Packaged FINDINGS: New BBQ sauce spices up a crowded category

Posted on Aug 19, 2021 by

I recently came across a new barbecue sauce option, Rufus Teague, and the package intrigued me to no end. The structure of the package echoed a brandy flask in its typical kidney-shaped bottle, and the package design was relegated to a simple brand label that took up the flat surface area of the bottle. Once again, the graphic design was clear and direct with just enough illustration to reinforce and make it easy to understand the flavorings/style.  Each label relied on just two colors with each one utilizing a bold but muted “relative” color to reinforce flavorings while staying well within the design grid for the package. The hotter the sauce, the redder the label color became while still retaining their muted mellow color palette.

In this case, they have created a mythology that this bottled version of sauce stems from Rufus Teague’s use of his expired booze bottles to package his unique, specialty barbecue mixtures. Only Rufus knows if this is the truth or not, but they have created an interesting way to distinguish their products from others in a hugely crowded category. The back panels echo the simplicity of the face panels with the very unique copy point of “Eat on Meat” added; however, I do think a better use of the back panel would be to eliminate the “romance” copy, which is small and hard to read. Instead, consider increasing the size and legibility of the nutrition facts copy and product contents.

The surface design is simple, direct, and clean containing enough information to be relevant, and to provide the product “story”.  What is so effective about this design is the simple but bold elemental packaging design. The package has everything the consumer desires to know – most of the story is told without words just “tastefully” appropriate copy and visuals.

One of the key principles of effective package design is to provide crystal clear communication about your brand and deliver key messages on your brand story.  It is essential to remember that effective packaging is built on the premise of consistency in the presentation of packaging graphics communications. Structural imperatives that affect the effective presentation of branding should be clearly understood as a creative mandate and a part of the creative brief. Congrats to Rufus Teague for successfully achieving this!


If you are planning for your next packaging rollout and need help with the structure, graphic design, and marketing that will ensure your product’s success, we invite you to start a conversation with us by contacting us at

The purpose of our “findings” blog is to spotlight packaging that displays thinking that breaks the mold and delivers something new or chancy – or at the very least, highlights packaging that catches your eye in the retail environment.


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