In today's competitive marketplace, companies are vying for stretched market share and the margins are wafer-thin. Manufacturers in the food processing industry are therefore turning their attention to design food packaging in order to achieve product differentiation.
Food products have undergone tremendous metamorphosis in terms of variety and value addition. From the simple, staple items the range includes ready-to-eat, convenience and microwave ready foods. From raw materials used as ingredients to finished foods, there are scores of brands, leading and small scale, that dot our supermarkets. In this crowded, if somewhat overwhelming scenario, marketers rely on attractive design food packaging to draw the clients to buy the products.
The basic principles of design food packaging are quite simple. The packaging has to be aesthetically appealing. Research has shown that the clients make a close positive association with the look of the packaging to the perceived benefits of the product. The design should incorporate vibrant colors that match with the image of the product. The next principle is that the packaging design should have an easy to use shape. It follows that the design should consider the packaging doubling up as storage. Gender, cultural and geriatric sensitivities should be considered during the design planning stage. Further, sturdiness to withstand delivery schedules, pilferage and storage losses should be borne in mind while deciding upon the packaging material.
There are certain other important considerations with respect to design food packaging. The most obvious one is of course the name and address of the manufacturer or the made-under-contract operator and the batch number. The details regarding the date of manufacture and the date of expiry should be clearly stated. The packaging should provide true information regarding the nutritional content and benefits of the product. While the benefits could be highlighted, they should be stated in an objective manner. Besides, statutory warnings regarding appropriateness for specific age groups should be mentioned. Last but not the least, clear information on where to contact for further queries or quality related issues should be included.
The process of design food packaging might seem quite complex. It could become easier with clear planning and close cooperation between the manufacturing and marketing departments. The additional revenues projected should be commensurate with the incremental costs to be incurred. Modification of the existing design in the light of new developments is a good technique to start with. However, the manufacturer should remember that if the product has undergone a drastic change, a new design set up is most desirable.
Food is one of the most important needs of the society. Therefore, there is a huge responsibility on the manufacturers to deliver safe and quality products to the consumers. Design food packaging is an important element of this function.