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Launching the First Vegan & Gluten-Free Protein Cookie

What could be better than having a Gluten-free, Vegan, No-soy soft baked cookie packed with protein? The answer is nothing! Over a decade ago, NuGo Nutrition introduced the world to the idea that great taste and great nutrition don’t have to be mutually exclusive by creating protein bars with a luscious flavor, wholesome nutrition, and quality ingredients. Seeing that there was a tremendous opportunity to extend that promise in a new white space, NuGo looked to us as their long-standing marketing partner to help them design and launch a protein cookie that could be enjoyed by everyone.


Although fairly new in popularity, the Protein Cookie category is led by a select few competitors that have strong distribution and a large following. NuGo needed to create a highly-contrasting packaging design system that could clearly communicate the protein cookies’ powerful assortment of claims at shelf while still balancing their unique gourmet aesthetic that fits in with everything from speciality grocers to local gyms.


Four deliciously-baked, distinct protein cookie flavors that could disrupt the category and quickly gain footing with distributors, ready to take the world by storm. Within days of announcing the product, NuGo had already sold out of initial pre-orders with a quickly booming demand from consumers everywhere looking bite into another outstanding product.

Sketches and storyboards, baked to perfection.

Creating a compelling packaging system with real taste appeal comes down to how we showcase the cookies themselves. We started our journey by sketching and iterating various packaging concepts and storyboard frames that put the focus on the product, while considering the need for clearly communicating our claims across a variety of flavors. Keeping in mind their large, single-serving pack size, we carefully consider how we would properly show scale and perspective when juxtaposed to both ingredients and other flavors.

Capturing gourmet taste through custom photography.

Conducting some preliminary field research to help inform our approach quickly revealed a key insight that ultimately defined the direction we took the packaging – how delicious the cookies looked on pack synonymously influenced the purchase decision of shoppers. Keeping that in mind, we executed a custom photoshoot to properly capture our already great-looking cookies with an assortment of ingredients, platings, and compositions that could be used for any number of formats or tactics to follow.

A brilliant visual system, fit for any display.

Four varieties of cookies, each distinctly paired with a bold, easily to identify color stripe that translates seamlessly from single packs to trays on shelf. The final version lends itself to a highly visual, taste-provoking balance of branding, product, cues, and claims that can often be very challenging to achieve with consumer packaged goods. We designed the supporting box trays to account for nearly all use cases and edge cases when it comes to handling the challenges of re-stocking and maintaining prominent brand visibility in a high velocity, highly competitive category.

A digital-first soft launch.

As a brand that prides itself on nurturing its loyal community of buyers and fans, NuGo wanted to reveal its innovative new product to them first – offering everything from supplier pre-orders to direct-to-consumer sample packs that could give customers chance to experience the protein cookies first-hand. We developed a mix of marketing and sales materials centered around the brand’s digital experience to support the successful soft launch of the product.

Putting a full digital campaign in motion.

As the new protein cookies begin to take the category by storm and continue to re-affirm fans’ love for NuGo Nutrition’s commitment to great tasting nutrition for all dietary lifestyles, we’ll be closely partnering with their team to continue providing on-going marketing support in reaching new audiences and sharing this great new product innovation with the world.


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