Monthly Archives: May 2014

Great food products deserve great food packaging.

Great food products deserve to be showcased in well designed, attractive packaging. While food product design and formulation are the first order of business, some marketers remain focused on that aspect of bringing a product to market without giving enough consideration to actually packaging the product…package configuration, materials, design, graphics, photos, and messaging.

Here are some tips for designing food packaging that sells:

1. Focus on the target audience: identify your core consumers, those who buy the largest share of your product and products in your category. Packaging design and messaging should speak primarily to those consumers, your product/brand loyalists. They are most likely to re-purchase your product and share their product experiences with family and friends via social media.

2. Sell the product and the brand: successful food packaging represents the product well with professional product and serving suggestion photography, appealing packaging graphics, and relevant product information. Selling the brand is equally important in building consumer trust and loyalty, and packaging design needs to communicate the brand’s value proposition and market position.

3. Consider the retail environment: one of the first things product category buyers look at in food packaging is how it will fit within their retail environment and schematics. Packaging size, configuration, facings, and material all need to work well within the product category environment. Your product won’t get into shopping carts if it never gets on the self. It is a good idea to talk with buyers within your product category as you are developing your packaging.

4. Take into account distribution and handling: another important aspect of retail food packaging design is how well it will travel through distribution channels and in-store handling practices to get to the shelf. Packaging design needs to encompass the protective packaging so that travel and storage maintain the integrity of product packaging. Materials, sizes, and configurations all need to be considered from the perspective of efficient and effective protective packaging.

5. Make it shop-able: Consumers compare brands in a matter of seconds in retail environments and effective packaging design enables consumers to quickly find product claims and attributes. Shop-ability in packaging design means that consumers are able to find key product claims where they expect them to be, and make the product comparisons that are inherent in consumer choice.

6. Don’t forget in-home functionality: Consumers want packaging that is easy to handle, re-sealable for easy use/reuse, and convenient to store at home. Packaging design must not only fit the requirements of the product, it must fit the functionality requirements and expectations of consumers once the product is used and stored at home.

Developing food packaging is a team effort. The first step is choosing a food packaging design specialist who understands the unique requirements and regulations associated with packaging food in any food category.  Food packaging design specialists will be able to assemble a packaging development team, including packaging/label printers,  appropriate for a specific food category. Working together, they can create great food packaging that great food products deserve.

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Modern eating habits have profound effect on food marketing.

There have been seismic shifts in our culture that have changed the way we think about and consume food. For food marketers, there are both upsides and downsides. These changes have created marketing opportunities through product innovations and realignments that did not exist a few years ago. However, these changes have also caused disruptions in food marketing as producers and foodservice operators have had to rethink their products and their messages. The Hartman Group, Inc. has succinctly summarized these cultural changes in their infographic, “Modern Eating in America”.  (Click on image below to view full infographic.)


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