The Story Behind Crumbl Cookies' Iconic Pink Box - Exclusive

It's hard to mistake Crumbl Cookies. The carefully curated brand is known for its big, bold cookies — which are lavishly displayed across the company's social media platforms — and the soft pink box they are served in. The chain, which only opened in 2017, has already managed to become the fastest-growing cookie franchise in the country, meaning they are clearly doing something different, and doing it right (via Crumbl Cookies).

And if you ask founders Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley, they'd tell you their iconic pink cookie box is a big reason why we can't get Crumbl Cookies out of our heads. "I felt like once we found the box, it really elevated the brand and it gave us a sense of direction and the box really is the brand," Hemsley said, adding that "a lot of our competitors ... are now trying to mimic that elongated horizontal style." Not that it's worrying them. "When you see the pink box in the airport or in the park, you know it's Crumbl ... we honestly feel like we are innovators in the market and the industry."

So what's the story behind this game-changing box? In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Crumbl's founders shared exactly how the pink box came to be, and how it really is so much more than a box to hold your cookies in.

Crumbl Cookies' pink box beat out a lot of competition

Turns out, the pink box was not a creation dreamed up by the founders of Crumbl. Maybe they were too busy brainstorming elaborate cookie flavors. McGowan and Hemsley told Mashed it took them about three months into the business — using cake boxes and whatever else they could find — until they finally found their perfect cookie box with the help of a little friendly competition.

As the story goes, Hemsley was in college at Utah State when he and McGowan opened the first store. "The business school in that college was having what they call the case competition. And so they utilized Crumbl as a case competition to design various different boxes." He added that each competitor laid out "all the science behind laying out the cookies horizontally and the experience it would provide for our customers," and after looking at 20 different concepts (including one that looked like a miniature oven!) the two partners narrowed it down to their top choices. Hemsley said from there, they let the people decide. "After the case competition and the university students, we had our top three favorite designs and we allowed our customers to vote on what they liked." The founders say the whole process is reflective of Crumbl's way of doing business all around, letting "our customers really drive our decision-making."

The pink box is more than just a cookie container

Beyond how it came to be, Mashed also asked Crumbl's founders exactly why their pink box is so special. When they saw it on display at the case competition, McGowan said, "We knew right away," that it was the right box. But how exactly? Well, they say it comes down to a feeling. "I remember just off in the distance, you saw this box and it was just rectangular. And I'm like, whoa," said McGowan. Hemsley added that it "almost looked like a flower box." But what's so special about a flower box? "How you feel when you open it," according to McGowan, who says that what set the pink box above the rest was that when the founders saw it and opened it, it evoked, "Those types of feelings and things that we're really into."

McGowan also made a point that finding their perfect cookie box was a good learning experience, and made them think differently about how they do business. "How could something as simple as a box really make that big of a difference, from who you are and how you differentiate?" said McGowan, adding that it's caused them to question every single little thing. "How are things placed in the cookie that makes people feel a certain way or that makes people want to take a picture of it and post it to TikTok?" As Hemsley simply puts it, "our internal motto has been 'it's all about the details.'" 

You can find your nearest location on the Crumbl website, and keep up with the viral cookie company by following them on TikTok.