The Ultimate Design Guide To Food Packaging Industry

by Henny Kel Tweet - in Packaging - 11 min read

Food Packaging Industry

Last updated on June 29th, 2018

The food industry has grown exponentially over the years. Companies have expanded and ventured into newer avenues to delight the taste buds of the consumers. Customers are interested and willing to experiment with unique flavours and options. The high competition in the industry has led to brands making artistic changes to attract customers. The food packaging design is one of the significant factors which influence consumer trends.

The unique and creative packaging design and its colour have always aroused interest of the buyers. So what are the essential elements to be considered while designing a label? What makes it interesting and exciting to the consumers? Why do some designs succeed, while others fail?

Here Is Some Ultimate Guide To Product Packaging Industry

01. The Product

The first and foremost element to consider when it comes to designing a package or cover is the product. There is an extensive diversification in the food industry which has led to many unique and interesting segments. There is even more bifurcation in these subdivisions which makes the product an important element. There are various determinants which should be considered in it like product shelf life, quantity, consumption, etc. while making the decision.

The Product

The designers should consider both the aesthetic and utility value of the product while finalising the box. Some products require a specific material or atmosphere to maintain its freshness. The product type also plays a vital role in the product label design as it serves as a preview for the item present inside. In case of beverages and drinks, extra caution might be required to avoid mishaps and to ensure protection. Complete product knowledge is mandatory while creating it.

02. The Consistency

Have you tried different products of the same brand or company? Have you noticed the similarities between different product packages? This similarity is known as the brand message and it is placed to emphasise the significance of the brand. This placement is done in two ways. An identical pattern, small or big is placed in all products and it grows as the brand identity swatch over the period of time. Some companies use the same colour scheme to differentiate their products from their competitors.

The Consistency

Some companies deploy a mnemonic or an icon which represents the parent company. Sometimes, the organisations even opt to leave out the uniformity and attempt to establish the brand as a separate entity. This could work in the case of big companies that have the market strength to sustain the products on their own. However, maintaining a consistency is essential for all companies as it is increases the market credibility and in turn contributes to the brand reach.

03. The Shape

Let’s talk shapes! Though the most standard shapes in the market are rectangle, box, cuboids, cylindrical and sphere. Time and again, the unique shapes have gained the consumers’ attention. However, these shapes do not guarantee the success of the product. But they do attract attention and have eased the process of brand visibility. Brands have innovated and introduced entirely new shapes into existing products or even made slight modification to the existing shapes to make it stand out.

The Shape

The best example in this avenue would be the beverage packaging design where the product quantity determines the shape. The demographics also play a major role as companies have attempted both compact and enormously huge sizes to cater to their target audience. Sometimes, even newer shapes are invented to capture the market and to draw the consumer attention. The trend is constantly fluctuating between conventional and modernism to keep up with the growing demands.

04. The Industry

There is no argument or debate that uniqueness is the key to survival. However, there is a thin line which determines the requirements of a specific industry. Some products require specific conditions to maintain its richness. There is also the cost and the consumption factor. The profit of the product is ultimately the game changer which matters at the end of the day. All efforts that go into the product should translate into sales and consumer satisfaction.

The Industry

The certification agencies also have a strong say in the type of package design. Some preservation chemicals have the tendency to work with the packaging material making it toxic. All these factors should be considered while making the design and selecting the material. It is not wrong to learn about the competition and peers to help you get a better picture. The standards vary for each product and it is imperative to understand it clearly.

05. The Brand Message

What is the message communicated by a food brand? Do they aim at satisfying the hunger pangs? Do they attempt to enrich their flavour palate? Or is there something beyond that? Every brand tries to compensate an essential memory or phase in life. They remind us of some of the cherished moments in our life. The brand message will be something along these lines and it can vary for each company.

Brand Message

For instance, chocolates are said to release endorphins and make a person happy. All companies marketing chocolates will have different techniques to communicate this message to the consumers. Some products could have a nutritional boost, while some could be associated with a memory. The box packaging design should be in line with this message. It plays a vital role in the endowment of the brand image among the potential buyers. It builds more trust on the brand and boosts sales.

06. The Colour

There is no specific colour which is associated with any product in the food industry. This fact acts as the boon and bane of the industry. It is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the designer to select and finalise the colour for the package design. The next obvious choice would be the colour associated with the primary ingredient. For example, an apple product would be in a red colour container. However, other shades with the primary colour can also be used.The Colour

Sometimes designers can also implement the hue associated with the flavour. Some companies opt to go for a neutral shade where they specify the significant colour is given importance. Sometimes, a different colour is also used and it has attained reasonable success. A thorough analysis is essential before deciding on the colour as it will have a long-term impact. Once the colour is finalised, there is no going back at least for a considerable amount of time.

07. The Positioning

Why does product positioning matter when it comes to box packaging design? Does it have any impact on the sales and visibility of the product? It does as it defines the type of target market. Each segment of an audience has a unique buying behaviour, and they tend to select the shopping outlet based on it. A consumer, who purchases in a supermarket, will it instantly attracted to the colour and shape.

The Positioning

The uniqueness will be a key element of focus. The scenario in the boutique would be slightly different. The customer will be more interested in the details and the elegance of the product. These factors should be taken into consideration while designing the product packaging. It is important to understand the consumer segments for the product to have a better idea. Some companies introduce an elite version of the product for the same reason.

08. The Image

What is the first thing to notice when you pick-up a product? It is not the brand name. Your eyes will register the image before the words. Though, it takes only a matter of seconds behind this perception. The first look has a significant image on the consumer decision. The visual stimuli prompt your brain to function in a specific way, and they have a subconscious effect.

The Image

This image could be the picture of the actual product, a schematic depiction of the primary ingredient, or model relishing the goodness of the product. However, it does not stop with it, and newer imagery is introduced as a part of the actual design. Certain relevance would be appreciated, and it has to capture the attention of the buyers. Minimalistic design is always more likely to reach the audience rather than complicated ones. It should be both innovative and effective to succeed.

09. The Instructions

It is mandatory to include instructions as a part of every product packaging design. These instructions will include the manufacturing batch, date of expiration, nutritional value, and even the address of the corporate. Most brands follow the minute script or take the consumers through a series of steps before reading the fine print. Some of this information is mandatory and cannot be avoided. However, there is no reason that they will have to be hidden somewhere in the wrapper.

The Instructions

Innovative ways can be identified to communicate the same message. This will avoid cluster and also increase brand reliability. Though only the front cover is visible at first, consumers of today are thirsty for knowledge and are interested in knowing what their favourite food is made of. It is important to be transparent and includes all the essential data. Skipping a step or two is never advisable in the longer run.

10. The Texture

The texture of the food packaging design ranges from coarse to grainy and smooth to glossy. There is no hard and fast command which determines the type of material which is selected for a particular product. This can be varying according to the whims and fantasies of the design team. However, there are certain factors which should be considered while making this decision. This information is gathered from the collective intelligence of the various companies in the market.

The Texture

The experts have predicted this pattern based on years of research and analysis. All designs do not fit well with all kinds of materials. It takes a certain type of material to enhance the efforts of the creative genius. This can be found by the analysing the existing trends and also experimenting with the newer technologies. It is important to be open and consider multiple options before selecting the one. It is also vital to trust your instincts while making the decision.

11. The Safety

Most products travel from the point of origin to various locations across the country. Some products even have international consumers, and it is important to maintain the same standards across the globe. All products are subjected to a certain amount of wear and tear before reaching the aisle or the end customer. The carefully wrapped cover should be able to remain the same in the harsh external conditions. It should be resistant to all kinds of exposures and damages they might cover.

The Safety

The coffee packaging design should be able to uphold the freshness of the product. The design should be flexible, and it should be created keeping all these in mind. Though it might seem more like an operational scope, it is crucial for all stakeholders to understand the extent of the situation. It should be durable and also achieve its purpose in an aesthetic and secure sense.

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12. The Competition

Some companies view their competitors as opposition and are always on high alert to win the competition. What they fail to realise is that they are incredible resources of information regarding the industry. Every company invests greatly in research to understand the consumer expectation and behaviour. All their actions are formulated keeping a single goal in mind. Even their failures can serve as an abundant source of information. Though you might hate the competition, it is crucial to respect them and learn from them.

The Competition

The brand wars between bigger companies are a common phenomenon in the industry. Healthy competitions are always good for the customers as well as they lead to the betterment of the product. Most brands invent new techniques and ideologies to keep up in the race. Some rely on to get their design done from an online graphic design services provider like Designhill. This could be the key to a great changes and development in any industry. The product packaging design of the peers can serve as a challenge and inspiration for your brand.

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Conclusion

Whether we agree or not, we find ourselves attracted to the brightest product on the rack. Though quality plays a significant role in the success of the product, food packaging design is what attracts the consumers most. In an aisle portraying all kinds of tea, the most exotic tea packaging design is bound to draw the maximum attraction. It might not ensure sales, but it puts the product in the race. A product in attractive cover design on the social media page compels customers for a try. It increases brand visibility and customer reach. It is imperative to consider all these factors while creating the design.

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I am a graphic, web designer and blogger with over 6 years experience. I am very passionate about anything related to design and spends copious amounts of time hidden behind a book or a screen and reading about design. Twitter | Google +

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