Person putting Vital Essentials into a bowl

Rebrand and Packaging Design System

Vital Essentials:
Butcher Cuts for Every Pet

As a pioneer in the freeze-dried, raw pet food space, Vital Essentials quickly gained a cult following. With the category rapidly growing, Vital Essentials needed to reconsider their brand identity, packaging, and messaging to stand out in an expanding competitive landscape and show up in their consumers’ world in the most impactful way. Health conscious consumers prefer higher quality foods for their furry friends. Skidmore’s goal: to create the most compelling brand in the category while showcasing Vital Essential’s dedication to the highest quality ingredients. Where do we humans get the highest quality cuts of meat? The butcher.

Vital Essentials old package
Vital Essentials new package

While the proof is in the protein, Vital Essentials’ previous packaging lacked key messaging that can shift purchase intent. 

Evaluating consumer insights and aligning them to company values and business goals led to the key messaging pillars: Sourcing, Process, and Variety.

Drawing inspiration from the butcher shop experience, we began to carve out the new Vital Essential brand. The new visual identity further communicates that our best friends need the best quality protein. The logo (we lovingly refer to as Tabby) pulls inspiration from the Turn-O-Matic tickets.

Deli ticket

Protein Powered Design

New typography, a butcher inspired design, and focused messaging signals fresh, premium cuts. Adding visual cues to help consumers easily find the right protein for their pet created a window into the packaging to see the freeze-dried freshness of each product. Wrapped in kraft paper secured with twine, the new look and feel tells the Vital Essentials story and is sealed with a quality stamp.

Mini Nibs
Woman walking her dog
Cat waiting for Vital Essentials

Your Pet’s Best Life

There is no tricking this consumer. They consider their pets a family member and are educated in what is and isn’t good for them. They aren’t interested in feeding their pets “junk food” and are familiar with the benefits of feeding a raw diet. Quality is worth the cost.

Pouring Vital Essentials into a bowl

We designed Vital Essentials brand and packaging touchpoints to be responsive, allowing treat bags, sample packs, and other packaging formats to scale in any direction.

Person giving their dog a bowl of Vital Essentials
Vital Essentials Packaging

Armed with a brand identity and a scalable packaging design, it was time to build a launch campaign strategy and digital strategy. We developed a cohesive omnichannel strategy that captured the spirit of pets and their owners.

Better Breath Ad
Vital Essentials protein ad
Vital Essentials social graphics
Dog with Vital Essentials

Awww-inspiring assets

Possum Ticket
Pets on set of Vital Essentials photoshoot
Dog grabbing a deli ticket
Tom Tickets

Now Serving: Your Pet

Bringing in the classic Turn-O-Matic machines continues the butcher story in a fun, pet centric way.

No stock imagery here! Just a purely Vital Essentials experience.

We worked with the Vital Essentials team to determine the appropriate launch plan with their goals in mind – seeding the new brand digitally with consumers and introducing the new look and feel to retail partners, competitors, and friends at the Global Pet Expo.

Vital Essentials booth

A Launch to Remember

The focused brand identity shined through the Vital Essentials booth at the Global Pet Expo, earning them recognition for their stand out exhibit.

Raw Bar

The results

The accolades are in. Vital Essentials received a 2023 Pet Business Industry Recognition Award in the Packaging Redesign Category. The rebrand and packaging design also received a 2022-2023 Good Design Award

Dog holding Vital Essentials package

Vital Essentials boldly entered this market as a trailblazer in the raw pet food category nearly 15 years ago, and this rebrand highlights our continued commitment to enriching the lives of pets and their families worldwide through our cross-category portfolio of brands

—Lanny Viegut, CEO Vital Essentials

Proudly American Crafted

Let's get to work.