Food marketers know how important it is for their products to stand out on store shelves. Grocery shoppers don't buy products that fail to attract their attention, so coming up with engaging food packaging design is of critical importance. But food packaging serves an even more important function than point-of-purchase marketing — it has to keep the food it contains safe. It should help to keep food fresher, longer. And it would, ideally, be cheap to produce, fully recyclable and produced by sustainable means.
There aren't many places where visual branding and packaging quality concerns dovetail more tightly than in the dairy case.
Dairy is a boom market.
Americans consume a lot of dairy — about 630 lbs. of dairy annually, per capita. Food companies know that, too, so there are many products flooding into the market. Just look at the number of Greek yogurt and probiotic dairy market sector entrants over the past two years, for cases in point.
There's stiff competition out there for shares of grocery shoppers' budgets. But what are dairy producers doing to secure those spends? Are American shoppers motivated solely by hunger, or are there other ways of influencing their purchasing habits?
Let's take a look at three successful dairy product lines and see what they're doing so right.
We'll start not in the US, but across the pond in the United Kingdom. Why? Because you need to see how Brit mega-grocer Tesco has redesigned its private-label cream packaging.
Sometimes, simplicity is best. In the dairy aisle — particularly in the milk, cream and soft cheeses section — the consumer is likely to encounter a lot of white. There's a danger of washout if your product's label is too small or if it isn't legible and identifiable at distance.
Tesco uses white to its advantage — as a negative space against which to place simple, bold-colored labels that can be easily distinguished. Cream variants are differentiated by color.
The copy is brief, yet manages to be both emotive and informative: "Fresh British" appeals both to the consumer's national pride and to his or her expectation of quality, while the "Ideal for Pouring & Cooking" line reinforces that the product is of high quality.
Usually, in the ice cream case, you can't see what you're getting. You have to rely either on an embellished product picture or descriptors. But Talenti is making inroads in the market by going the other direction — it uses a clear plastic jar that shows off the color and consistency of its gelato variants. From the distinct, vibrant swirls of its Black Cherry, to the subtle, toasted brown of its Coffee Chocolate Chip, Talenti's gelatos stand out in the case next to more traditional packaging.
The transparent, twist-off jars allow the consumer to see that the container is filled to the top, too — no worries about large amounts of filler air. An added bonus — especially for eco-conscious Millennial consumers — is that the jars are reusable or fully recyclable.
Its name means "simple," and that's exactly what makes this Greek (as in, actually from Greece) whole-fat Greek yogurt line's packaging so delightfully refreshing.
Whereas most dairy product lines opt for a white background, Aplos went the opposite direction — it played on the white-on-black coloration of Holstein dairy cows and used a black background, featuring an adorable cow in reverse silhouette. For its lower-fat variant, the black was switched out for a light, airy turquoise — appealing and carefree.
The handwritten-looking font is both neat and engaging. It conveys a sense of farm-fresh yogurt made by caring individuals, not mass-produced yogurt churned out by a robotic factory.
The right dairy product packaging can mean the difference between grocery aisle success, or brand obscurity.
Take a look at the brands we mentioned above. Simple stands out, but so does a little bit of vibrant color. It's easy to fall back on white as your dairy product's mainstay branding color; be bold. Or, take a lesson from Talenti and show off your product in situ.
When grocery shoppers can easily pick out your product's packaging and discern value at a glance, you're on the road to dairy sales success.