12 Food Packaging Tips to Boost Your Brand
Food packaging is serious business. No longer is it merely to protect the food, it also serves as another marketing material for your brand. Initially, packages are meant to protect the food for four reasons:
First, companies need to make sure that their food product retains their properties during handling, storing shipping, and distributing. At times, these processes demand primary and secondary layers of protection.
The second reason is safety, to make sure the edible products contain no contamination or hazards. Third is for preservation and to keep the freshness, taste, quality, and appearance intact. Lastly, food packaging acts to maintain your brand’s identity, which involves the products’ shelf appeal, highlights and unique selling proposition.
Product packaging is as important as the product itself. You need to make sure your brand is presented onto your product or you’ll waste one of the most efficient methods of boosting your brand awareness.
Your product constantly fights for attention against so many other brands on the shelves of shops and stores. The exterior of the product, therefore, serves as an impression-builder for many new customers who have not heard of your brand before. A lot of brand awareness triggers happen when customers browse the aisles.
In many countries, F&B businesses have to comply with laws and regulations set by authorities. But aside from these compulsory rules, there are several things your packaging should also have which benefits both you and customers.
- Brand name – Needless to say, if you want to get your brand name out, you need to put your name on the packaging, noticeably.
- Product description – An explanation of what your product is, what flavour and what it is made of. With ever increasing food brands, availability of online shopping and the explosion of possible locations to stock your product, customers have less time and attention for each brand. So make sure that you include keywords that can help them quickly understand what the product is about, as well as words that can trigger them to add your brand into their shopping cart.
- Ingredients – A list of the ingredients that make up the product. It is also good practice to adopt the nutrition facts label for international recognition and information.
- Warning signs – This also should be labelled noticeably, if your product has peanuts, soy, gluten, alcohol or anything that contains allergens or prohibitions.
- Colours and design – The design of the package have a profound impact on impressions and buying behaviour. It should reflect your brand identity, personality and help your customer assume the taste and experience they can expect. Meaning, if your crisps are BBQ flavoured, using a BBQ grill, woodfire flames or a shish kebab work well to illustrate the flavour.
- Special highlights – Also known as your unique selling proposition. Aside from the design, these highlights are what drive customers to you. What is special about your product that no other product has? Is it your place of origin, or your source of ingredients or that extra step in your manufacturing process? You could say that your crips are made from 100% Peruvian potatoes, or your rice went through a special sanitation process, or your cocoa beans are fair traded. Suffice to say that these claims have to be true or it would be false advertising.
- Honesty – Your packaging should show a picture of the product as of how it usually appears. Of course you want the product to look as tantalising as possible, but don’t go overboard with the promise.
We can’t imagine the disappointment of the child (or adult) after experiencing this shortcake. Would you think they’ll be buying the same product again?
- Clarity and simplicity – The food packaging should be clear on what the product is about. Un-coordinated colours, pictures overload and even lack of relevant information will frustrate customers and drive them away.
- Getting the right first impression – Some people call this getting shelf impact. As mentioned before, the first impression is an important factor to get your customer’s wandering eyes attention as they scan a shelf. Creativity prevails, but your unique selling proposition helps as well.
- Practicality and user-friendliness – When designing food packaging, keep in mind how the customer would use the product, how they might transport it from the shops into their cars and into their cabinets. Or how they might open the packaging. Wrap rage is a real thing that increases stress in everyday life, to the point of injury sometimes. Packages should be user-friendly, and good design should be functional and useful on top of being visually pleasing to look at.
- Sustainable materials– It is good practice to use environmentally sustainable packaging. This means using biodegradable or recycled materials or even cutting the need to use extra packaging. Some customers react favourably to products with minimal packaging, rewarding these companies that minimise material and energy use.
Bayer cut off the need to put their bottled pills in boxes which contribute to extra waste (and cost). The bottles are designed to fit together in bulk shipping to stores and customers would buy the bottles directly without the extra carton packaging. Other pharmaceutical companies are following suit.
- Brand Identity – We’ve explained why putting your brand onto your package is crucial for your brand, but we’re driving the point home here. Brand name alone is not enough to help customers retain your brand in mind, your whole identity should be represented in the packaging. From brand colours, personality (using a mascot is common though not always effective), to brand promise and value proposition, a cohesive brand identity is shown on your packaging will help establish your brand.
Food packaging that attracts and engages customers while staying true to your brand will go a long way in generating positive perceptions and trust in the brand. Getting your food packaging right is one of the best ways to influence customer purchase and instill loyalty. How can you use these tips to improve your brand?