This study presents a case study of the Retail Food Group and its retail co-branding arrangements, highlighting new directions for franchising and branding related research. The areas of retailing, co-branding and franchising are synthesised providing a contemporary lens for identifying and explaining the phenomenon of co-branding in business format franchising. To explain why RFG chose a co-brand strategy a mixed method approach was applied. Data were collected within a case study framework and analysed using the initial stages of grounded theory. Data were triangulated from a range of sources to develop an organisational perspective. Relevant extant literature is identified, providing a framework for analysis. The study reveals the processes to create and develop internal co-brands within the RFG brand portfolio. These incentives include the lower-order categories of measuring internal co-brand equity; brand attribute bi-lateral leveraging; and locating the co-brand concept (brand migration). This study is limited to a single case study. Future studies should broaden data collection to include further inclusions into the RFG brand portfolio and similar external co-brand structures. Through this case study, traditional franchise and branding theory is challenged, highlighting a new trajectory for researchers in these related areas. Retail co-branding is a difficult and costly strategy, with many risks. Franchisors need to be well resourced and patient in order to trial and implement this approach.This case study provides an organisational (managerial) perspective of franchised retail co-branding, extending existing literature away from consumer focused product specific co-branding. The concepts of brand migration and brand attribute bi-lateral leveraging are introduced to explain co-brand strategy in a retail franchise environment.