You only need a few simple ingredients to make a loaf of bread. But there’s nothing simple about making a great loaf of bread, as anyone who has ever tried to do it knows.

Jim Challenger, founder and president of Challenger Breadware, spent years working on his breadmaking skills – combining flour, water, salt, homemade yeast – and a passion for getting it exactly right – and discovered it was often the pan that came up short.

So, in the wake of his early retirement from software development, Challenger designed his own. The result was Challenger Breadware, a family-owned business based in Northfield, Illinois, dedicated to the craft of breadmaking. While today the company sells a collection of baking tools, the winning product is a signature bread pan.

But to get his bread pan into the hands of home cooks around the world, Challenger needed a partner who took packaging design as seriously as he takes bread so that he could successfully sell into Sam’s Club. Here’s the story of that partnership, which like a great loaf of bread, includes having the right ingredients, but is really more about a commitment to getting it right.

A Bread Pan that Gets it Right

The Challenger Breadware pan was an innovation for bread masters and hobbyists alike, incorporating the steam-trapping environment that professional bakers prize but which moisture-ventilating home ovens cannot reproduce. Challenger said some of the pros had been repurposing things like Dutch ovens to get around the problem, but the design was not ideal.

Challenger set out to design a better bread pan with the goal of having a few made for family and friends and maybe a few more to market on social media to cover his costs.

However, word quickly spread when he started posting about it on Instagram, and soon enough he had a growing internet business.

“We sold to 40-45 countries in the first 45 days,” said Challenger. “The demand just keeps growing.”

The Difference the Right Partner Can Make

Like bread, packaging has only a few simple ingredients, but getting it right takes commitment and expertise. And this was no ordinary bread pan. For one thing, it weighs 20 pounds and has to be shipped around the world. And Challenger’s customers expect any packaging to be environmentally friendly. An early version that included a plastic cover to protect the pan drew complaints.

A TPH designer engineered a new design that used corrugated end pieces to hold the pan in place without any scuffing – or any plastic. The work was “genius,” Challenger said, and the results are having their own social media moment.

“People post videos of themselves opening the box,” Challenger said. “It’s humbling to see how happy people are.”

The kind of people who bake bread tend to be the kind of people who try to minimize their environmental footprint, Challenger says. “That’s the way we should be,” he said.  “We should leave the world a better place.”

Expertise, Innovation & Troubleshooting for Campaigns that Succeed

With the help of the TPH Global team, Challenger found a solution that was sturdy, environmentally friendly and ensured that his bread pans arrived at the end of their journey looking as good as they do at the beginning.

That’s a recipe we’ve perfected at TPH, across a wide range of industries, products and supply chain journeys. From warehouse clubs and big-box retail to specialty stores and online sales, we position our clients for success. Whether they are pitching Costco for the first time or struggling to streamline international supply chain hurdles, we make the process easy for our clients, delivering confidence at every step. And occasionally, a great loaf of bread.

To learn more about what we can do to ensure the success of your next campaign, give us a call or click on the link below. To learn more about how to make a perfect loaf of bread, visit the Challenger Breadware website or connect with Jim on Instagram @JimChall or @ChallengerBreadware

Download the case study PDF.

Contact us to learn more about custom packaging