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Chrissy Teigen Finds Herself At The Root Of Another Scandal, and This One Involves Packaging

by Chloe Gordon on 11/09/2022 | 3 Minute Read

Surprise, surprise. Chrissy Teigen is at the root of yet another scandal. 

While this one doesn't involve horrendous cyberbullying, it does include bringing down the little guy. We featured Teigen's new line of baking mixes a few weeks ago and analyzed the minimal, albeit trendy, packaging designs. And while we thought the cake boxes were original, New Zealand baker Jordan Rondel is blaming Teigen for stealing the concept from her. 

Rondel is known for her brand, The Caker, a boxed cake mix brand that sells her delicious "cake kits." Teigen herself tried one of Rondel's cake kits, and the two collaborated on a carrot cake mix for a Cravings x The Caker collaboration released in September. That offering has since been removed from Craving's website, though the URL lives on.

However, Teigen released her line of cake mixes in late October, and Rondel is accusing Teigen of ripping off her packaging designs. The Caker mixes come packaged in a classic cardboard box with saturated food photography, which, by itself, isn't anything new. We've seen this photography style recently, from immi's ramen packaging and the Drumstick redesign to Oats Up!and BOTH burgers

In Rondel's Instagram side-by-side, she features the back of her box compared to the front of Teigen's box, comparing the photography style and accusing Teigen of design theft. The front of the packages are entirely different, as The Caker's features near-neon hues, a light serif typeface, and Rondel's signature. Teigen's box cover is a light cream shade, with a bold sans-serif typeface and a retro-inspired logo. 

While the boxes aren't exactly the same, there's a drawn influence and some aesthetic overlap), and with the two women recently having collaborated, Teigen obviously knew of the small business. So, at the very least, you have to wonder when taking inspiration crosses the line and becomes design theft. 

Editorial photograph

"Chrissy was actually lovely to work with, and I don't want this to turn into a dramatic witch hunt," wrote Rondel on Instagram. "To be clear, we were told CT + Cravings would be releasing their line of mixes halfway through our collab with a launch date of late October, which is the reason they tried to call our collab off. I don’t want to get into the details, but we fought to continue because we’d already invested so much."

It's hard to really pinpoint where a mostly minimalist design with saturated photography finds its inspiration. Sure, I agree that Teigen trying to pull out of the collaboration with a small, independently-owned female entrepreneur after months of hard work is wrong. However, the packaging does feel independent enough that it doesn't feel like a copy-and-paste effort. The issue with this story is what has likely occurred behind the scenes that we, as onlookers, will never truly know. The drama, however, is coming to light through loosely similar packaging designs, proving again why packaging design is about more than just color palettes, cute typography, and photography.