Looks Matter: Why Package Design for Food & Beverage Products is Important

  • June 1, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Package design plays a crucial role in the success of food and beverage products. The marketplace is competitive, and having the best product on the market isn’t enough if it doesn’t attract the attention of the intended audience. 

In a matter of a few seconds, a product’s package design must capture a potential consumer’s attention as well as communicate its value. Effective package design can create a strong B2C brand identity, build audience trust and ultimately drive sales. 

What Role Does Food & Beverage Packaging Play in Marketing? 

A recent survey by Packaging Digest revealed that 72% of respondents stated that their purchasing decisions are influenced by packaging design. Package design can affect consumer behavior and purchase decisions in many ways. For example, a product’s packaging can communicate volumes about its perceived value. Audiences are more likely to purchase products that they perceive as having a higher value. 

Additionally, B2C food and beverage brands need to be aware of how they can differentiate themselves from their competitors on the shelves. A well-designed product design can give brands an edge. 

Package design can also influence a consumer’s emotional response to a product. Feelings of nostalgia, excitement, or luxury, depending on the design and messaging used. This emotional connection is essential, as it can help create brand loyalty, encouraging audiences to choose a particular B2C brand over its competitors. 

Leveraging Market Research for Effective Package Design

When considering the package design for a product launch, or for a design refresh, food and beverage brands should consider investing in market research as part of their marketing strategy. 

Working with an experienced data collection agency like Eyes4Research can help B2C brands gather insights from consumers, and learn from audiences themselves about what design elements evoke positive emotional responses or communicate luxury and value. When B2C brands have this data in their arsenal, they make are empowered to make informed decisions and set out on the path of building lasting brand loyalty from the outset and avoid costly missteps in their strategies.

An example of an avoidable misstep was made by Tropicana in 2009. In an effort to modernize its image and increase sales, the juice company redesigned its packaging. They replaced the classic orange with the straw design with a more minimal image of a glass of orange juice. 

The reaction from the audience was swift, with the brand losing 20% of its sales in just two months. The company was forced to return to the original design, which led to a 5% increase in sales two months later. Market research conducted through an agency like Eyes4Research would have probably helped the brand reject the design refresh idea altogether, as the data gathered from the Eyes4Research consumer sample would have sent the message that their audience saw nothing wrong with the original design.

The Elements of Effective Package Design

Effective package design thoughtfully employs four key elements. They each play a role in communicating a product’s value and capturing an audience’s attention. 

  • Color

Color is one of the most powerful tools in package design. It can instantly evoke emotion, as well as easily differentiate a product from its competitors. Audiences automatically associate specific colors with specific sentiments– blue communicates trust, while red evokes excitement and passion. B2C food and beverage brands should carefully consider the message they want to communicate before selecting colors for package design. 

  • Typography

Typography is another important element of package design. The right typography can effectively communicate a brand’s message and connect with its audience. A whimsical font perfectly suits a children’s snack product, while a more modern, clean font would be appropriate for an upmarket food or beverage product. 

  • Imagery

The imagery that a B2C brand uses on its packaging can significantly influence consumer behavior. It can evoke emotion and create a brand identity. And when the imagery depicts the product being used in a specific setting or by a certain type of consumer, it helps encourage relatability and allows the audience to envision themselves using the product. 

  • Structure

The structure of a product’s packaging can be simple, like a can or a jar, or more complex, like an eye-catching box. It is another way that a product can capture the attention of an audience and stand out from the competition. 

Each of these elements plays a crucial role in crafting effective package design. When B2C brands invest in market research to gather insights from their target audiences, they give themselves the power to get each of these elements right the first time and create a package design that connects with their audience. 

Read more about branding and consumer packaged goods on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything brands need to build trust with their audience by collecting high-quality insights from consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.