4 Food Packaging Design Mistakes

Food packaging design missteps could cost you!

Whether you are a new product, an up-and-coming product, or have been on the shelves for years—you may be making some monumental mistakes with your food packaging design that could cost you in the end.

New Products: Are you struggling with where to start with your food packaging design?
Up-and-Comers: Are you trying to grow your foothold beyond your super-fan base?
Established Products: Are you struggling to get turns-on-shelves in this ever-changing world?

Read on to discover 4 food packaging design blunders that might be hindering your sales or, worse, turning off potential new customers.

#1 Blending Into the Crowd

To be a standout beacon on the crowded shelves, you must first know your competition. And to know your competition is to drive yourself to the store—what does the space in which your product will live look like? Your product will need to grab the eye of the consumer before your competitors do—so, make it (the packaging) meaningful, memorable, and unique. Odds are, if you are standing in a space in the store (your space) and you see a sea of reds and yellows, you should find a way to make your design go a different direction.

It is very important to test your product in that space once you have your design(s) direction. Mockup your ideas. Take them to the store. Put them on the shelves. Stand back and take pictures. Sure, you might get some funny looks… but ‘bonus points’ if someone picks up your mock product off the shelf while you are performing this reconnaissance mission! Future potential customer, perhaps?!

#2 Not Resealable

Not all products warrant a resealability factor. But, you can bet if this is an option for you—and your competitors have it, and you don’t—you may be doomed from the start. A resealable package does increase your initial investment cost, which will, in turn, likely increase your on-shelf price. However, some consumers have been shown to overlook the higher price point for the convenience feature. Consumers want convenience, and they demand packaging that makes their lives easier—so much so that it is competing for their desire for eco-friendly packaging.

#3 Wasteful Packaging

We get that you need space to communicate your message and market your product. But, more space does not equal a better packaging design. “Packaging design is the one thing standing behind, leaving a good first impression…” Packaging Strategies, 2020. You may lose your audience altogether if they see your wasteful presentation. To that end—will they even see your message that you have spent so much time (and space) painstakingly crafting? Or will the eco-friendly beast come out of them and hit the ground running?

Consumers are more environmentally aware than ever. Wasteful packaging might leave them hating your package. And, if they hate your package—they won’t love your brand.

If you’ve got some time and want a good laugh (or cry)…
Scroll through this intriguing list of 109 wasteful packaging blunders. Not all food-related, but still worth a glance!

#4 Product Misrepresentation

Misleading your customers (or potential customers) that your product provides more than it does is, well… a big “no-no.”

It’s simple: Deceive your customers—Eliminate their trust. Period.

Break their trust, and they’ll likely never buy from you again. …and then they will undoubtedly hate-shame you on social media to all their friends, and so on… before long, no one will want to trust you.

Some examples of this ‘deception’ can include: making a product look larger than it is, making promises you know you can’t deliver, not having full transparency in your ingredients list.

Always be honest and authentic when it comes to your packaging design choices. If you are proud of what you are selling, this should be a no-brainer.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this topic, please reach out to the NewPoint team. If you are interested in more food marketing topics, please visit our “Intel” page or check out NewPoint’s book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain.