Packaging design is one of — if not the most — important elements of a CPG brand, particularly in the food and beverage categories. Strong design can make your product fly off shelves and skyrocket your sales, whereas weak packaging all but ensures poor shelf placement. The truth is, no matter how good your product tastes, nobody is going to buy it if the packaging fails to catch their attention.
When assessing packaging design, start by considering the consumer. What are their motivators and deterrents? What information do they require to make a decision? What do they expect to see? Paint a picture of your consumer. When rooted in strategy and market research, story can be a powerful tool. So, who is the modern consumer?
The short answer? Millennials. If you want your product to stand out to this key demographic (who spend $200 billion annually), there are a few best practices you’ll want to keep in mind:
1. Sustainability is a big deal. Millennials are “food smart.” They’re more educated about food production methods than any other generation, and this is leading to an unprecedented demand for transparency from brands. Millennials want to know how something gets from the farm to their plate, and are willing to pay a premium for sustainable, ethical products.
2. Limit food waste. Portion size and smart design are critical in limiting food waste. Consider a package that allows consumers to open only a portion at a time, thus preserving the other parts.
3. Focus on benefits. Millennials are more concerned with what they will gain (energy, health, wellness, etc.) than what has been left out. Since benefits are inherently more emotional (give you ~feels~), this is an opportunity to build rapport with your customer, and tie your brand to a positive feeling.
4. Freshness and convenience. Convenience doesn’t have to be synonymous with poor nutrition. Millennials created the market for convenient, healthy options like pre-bagged salads and meal subscription services.
5. Think about values. Cited as the most value-driven demographic in the food industry, millennials make food purchases based on what it says about them. If their strongest value is community, they are likely to buy products made locally. If they value health, they probably focus on organic produce.
Packaging design is not the place to penny-pinch. Investing in quality design from the onset ensures your product will stand out amidst competitors, giving you the best opportunity to make an impression on buyers and consumers. In addition, putting your best foot forward from the start means you can avoid spending money on costly redesigns.
Ready to get started? Shoot us a message! As the millennial marketing agency, you’re not going to find anyone who understands the modern consumer better than we do.
About the Author: Agency Director Allison Wasz is a holistic thinker and digital marketing expert through and through. She lives and breathes digital — strategy, social media, paid search, user experience, and content generation are part of her day-to-day. Allison’s drive to understand the ‘why’ behind every action makes her well-suited to helping businesses of all sizes and across all industries develop and implement their digital marketing strategies. She believes in an educational approach to digital strategy, empowering clients to grasp how digital works in tandem with traditional marketing. Allison is a coffee drinker, part-time yogi, and red wine aficionado who spends her free time eating guacamole and patiently waiting for the next George R.R. Martin book.