Every year, a lot of money and time is spent to research and develop newer and more effective advertising methods, and some clear trends have emerged. Even today, in the 21st century, product packaging from fruit packaging in grocery stores to dog food packages, are a vital part of advertising for any brand name. The internet is certainly a powerful communication tool, and digital marketing is a young but huge industry by now. But well-designed packaging has a role to play, and customers in a grocery store or other retailer are often going to base their purchase decisions based on what the fruit packaging, coffee bag packaging, or pasta packaging looks like. And that’s just food. Good packaging design is also critical for computer parts, children’s toys, pet food, hobby items, and more.
Trends of Packaging Design
Companies dedicate many resources to developing their product packaging, and packages may go through a number of prototypes until they are ready to arrive on retailer shelves. Meanwhile, what do the studies and surveys say about customers and packaging? For one thing, businesses that pay attention to packaging (even fruit packaging or packaging for tea) tend to report 30% increases in customer interest. What is more, high quality packaging tends to impress customers and entice them to make another purchase from that brand. Around 52% of all online consumers say that they would return to a business for another purchase if their first purchase arrived in premium packaging. Conversely, a customer is likely to get a bad impression from plain or ugly packaging design, or cheap and shoddy packaging materials. Customers want items to arrive in durable and attractive packages, since high quality packaging can protect the items inside and show that the business cares about that product.
Now let us consider a common context for looking at product packages: inside a store. While e-commerce is rapidly growing, many shoppers and consumers are still visiting physical stores of all kinds to make purchases, such as a grocery shopping trip. This is a ripe battleground for advertising, and thousands of brands and different products are all competing for a shopper’s attention (and therefore money). It may be noted that the average customer walks into a store without a clear idea of how to spend their money, and they will make those decisions during the shopping experience, not before. So, these brands are competing over the shopper’s attention, and this often leads to impulse buys.
These packages must be informative, such as nutrition facts on fruit packaging or cereal boxes and product features for electronic items. Around 85% of surveyed shoppers say that they base their purchasing decisions on what they read on product packages, and according to a 2016 West Rock Consumer Insights Study, 66% of consumers will try a new product after the product’s packaging has grabbed their attention. In this way, packages often act as miniature signs; studies prove that outdoor signs are effective at bringing customers into a store and promoting awareness of that business, while a well-designed package does the same for a particular product brand.
Types of Packages
What does good package design look like? This varies. For dry food, packages are often cardboard boxes with colorful prints on them, such as for pasta or cereal, or tough bags for flour. Fresh fruits and vegetables come in fruit packaging that includes clear plastic, so a buyer can see the food’s texture and color (and therefore freshness) with their own eyes. Pasta’s quality is predictable, but perishable food like fruits and vegetables needs to prove its own quality, so the packaging makes that possible. Meanwhile, coffee beans often come in valve sealed bags to regulate the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide, to keep the beans fresh and prevent the bag from expanding due to carbon dioxide buildup. Printed coffee bags may have a photo of a coffee cup on them and describe the coffee’s flavor and darkness, too.
Electronic item packages or hobby items come in packages or boxes that include photos of the item in use, not to mention bullet points describing how to use it and care for it. Exact product specs such as battery usage, weight, and more may be listed, too.