How to Design Food Packaging That Captivates Consumers

Great food packaging isn’t just about having the most eye-catching labels or the most innovative package shape.

It’s about designing packages that draw in consumers while clearly identifying your brand. Here are some tips for creating packaging that is sure to be a hit.

Brand identity

Whether it’s in the store, on tv, or in an ad, the packaging is often the first interaction a customer has with your product. To stand out from your competitors (and draw buyers in), clear, identifiable packaging is key.

Before designing your packaging, take some time to define your brand identity. What products are you selling? Who is your main consumer? What values does your brand stand for? Knowing these answers will help drive design elements, like color, size, and materials.

Brand identity is also a huge factor when it comes to expanding your product line. Having easily recognizable packaging and branding will make it easier to sell new items to customers who are already familiar with (and loyal to) your existing offerings.

Carefully planning out your packaging design can save you time and money in the long term


Consistent packaging can help give your brand a professional edge and stick with your customers, even if your business is just starting out. If you’re constantly changing up your logo, colors, and designs, customers won’t be able to find your products on crowded store shelves easily.

To help keep things consistent across your catalog of products, keep these guidelines in mind.

1. Font and type choices: Using the same font on all of your packaging is one of the quickest ways to tie everything together. And don’t forget capitalization — if you choose to use all lower-case, all upper-case, or a mix of the two, apply that to every package label.‍

2. Color scheme: Following a set color scheme in your brand can allow for a wide variety of design options while still maintaining a feeling of unity. Whether it’s distinct, complementary colors for different product lines, or the same few colors on every single package, color has a significant impact on consumers buying habits.‍


Being able to alter your packaging for new products can make it easier to expand your brand without the need for an entire rehaul.‍

For example, imagine you’re creating packaging for your brand’s very first product, which is coconut water. You’ve settled on a killer package design that features coconuts as the star. Your label features coconuts, your design & color scheme feature coconuts, maybe your package was even created to look like a coconut.

However, a few months later you decide to expand and introduce a new line of pineapple juice. Your original design concept is so coconut-centric that you’re now facing a difficult challenge to create consistent packaging for the different varieties of products you’re hoping to offer.

To avoid this costly and time-consuming dilemma, always plan your packaging design with an eye to the future. Although you can still include elements of a specific product in your design, make sure that the design can be easily adapted for the future.

Standing out on the grocery store shelves is key to success


Just because a package may look impressive and blow your competitors out of the water, doesn’t always mean it’s the most practical of choices. Practicality includes the functionality, shape, and size of the package. And this doesn’t just apply to the ease of use for the customer, it can have an impact on a store’s decision to stock the product (or not).

Most packages are designed to be displayed one way on the store shelf. But including multiple facing options can make it easier to get your product approved by buyers even when space is limited. For example, look at standard toothpaste packaging. Most toothpaste is displayed horizontal box, taking up more width on a shelf than height. But including a second side display option on an alternative side of the packaging gives stores more freedom in shelf arrangement.

Practicality can also mean making your products hassle-free for stores. Let’s go back to toothpaste for this example. Packaging toothpaste in a box can make it easy to stack on shelves, but if there is imbalanced weight distribution (such as top-heavy toothpaste in vertical packaging), keeping those boxes upright on the shelf can be a challenge. If stores are continually struggling with keeping impractical or unbalanced packages from falling on the floor, chances are they’ll drop those products from their lineup in a flash.

Some questions to consider when thinking about practicality include:
  • How easy is it to open this product?

  • How does this product fit where it’s intended to go? (Cupboard, refrigerator, freezer, etc.)

  • Is ease of use being sacrificed for design?


The types of materials used in packaging can play a huge role in both overall costs and customer perception. While materials like plastic and packing peanuts may be cheaper when packing goods and shipping them to stores, they may send the wrong message about your brand values, especially for environmentally conscious brands.

However, if you choose to go with eco-friendly packaging such as compostable bags or recycled paper, your overheads will be higher, but you may score more points with specific groups of shoppers.

Whichever packaging route you choose to take, make sure that your materials are consistent with your brand values.