Packaging we’re INto

There’s nothing we love more than a great packaging redesign, especially when it’s a redesign of a food product! We had the privilege of working with E&C’s Snacks, a Minneapolis-based cookie company, recently designing their logo, packaging design and tagline.

Here are three recent package redesigns that we love.

Blue Bunny


The bunny is back, baby! We love the modern, sleek look of Blue Bunny’s new logo. The choice of font and emphasis on clean-cut imagery makes for an attractive package.

Agency: pearlfisher

Market Pantry


Market Pantry, one of Target’s many private labels, is turning heads with their recent packaging redesign. We’re a fan of the fresh-looking logo, large typeface and bold imagery. Market Pantry’s bright red and white color scheme is synonymous with Target, and bringing that center stage was a smart move. The previous design system lacked personality and appeared rather bland, typical of generic brands. But now Market Pantry redefines “private label” with this exciting redesign.

Agency: pearlfisher

Swedish Fish


Swedish Fish gets a face-lift! The popular candy brand’s iconic red fish is now featured in the center of the package. The font, once retro and seemingly dull, is now modernized and fun. The classic yellow and light blue color scheme remains, but is given life with a playful wave.

Agency: Bulletproof

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Chocolate and stout…that’s what love is about!


As a nod to our North Loop neighbor, Fulton Brewery, we chose their Worthy Adversary Stout for this recipe.

Chocolate Stout Truffles


Creamy Centers

1/4 cup Nutella spread
6 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped


Truffle Filling

1 1/2 cups (1 bottle) Fulton Worthy Adversary Stout beer
12 oz. good quality chocolate (60% cocoa content), chopped



8 oz. good quality chocolate (from a shiny bar, this means it has previously been tempered) can be milk, dark or white chocolate


Creamy Centers

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat milk chocolate and Nutella in microwave for 30 seconds or until just melted. Stir until completely combined. With a teaspon portion 36 1/2” dollops on parchment. Leave in the freezer for 1 hour, until frozen.


Truffle Filling

Add the beer to a pot over high heat. Reduce by half (about 3/4 cup remaining), stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth and melted.
Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Use a melon baller to scoop out a small amount of chocolate. Remove centers from freezer. Sandwich one dollop in the middle of the truffle mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. Chill for 20 minutes to an hour.



Heat chocolate in double boiler, on low. Stir until the chocolate is just melted.
Remove from heat. Roll each truffle ball in melted chocolate until coated.
Place on parchment paper, sprinkle with desired topping. Chill until ready to serve.


Topping Ideas

Cocoa powder
Coconut shavings
Chopped nuts
Crumbled bacon
Crushed pretzels
Crushed candy cane
Crushed toffee
Caramel drizzle
Sea salt


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Build food sales in 45 seconds or less.

With over 600,000 restaurants in the U.S., it’s virtually impossible for a food manufacturer to call on more than a small fraction – even with a robust direct or broker sales force. And with a typical sales call costing around $400, it’s imperative to find cost-effective ways to reach highly profitable independent operators. That’s where video can come into play. Here are just a few stats to show the power of video in your B2B marketing mix:

  • More than 70% of B2B buyers view video product demonstrations before making a purchase.1
  • A video on a B2B landing page can increase conversion by 80%2
  • 48% of B2B buyers use their smartphone to watch video3

Whether you’re using video to introduce a new product (such as our Yoplait® SmoothiePro example below), or using it to show new uses for a mature product category (such as our Marzetti® Dressing example), it can be a powerful way to extend the reach of your salesforce.

A single video can be leveraged in multiple ways to drive engagement and sales — from paid and social media, to your website, tradeshows, e-mails and blog posts.

Introducing Smoothie Pro


Interested in exploring videos for your business? Contact


1 IT Business Edge

2 Demand Metric B2B Video Marketing Benchmark and Best Practices Report, 2014

3 EMarketer, 2014

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Tomato, tomahto…which boxed soup gets our vote?

What’s a grilled cheese sandwich without its best sidekick: a steaming bowl of creamy tomato soup? With so many great boxed brands to choose from, we set out to find the one that gets our INdorsement.


The Contestants:

Trader Joe’s Organic Creamy Tomato Soup

Cost: $0.08/oz.

Appearance and taste: This soup had a lighter orange color but was relatively watery. It had a sweet taste that was polarizing to our group. A few people likened it to Campbell’s tomato soup.

Pacific Organic Creamy Tomato Soup

Cost: $0.12/oz.

Appearance and taste: This soup had a rich, orange color and a true tomato taste. Most of our team really sparked to the flavor of this one. One person even called it “life changing.”

Imagine Organic Creamy Tomato Soup

Cost: $0.12/oz.

Appearance and taste: This soup was much darker than the other two. The appearance was appealing to us, however the taste wasn’t as great as we were hoping. It had a slightly off-putting aftertaste that lingered a little too long.

The Analysis:


Our consensus? Pacific Organic Creamy Tomato Soup had the creamy texture and clean tomato flavor perfect for pairing with our grilled cheese sandwiches. Additionally, its packaging trumped the other 2 brands.


The Trader Joe’s package felt very generic and un-designed with its font choice and dark tones. We didn’t find the pinkish hues of the Imagine packaging to work well, and thought the “organic” got lost at the top. We liked Pacific’s color palette and use of fresh tomatoes for flavor cues. The color of the soup also seemed true, unlike the unnatural darkness of the other two.

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Cheesecake Baked Apples

If you enjoy creating in the kitchen, here’s a festive and impressive way to serve apple cheesecake.
Simply hollow out apples for shells, fill with your favorite cheesecake batter and bake!
Apple shells:
8 large apples (I used Honeycrisp)
Lemon juice

Chunky applesauce:
Apple flesh removed from shells
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cheesecake batter:
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. apple brandy
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
2 eggs
1/2 c. chunky applesauce* (recipe below or use prepared apple sauce)
1/8 c. whipping cream
Optional finishes:
Caramel sauce
Pecans, chopped
Maple leaf cookies (recipe below)
1) Apple shells:
Chop the tops of the apples off and scoop out the insides, leaving approximately 1/4” thick shell. Use removed apple flesh to make chunky applesauce for the cheesecake. Discard the core and seeds. Brush apple rims with lemon juice to reduce browning.
2) *Chunky applesauce:
Place scooped out apple flesh in small saucepan with 2 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. sugar. and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Cook on low/medium heat until apples are tender but still chunky.
3) Cheesecake batter:
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add brandy, cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom. Blend well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Stir in applesauce and cream until just incorporated.
Portion batter into hollowed apples (fill to top). Place filled apples on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes until cheesecake filling is set. Transfer to a plate and place in the fridge until completely cooled.
Serve apples at room temperature or chilled. If desired, top with caramel sauce and chopped pecans.
For an extra special finishing touch, garnish with maple leaf cookies (recipe follows).
Maple Cookies:
Adapted from Gourmet and Martha Stewart
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1 egg yolk
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1 egg white, beaten
Beat together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.  With the mixer running, add in the egg yolk and slowly pour in the maple syrup.  In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom and salt.  Add to butter mixture until just combined.  The dough will be pretty clumpy.  Press together lightly and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat®. Roll out the cookie dough to about 1/8” thickness. Cut into desired shapes, and repeat with remaining dough.
Brush with beaten egg white. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until edges are lightly golden.
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Food packaging we love.

What takes food packaging from good to great? It’s so much more than beautiful graphics, typography and photography. Great food packaging tells a story from the shelf that evokes an emotional response from buyers. Here are three examples that do just that:

Potter’s Crackers: The beauty of this packaging is in its simplicity. Less can truly be more when it comes to telling the story of the food. The illustration of the state of Wisconsin, paired with the descriptor immediately screams “local.” The use of craft paper conveys the artisan nature of the crackers, and the product can be easily seen through the window. Paired with the minimalistic graphics, the food itself is the hero of the package.

Kettle® Brand Potato Chips: Is there a more demonized snack food on the planet than potato chips? This packaging barely even uses that descriptor – you have to look hard to find it at the bottom. Instead, the hierarchy focuses on the main ingredient: real sliced potatoes. Paired with the tagline “Real food. Natural ingredients.”, a person almost feels judicious purchasing this brand of potato chips.

Tiny but Mighty Popcorn: With slightly whimsical branding, this is a package that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But with the choice of words, color and imagery, it immediately tells a story: It’s from a farmer named Gene in Iowa, and it’s an ancient heirloom variety of popcorn — connecting to consumers’ desire to understand the origins of their food. The illustrations of corn further reinforce the real food aspect of the product.

Which food packaging has stood out you? We’d love to hear about it. And if you need help with your next packaging initiative, contact

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Is Honeycrisp Your Go-To Minnesota Apple? Discover Our Favorite.

Minnesota is home to many delicious varieties of apples, so we narrowed it down to three of our favorites: Honeycrisp, Sweet Tango, and Zestar. Of course we all thought Honeycrisp would be the winner, but we may have discovered a new favorite…

The Contestants:

Cost: $2.99/lb.
Appearance and taste: Honeycrisps were light red with tinges of green and yellow, giving them an appearance similar to a tie-dye shirt. They were noticeably larger than the other two apple variations. They were soft and easy to bite into and had a nice crunch and firm texture. We immediately took note of its juiciness and pleasant tartness. The taste and cell structure was more complex than the other two contenders. We certainly had to have more than one piece of this apple!

Sweet Tango
Cost: $4.49/lb.
Appearance and taste: These apples were dark red with numerous small, bright green and yellow color variations. It had a really great and satisfying crunch to it. It had a more muted and mellow taste about it, which many of us really liked. A few people noted it tasted like a baked apple, or even an apple that was freshly picked from a tree. It would be a perfect addition to any cheese plate.

Cost: $2.49/lb.
Appearance and taste: Similar to the Honeycrisp apple, the Zestar had a mixed color of soft red and muted yellow. Although it looked appetizing, the taste didn’t quite do it for us. The apples we tried were grainy and soft, lacking a desired crunch. Most people were outright displeased with this apple after trying the previous two.

The Results:

In a very, very close vote, Sweet Tango beat out the heavily-favored Honeycrisp. Although everyone enjoyed the Honeycrisps, there was something in Sweet Tango’s fresh-picked taste that won over even its most dedicated fans.

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Programmatic media 101

As consumers, we may find programmatic media a little creepy. After all, who wants a pair of shoes you’ve been ogling to taunt you on every subsequent website you visit? But as marketers, the benefits and advantages of programmatic media are hard to ignore. Here are a few things you need to know about it:

– It’s an automated method of buying media that uses real-time bidding to target consumers based on recent internet searches.
– Unlike traditional media vehicles, you’re buying the audience, not the placement itself.
– The benefits include increased click-through rates, reduced cost and less reliance on media partners. It can also be used effectively for both B2C and B2B channels.

Should programmatic media replace current media channels? Absolutely not. But like paid search, it can be another highly targeted tool in your marketing arsenal. We recommend starting with a small budget to test, and setting buying parameters against who you know to be a targeted customer. It’s also important to create relevant ads and refresh them often since wear-out can occur after only a couple of weeks.

Want a little more information on how to put programmatic media to work for you? Contact

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Does Organic Lemonade Taste Better?

The July heat is in full force, and one of the best ways to cool down is with a refreshing glass of lemonade. Which brand should you use to cool off while sitting in the sun? In our recent blind taste test, we put three lemonades to the test to see which we deem the most refreshing.


The Contestants:

Newman’s Own
Cost: $0.04/fluid ounce
Taste and appearance: The first lemonade we blindly tasted was Newman’s Own. At first look, it had a very deep, nice yellow look to it, looking the most like true lemonade. When we tasted it, almost everyone thought it had a sweet, and then very sour, tart taste to it.
Packaging: Newman’s Own is an older brand, so the name alone gives it a different level of trustworthiness than the others, however, we thought the packaging could use a little bit of an update.

Simply Lemonade
Cost: $0.05/fluid ounce
Taste and Appearance: While looking at it, we were able to see the pulp, which gave it a more natural and organic appeal to us. When tasting it, we realized that it had a really great balance between sweet and sour, which made it the most refreshing.
Packaging: Simply Lemonade was our favorite packaging of them all because it was simple and modern.

Santa Cruz Organic
Cost: $0.11/fluid ounce
Taste and Appearance: We were thrown off by its dark yellow, almost brown, color and off-putting smell. None of us were impressed with how it tasted it either. It just lacked a true, clean lemonade flavor.
Packaging: We liked that it was simple, like Simply Lemonade’s, but what we thought really gave it a premium feel was its glass bottle, something neither of the other two had. However, we didn’t feel the packaging justified the cost.

The Results:


So which will we be using to cool down for the rest of the summer? Simply Lemonade. Its reasonable cost, perfect sweet/sour balance, and sleek packaging made it our favorite.

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Mmm… morels!

IN’s Creative Director, Lori Gerdts, is taking over the blog today to share a few of her favorite morel recipes. Enjoy!



The hunt for these little woodsy gems is a special as the mouthwatering treat they make. From a simple sauté to savory sauces they are sensational. Here are my two of favorite ways to enjoy them:
Mouthwatering Morels  
Lightly dust (dredge) fresh morels (cleaned and sliced in half) with flour seasoned with salt & pepper. Shake off any excess flour to
avoid clumping and over breading. Saute in butter until desired tenderness (10-12 minutes). I love them with a little crunch on the outside!

Tip: A wonderful steak topper or finishing touch to risotto!


Morels & Ramps
Morels & Wine Sauce 
4-6 servings

This seasonal sauce pairs well with fish and chicken dishes!
  • 1 Tbs + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Pepper, fresh, cracked
  • 4 ramps, sliced or 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 8 large morel mushrooms, halved, cleaned
  • 1 Tbs butter, unsalted
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. chicken base
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

1.  Over medium- low heat, add a teaspoon of olive oil and butter to sauté pan. Add the ramps, shallots and morels. Cook until shallots are soft and translucent about 8 minutes.

2. Deglaze the pan by adding the vinegar and white wine and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the wine starts to reduce.

3. Add the cream and chicken base. Stir and simmer for 5-10 minutes, sauce should thicken slightly.

4. Add parsley and pepper to taste.

Serve with Cornmeal Crusted Walleye and Wild Rice Medley for a truly Minnesotan treat. Delicious with tilapia, halibut and chicken too!


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