Most Americans have not assimilated the official term of “clean labeling,” but they definitely have preferences when it comes to what they see on food packaging designs.
Consumer attitudes toward packaging can appear to be contradictory, and this presents challenges to brands. For example, while people understand and want to minimize the wasteful aspects of packaging, they also want their interactions with products to be satisfying and rewarding.
While 3D printing may not have been in the news in 2017 as much as it was in prior years, that does not mean that the technology has stalled.
The Nielsen Company recently published results of a study of snacking behavior in America, learning more about what goes into the $33 billion a year snack industry in the US, what consumers are buying, and why.
Brands have not always had as much control over product colors as they do today. For example, when Walter E. Diemer of the Fleer Chewing Gum Company invented bubblegum in the 1920s, pink was the only food coloring the company had. Hence, bubblegum became, and has always been, associated with the color.
No one disputes the importance of great packaging design, but what specifically about packaging designs make products stand out from competitors? Does packaging design matter in the same ways depending on whether products are located on the store shelf or on an e-commerce website?
Food waste is one of modern society’s most complex problems. In 2014, Americans threw away more than 38 million tons of food waste, and only 5 percent of it was diverted from incinerators and landfills. Nearly 22 percent of discarded municipal solid waste is food waste.
E-commerce has changed everything, including how products are packaged. Some brands have leaped in and redesigned packaging specifically for the world of e-commerce, but many have simply stuck with packaging designs they have always used – designs which may have been created to fit rigid retail shelf specifications.
Food consumption is done differently than it was a generation or two ago. Flexible and non-traditional work schedules and difficulty getting multiple family members’ schedules in sync mean that the family meal together is more the exception than the rule.
The demands on food packaging design seem almost endless. First and foremost, packaging must protect the product inside, but much more is required. Packages must contain ingredient information and relevant safe handling and prep information, but they must also carry branding elements that make people want to purchase the product. Moreover, customers are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of food packaging designs.