch-time conversation with a local ice cream producer, a simple, but iconic button and an extensive amount of vision, hard work and incredible expertise became a beloved and integral part of Associated Food Stores’ Exclusive Brands portfolio. Along with ice cream, the brand now includes sorbet, gelato, ice cream toppings, frozen pies, popcorn and candy with more product innovation, including cotton candy and gourmet cookies, on the way.

“The future of Red Button Vintage Creamery is incredibly bright,” said Boyd. “The brand has already captured the hearts of thousands, and we have exciting plans to further enhance its appeal and reach. With continued innovation and strategic marketing initiatives, we’re confident that Red Button Vintage Creamery will continue to grow and delight our customers for years to come.” 


Celebrations will take place throughout the year. AFS is giving away FREE cartons of Red Button Vintage Creamery ice cream to several lucky team members. To enter, click this link and tell us your favorite flavor.