Ice Breakers’ packs encourage Millennials to toot their own horn

By Kate Bertrand Connolly in Packaging Design on June 19, 2017

The Hershey Co. knows a thing or two about food packaging, and its new promotional packaging design for Ice Breakers mints shows the company is also savvy about an important demographic: Millennials.

To appeal to these consumers, Hershey decorates its limited-time “Encourage-mint” packs with a rearing unicorn, holograms and inspirational phrases like “Be Unstompable” and “Believe in Your Selfie” (ingeniously printed in reversed, mirror-legible type). Each of the eight packages in the limited collection sports one of the aphorisms, printed across an image of the unicorn. The package structure is a 1.5-oz. polypropylene puck. The puck format has been used for the brand since its inception in 1996.

The packaging design ties in with Ice Breakers’ #GiveAPuck social media campaign, which started on June 1. At the brand’s website, consumers can download custom unicorn-themed assets for sharing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These include digital stickers, memes, green screens and a sparkly typeface.

Inri Mouchette, senior brand manager, sweets and refreshment, at The Hershey Co., answered some questions about the limited-edition packaging and the #GiveAPuck campaign.


How does this package design encourage sharing?

Mouchette: The spirit of the Encourage-mint campaign is rooted in sharing. The eight new “Encourage-mints” on the limited-edition packaging epitomize confidence, with expressions including “Grab Life By the Horn,” “Be You-Nicorn,” and “Never Say Neigh,” to remind consumers of their potential. [The social media campaign also] encourages the sharing of these limited-edition pucks to give friends an icy boost of confidence.


Please describe the “social boost” that’s built into the #GiveAPuck campaign.

Mouchette: Ice Breakers knows that social validation drives Millennials and is the ultimate boost of confidence. When consumers share a picture of one of the new Encourage-mint pucks, tag a friend and use #GiveAPuck, they will potentially receive a surprise social boost from a social influencer. Giving a puck = giving an Encourage-mint boost.

This may include a like, a retweet or [an Instagram] regram from well-known, entertaining personalities who are compelling to the Ice Breakers demographic.


How is the social media campaign identified on the package?

Mouchette: There is a visible #GiveAPuck on all of the Encourage-mint packaging.


How long will the limited-edition packaging be available?

Mouchette: Three months, from June through September.


How are the Encourage-mint labels printed? Do you use digital printing?

Mouchette: The printing is done via conventional flexo printing. The label is a holographic material. This allows the images printed and layered on it to let the holographic features of the substrate show through and create the effect seen on-pack.

Eight phrases and a unicorn graphic replace the typical package design for Ice Breakers Cool Mint (see above) and Strawberry Duos flavors as part of the brand's “Unicorn of Confidence” ad campaign.


The limited-time packaging and social media campaign are a creative follow-on to the Ice Breakers “Unicorn of Confidence” ad campaign that broke last year. Are those commercials (view one here) still airing?

Mouchette: Yes, the Unicorn of Confidence TV ad campaign is still airing.


Who designed the Encourage-mints package graphics?

Mouchette: The designs were created by our strategic design agency, LPK.



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