How My Dog Ended Up on Milk-Bone Packaging

Maybe I’m a little bit biased, but every time I go to the pet store to pick up some dog food or treats, it’s hard not to think that my dog should be the one pictured on the packaging. Well today, I get to be a proud dog parent. My dog, Elmer the beagle/basset hound, is officially featured on the packaging of one the most recognizable brands out there – Milk-Bone.

To be honest, Elmer is not really the newest spokesdog for Milk-Bone … and if you go to your local pet store, you won’t see him on any of the boxes. So how did my dog get onto this box of bones?

The answer is digital printing.

A few weeks ago, a colleague at BRAND United‘s sister brand Packaging Impressions sent me a video produced by Kodak, featuring Ed Zumbiel of Zumbiel Packaging. Zumbiel discusses how through the use of his Kodak Prosper 6000S inkjet press, the company is able to efficiently produce customized boxes at the high-quality that Milk-Bone requires.

As a dog owner and a fan of innovative packaging, I couldn’t resist and immediately ordered my own digitally-printed box with Elmer front and center.

The process could not have been easier. All you do is head to the home page, click on the “Personalize It” option, upload a photo, enter your dog’s name, complete the check out process, and that’s it. A couple weeks later, Elmer and I got this box sent directly to our house.

Milk-Bone also offers various templates to choose from, including birthday, the holiday season, and Valentine’s boxes, just to name a few.

How Are the Boxes Produced?

According to a case study from Kodak, when Milk-Bone was looking at the various digital technologies available to produce these boxes, it needed to find the right combination of print quality, cost, and productivity.

The print quality is excellent and really captures the classic Milk-Bone red that is so closely associated with the brand. The customized photo portion looks great as well.

From a productivity standpoint, the case study explains how the Prosper’s continuous inkjet technology runs the cartons at 600 feet per minute, and because the press uses water-based inks, the packaging is food safe.

Here at Packaging Impressions, we are huge fans of finding creative ways to utilize digital printing. For pet owners, using the technology to customize packaging is sure to be a win-win for everyone.

This video originally appeared on Packaging Impressions. If you’ve seen an innovative package, contact Cory Francer at