Krusteaz Packaging Refresh

A NEW RECIPE for success in the baking aisle.


A WEST COAST STAPLE for generations, Krusteaz had been steadily chipping away at entrenched national brands in the bake and pancake mix category. The family-owned company was looking to WIN SPACE in even more PANTRIES coast to coast when they came to Tether for breakthrough packaging.


We started by defining a range of design territories—articulated through concept statements, photo mood boards, and initial design elements—which we put in front of consumers to get their reactions. Our process revealed the most effective solutions for new food styling, typography, and overall mood. From there we generated a range of package designs and visual systems needed to cover Krusteaz’s wide variety of SKUs and product categories. Once we aligned on the most promising designs, we developed further refined variations to be evaluated via a groundbreaking process of neurological testing. The selected design was validated by consumer’s unbiased brain activities and emotional reactions measured while looking at a competitive shelf-set. The results were fascinating—we discovered that our initial, intuitive design work was more effective than our later, more refined designs. In other words, we developed a great package design from the start, but nearly overthought it.


While the Krusteaz packaging line clearly needed updating, we didn’t want to confuse or alienate their loyal customers. We kept many original package equities, particularly from the flagship buttermilk pancake mix, but reinterpreted the elements to feel more contemporary and authentic. At first glance, the new buttermilk box gives a general impression of the original box, but is clearly different, too.

We art directed new mouthwatering photography—probably the most important package element—and revamped the design language to appeal to today’s tastes. Our goal was to evoke deliciousness, fresh from the oven warmth, and feelings of love and pride associated with homemade baking.

After a journey of 18 months of planning, research, and creation, Krusteaz was ready to hit shelves with 70+ fresh SKUs lovingly designed to increase consumer connection and improve brand awareness, recall and trial.


“Tether was an integral part of the team that not only helped us understand how to leverage this strategy to appeal to consumers, but also how to bring it to life on pack.”
– Melissa Washko, Continental Mills Director of Marketing

Read more
Next project


Cannabis culture goes MAINSTREAM MODERN.