Minneapolis branding and design agency, Kick, partnered with Triple Crown Nutrition to launch a new, premium line of horse feed, Triple Crown Gold. Flexible Packaging asked Stefan Hartung, co-founder and head of creative at Kick about the process.

What were the client’s objectives with this launch?

Triple Crown Nutrition is a manufacturer of super-premium horse feed that wanted to set a new high mark for the industry in terms of the nutrition their feeds delivered with a new line introduction. Kick partnered with Triple Crown to create Triple Crown Gold, a line of 3 top-of-the line horse feeds: Perform Gold, Senior Gold, and Balancer Gold. The objective was to create compelling packaging for this new product launch and to communicate super premium, top quality and innovation within this line of feed.

The Packaging Needed To:

  1. Be part of the overall family of packaging, but standout as the most advanced of the Triple Crown feeds.
  2. Highlight the innovation and points-of-difference in the Gold line supporting superior equine nutrition.
  3. Indicate the premium and exclusivity — packaging needed to feel exceptional.
  4. Standout from and be elevated from the competition.

Explain the inspiration behind the color palette, imagery and fonts.

Many times, when you see a high-end product label, it uses deep, dark colors, or metallics to indicate premium. Since all of Triple Crown’s existing packaging is predominantly white, we thought, let’s flip this packaging. Let’s be dark and standout vs our current lines of feed. Using the brand color of deep indigo as our foundational palette for the new Gold line, we designed the packaging leveraging existing brand elements. This indigo allowed us to elevate the existing brand look and feel to create a sophisticated brand extension. Then, we added gold metallic to the logo ribbon as well as the Gold name to accentuate the premium line. A finishing touch was a matte and gloss varnish details with ghosted three crowns from the logo enlarged, wrapping around the package, like a seal of premium approval. The fonts follow existing branding fonts established throughout our other branding and packaging work, so our consumer felt it was all part of the family. Kick also the elevated horse image and iconography on this extension to be bolder and streamlined for clear communications.

What was the most challenging aspect of the project?

Great planning and partnership with a client make for smooth projects. We have this with our clients at Triple Crown, and worked collaboratively on the Gold line launch, so there were not major challenges.

We did have a fast timeline, and a staggered launch start for each of the three new feeds within the Gold line. So, determining the best way to talk about them in the campaign was something we had to plan for and strategically solve for. We led with Perform Gold, the most unique and clamored for of our new launch, supported by Senior Gold and Balancer Gold.

How was that problem solved?

With a fast timeline, it helps to be working in directly with the client’s operations team and the printer right from the get-go. Agency, client and printer can plan together to get the most of the printer’s capabilities and meet the needs of the client’s operational specifics. Designing a beautiful bag is one thing, but knowing that the vision can be materialized is very satisfying and sets realistic expectations for a project outcome. This happens when all parties know their métier and collaborate on an aligned brand strategy and vision to elevate the end outcome.

How is Triple Crown package design different from others feeds on the market?

The Triple Crown brand is unique in that they only make super premium horse feed — and it is the most advanced equine nutrition in the industry. The packaging reflects quality, thoughtfulness and education to build trust, knowledge and confidence in the brand. People who value their horses want to feed them the best, because they trust and love them. We are reflecting that relationship through design and execution.

Branding + Design Agency: Kick

Brand: Triple Crown Nutrition

Project: Horse feed launch