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Less is More: How Simplified Packaging Design Appeals to Health-Conscious Consumers

Less is more: simplified packaging design appeals to health-conscious consumers

Health and wellness is a rising priority for consumers in today’s world. One pathway to wellness is to embrace simple, healthy food choices. As health-conscious consumers seek out wholesome food products, simplified packaging design draws them in, boosting their positive perception of brands. How can your brand translate simplified packaging design into successful outreach to health-focused consumers?

Healthy packaged foods are no longer for a niche market: today, even larger brands seek ways to appeal to the health-conscious consumer. Customers are increasingly interested in health and, at the same time, snack foods.

The Health-Conscious Consumer

Organic, whole grain, low sugar, and gluten-free: the health-conscious consumer has many expectations for their packaged food products. This consumer is often busy and looking for packaged foods that can replace or add to their meals. The two seemingly conflicting desires for whole foods and convenience foods have led to a strong market for healthy packaged foods.

While snack foods used to be considered a treat and didn’t need to be healthy, those who use snacks as meal supplements or replacements ask for more of their foods. Their snacks must be healthy, and snack packaging must reflect this.

health-conscious consumers shopping

What does the health-conscious consumer expect from consumer packaging today?

  • Ease of opening and eating, making it simple to eat on the go.
  • A sensory experience that indicates freshness, such as an obvious sound when the package opens. 
  • The possibility of closing the package again, evoking freshness and sustainability
  • Compostable, recyclable, and minimal plastic packaging  
  • Smaller portion sizes to help consumers who are nutrition conscious about their snacking
  • Communication about the natural, healthy attributes of the product 
  • Clear labelling, highlighting the qualities of the food inside 
  • A straightforward color scheme 

Principles of Simplified Packaging Design

In the early days of consumer packaging, the goal of packaging design was to keep the product inside safe during shipping. Soon, companies realized that packaging could also communicate with buyers. Packaging tells your shoppers a story about the product inside through shape, color, materials, and more.

As people scan the shelves in the grocery store, food packaging has about three seconds to communicate to the consumer. What principles should packaging design communicate? What are the key packaging design trends?

  • Sustainability: packaging should support the wellness of people and the planet. How does your product act as a vehicle to communicate its sustainable origins?
  • Convenience: snack foods are a core part of healthy packaged foods. How is your product packaging making it simple for people to eat these foods on the go?
  • Transparency: Transparent communication builds trust between consumers and brands.  What is your product made of, and how do you communicate this clearly to your customers?
  • Simplicity: Simple packaging evokes a feeling of simple, wholesome food. How does your product communicate its healthy nature through color and design?

By following these simplified packaging design practices, you’ll be better able to communicate with consumers specifically seeking healthy, simple packaged foods.

Benefits of Simplified Packaging Design

Why is simplified packaging design so attractive to health-conscious consumers? This packaging design trend has many benefits.

  • New product packaging design that is easy to use and recycle is better for the planet and makes the product easier for consumers to eat.
  • A simple design allows customers to make a quick decision to buy your product. It is not only easy to read, but it simplifies the decision-making process.
  • Simple packaging clearly tells the consumer what is in the package. Each package is easy to read because it’s pared down to the essentials. If your product is gluten-free, simple packaging communicates this loud and clear right on the front of the package.
  • Simplified packaging design communicates clarity about your brand and your product. Clear communication and simple color schemes give shoppers the feeling that your brand is transparent about your ingredients and practices.

Making your product packaging simpler allows you to communicate your wholesome brand identity to current and prospective customers, giving them a feel for your brand’s values.

bowls of health oats

PKG Brand Design’s Approach

Working with an agency such as PKG Brand Design allows you to leverage simplicity in packaging to highlight the healthy, simple nature of your brand. 

For example, our work with Columbia Fruit showcases how a simple yet vibrant packaging design can attract health-conscious consumers. These frozen, packaged fruit products appeal to those looking for a convenient breakfast, snack, or dessert. 

The packages have delicious-looking examples of the fruit inside, picked fresh at its peak of ripeness. This shows the quality and unprocessed nature of the product. Other Columbia Fruit packages highlight the freshly-harvested nature of the fruit, adding the image of a person who appears to have just harvested the food inside. This brings to mind gardening and small farmers, giving the food packaging a homegrown feel. 

The front of the package highlights core consumer values. The food is organic, full of Vitamin C, with no added sugar. This information is easy for the consumer to see so that they can decide what fruit to buy.

It’s easy for consumers to reseal the bag again after opening it, preserving the food inside and ensuring its quality. This also means that consumers do not need to transfer the food to a new container after opening, increasing its sustainability.

Designing product packaging should be a thoughtful process. Even though the packaging is minimalist, that simplicity can communicate a lot to your audience.

Conscious consumers want to make healthy food choices. However, it can be hard for them to decide between packaged foods, particularly when they are in a hurry. Simple packaging allows you to communicate with customers about your product and brand values. It helps them get the information that they need to make an informed decision to buy your product. Not only is minimalist packaging attractive, but it is clear and communicative.  

PKG Brand Design is embracing and leading this trend in minimalist packaging design. Want to learn more about how we can help your brand? Subscribe to our blog today.


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