Most of us believe ourselves to be unmoved by the subtle psychological cues in the packaging of the things we buy, choosing products solely based on their merit and value.
One reason food packaging design is such a fascinating subject is that it includes generous helpings of both science and art. Because the packaging contains food that people eat, it must protect the food and prevent contamination, keeping it as fresh and palatable as possible. And because people have such a vast array of choices, it must reach out to the consumer and influence them to choose one particular product over a competitor.
Effective food packaging design has always been a balancing act between requirements and branding, and between art and science. People want to be informed about what’s in the foods they consume, but at the same time, it’s easy to overwhelm consumers with labels that are jammed full with text.
Most people fondly imagine that they are immune to marketing buzzwords, able to make their consumer choices solely based on merit and value. But most people are still affected by marketing buzzwords, particularly as they relate to food branding trends.
Consumer-centric package design seems so obvious as to not need stating. Yet it wasn’t that long ago that consumers simply had to accept products packaged as manufacturers dictated, even if packaging was too bulky, or inconvenient to use.
In terms of both safety and consumer appeal, it would be difficult to overstate the importance of food packaging design. Neither quality can be neglected in packaging design for any brand that wants long-term success. Consumer packaged goods are fast moving and turn over quickly. How they are packaged determines how efficiently they can be shipped, how easily they can be shelved by retailers, and how well they appeal to the consumers that shop those retailers.
Food packaging designs must not only adhere to stringent FDA food safety regulations, but they must also appeal to consumers in advertising and at the point of sale.
Everyone knows that food packaging designs influence consumer behavior. With the majority of purchase decisions being made at the store, lack of brand loyalty can be used by CPG brands to their own advantage. Excellent food packaging design is the key to doing this, and it must pique not only consumer interest, but also communicate the right brand message.
Consumer centricity in food packaging design is nothing new because brands have designed packages to appeal to the shopper for decades. In more recent years, however, the so-called clean label concept has gained significant traction with the American public.
Food packaging design plays many roles and fulfills many expectations. Additionally, it must contain food safely and provide consumers with certain types of information required by the FDA.