Planting Betty Crocker in the Greeting Card Aisle
Brand Innovation / 6 weeks


In a nutshell

Our team was tasked with bringing vibrant life to the Betty Crocker and the baking mix category. The problem? Betty was getting stale. The baking mix category had been declining 2-3% year over year since 2015. And Betty Crocker was taking the biggest hit. To make matters worse, younger audiences (18-34) weren’t buying boxed cake mix like their parents. We planted Betty Crocker in the greeting card aisle, creating more bake-worthy occasions, and inspiring the occasional baker to pick up our box more often. This took the act of baking from occasional to everyday, and the brand from stale to relevant.


We approached our research with two key questions: 1) Why are people baking less? 2) What does baking mean when they do bake?

Man on the street interviews

We learned that the latest category innovation, the mug cake, was unpopular for quick indulgence because even a microwave minute was too long for the munchies. Other offerings, like the SuperMoist and Decadent lines, weren’t resonating because when people were looking for elaborate, “fancy” confections, they bought premium ingredients. Not boxed mix.

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Focus groups

We learned that baking a cake didn’t come to mind for everyday acts of care because boxed cake was too big (16 servings!). People said things like, “I only bake when I have an occasion.” When it came to telling a friend you cared, people bought a plant and wrote a note.

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Betty Crocker is speaking to the late-night craver and the apron-clad connoisseur, but we’re missing a key audience: the person who wants to show they care.

Make baking the best way to say you care.



If cake is about saying what you really mean (and not just birthdays), it’s actually a communication tool. Which means that it shouldn’t be in the baking aisle. Or the holiday aisle. It should be in the card aisle.

Infiltrating the Card Aisle

We created a Betty Crocker “Say it like you mean it” installation in the card aisle, and transformed the packaging to reflect our new position. Instead of labeling cake solely by flavor, we labeled it by message - Sorry, Thanks, and I Love You.


Reimagining the packaging and product offerings

In addition to labeling the cakes by message (rather than flavor), we downsized them to make only 4 servings, and included everything from a recyclable pan to an icing pen and message ideas. This keeps cake-gifting from being a complicated time-suck. We also added a line of “Last Word Doilies,” which give bakers a chance to hand-write a hidden message under the cake, adding a little drama to a big reveal.

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Taking cake beyond the kitchen

In order to get the Betty Crocker brand in front of consumers beyond grocery and convenience stores, we creaked a cake meme generator and pop-up food truck. The meme generator allows users to make custom memes, and we imagine users could call out inauthentic forms of communication - like a birthday wall post, or a LinkedIn congratulations. The tool could also be used in the Betty Crocker social media to make a stir. The “Say it with cake” food truck would pop up at events that are centered around important messages - like on election days - and cupcakes would be sold to people, who would then decorate them with individual messages.

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Why it works

Caregiving is at the core of the Betty Crocker brand. But in 2018, the image of the traditional homemaker isn’t exactly relevant. So we found a new take on care that didn’t feel limiting or gender-specific. The update to the packaging, both in content and in message, encourages more everyday baking, achieving the goal of growing the category through the brand.


Behind the scenes

My role

2 Focus groups
5 Store checks
10 Man on the street interviews
Baking category messaging audit
Strategic framework
Collaborated on brief writing
Plenty of cake baking


Chorong Kim (Strategist)
Gabi Levy (Creative Brand Manager)
Ruthie Edwards (Experience Designer)
Chad Hilton (Experience Designer)
Alec Milton (Art Director)
Josh Perry (Copywriter)