Duke’s Smoked Meats was founded in 2013 by Justin Havlick, a man whose brother once called “the Duke of Jerky.” Today, the brand has become a beloved favorite in the smoked meats category.

Duke’s promises fresher cuts of meat; real, whole ingredients; inventive, unexpected flavor combinations; and a small batch commitment to quality. These things, when combined with passion, result in some of the most exciting (and best tasting) products on the market.


Even though people who’ve tried Duke’s love it, the brand was having trouble selling through. They needed to drive trial. The brand engaged Moxie Sozo for help getting more people to pick up Duke’s off the shelf.

Our conversation began with a simple assertion: the packaging could do more to engage consumers at the point of purchase. It had to better communicate Duke’s unique taste, craftsmanship, and personality.

To win at retail, the packaging would have to seduce shoppers away from larger established category leaders like Jack Links, Slim Jim, and Oberto, as well as beating out disruptive up-and-comers, such as Krave, Fusion, and Chef’s Cut.


Moxie Sozo reimagined the Duke’s Smoked Meats brand, putting taste appeal front and center, helping to communicate the brand’s greatest differentiator: outstanding flavor.

The bold, hand-drawn ingredients on-pack reinforced the product’s handmade craftsmanship, and the clean, modern, minimal aesthetic helped to justify its premium price point. Perhaps most importantly, it stood out on-shelf.


A year after Duke’s grew its market share, Chicago-based ConAgra Brands purchased the brand’s parent company, Thanasi Foods. ConAgra’s president and CEO cited the brand’s premium, modern aesthetic and meteoric growth as key reasons for the acquisition, and we continue to work with Duke’s Smoked Meats as they continue their carnivorous quest for category domination.