Great packaging tells your customers everything they need to know about your product and your brand. In order to achieve this communication, you are going to need to get creative with your packaging—especially if you are producing physical goods for the general consumer marketplace. Being creative enables you to attract your targeted consumer base in a way that breaks through the noise, which in turn will excite them and encourage them to purchase your product. But, when it comes to food packaging, there are many different factors that need to be considered to produce a successful product. Here are a few things to know before designing packaging for your food products.
Know Your Product Inside and Out
Certainly, you know what food product you are selling, but how well do you actually know it? Before you can design the right packaging for your food product you are going to need to know your product inside and out.
- Do you know every ingredient, including sub-ingredients, of your product?
- What preservatives are absolutely necessary? Can these be limited with the use of a packaging material additive?
- Are there any potential allergens that consumers need to be aware of? Knowing and understanding what allergens are present in your foods that could cause potential harm is crucial. In addition, you need to be aware of potential allergen concerns not only found in your food product, but in your facility as well. Facilities that produce or package nuts, dairy, or shellfish need to have certain best practices in place along with strict policies to ensure that cross-contamination is kept to a minimum.
- The Food Allergen Labeling Act requires that if any of the 8 major allergen groups are processed, you must be compliant and list them: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.
Any mislabeling of a food product can be detrimental to your brand. Be sure that all labels include nutritional information, dates, ingredients, minimum sizes. In addition, there are regulations in place that dictate the type of font to be used to convey this information to consumers. The regulations are constantly changing and evolving, it is up to you to make sure that you are in compliance with the regulations.
Unlike many other products available, food products require packaging that will keep them fresh and safe for consumption for an extended period of time. Food needs to remain fresh and safe after being in transit from manufacturer to consumer, with extra time to consume following the purchase.
Due to the long transit times, certain products require specific types of packaging materials to protect them throughout the shipping and handling process. Know what protections are required to ensure that your food arrives to consumers fresh and safe and ready to consume. In addition, you’ll want to select a product that will also serve to protect your food from any potential contaminants that it may come into contact with throughout its lifecycle.
Unless you know exactly what packaging you need and what options are available to you, it will be in your best interest to work with a packaging professional, such as SouthPack, to help you select the right packaging material for your specific food items.
Know the Industry Trends
Packaging trends should play a major role in your design choices. This means, knowing what your competition is up to, what they are using and how well it is working for them. Although, it is better to stay on top of trends and be a leader, instead of catching on at the tail-end when your competition is transitioning to the latest trend.
Being able to stay on top of trends will provide an insight into what is standard and where there is room for improvement. It is necessary to be innovative in your design choices, but you’ll want to be careful because deviating too far from the normal can cause confusion in your consumers, ultimately driving them to purchase a product from your competition with familiar packaging instead. Try to strike a balance between being creative and incorporating familiarity in your design choices.
Clearly food packaging plays an integral role in not only attracting consumers but also protecting food and keeping it safe for consumption. Therefore, it is imperative that you spend time getting your packaging right. Working with a professional food packaging supplier, such as SouthPack, can help you to find the right packaging solution for your specific food that is not only creative but provides consumers with familiarity. Contact SouthPack today at 860-259-4276 to learn more about their innovative ways to keep your food products above the competition.