Food Packaging Pass the 5-Year-Old Test?

Does your retail food packaging pass the 5-Year-old test?

Kids are built to soak up information like a sponge. According to a Wright Institute child psychology Dr. Allen Kanner in a Nickelodeon study, American kids are exposed to:

  • 100 brand logos recognized buy the age of 3
  • 400 brands by the age of 10

The stickier the brand, the better the recognition.

What do we mean by sticky? An idea so simple, when communicated clearly that it just sticks in your brain. To learn more about getting “sticky” I recommend a great book by Chip and Dan Heath called Made to Stick.

Back to our original question: Does your food packaging pass the 5-Year-old test?


What is the 5-year-old test?

Describe something iconic on a branded package to a 5-year-old then ask them to find it in the supermarket aisle. If you are like me, I don’t have direct access to a statistically valid quantity of 5-years-olds.

Find the Blue Bunny?

Find the girl in a yellow dress with an umbrella?

Find the bottle shaped like a lady?

Find the man with the mustache on the tube of chips?

If a 5-year-old kid can pick your package out of the hundreds of options in a grocery aisle your food packaging is probably sticky enough to stand out and be noticed the first time. Eventually, it will be found weekly by consumers who have made a connection, in some capacity, to it.

Obviously big brands have “sticky” down to a science. Smaller, local or regional brands should take a food packaging strategy from the big brand playbook: study the competition, know your category and use every tool you know to create an iconic food package that stands out on the shelf!

Call NewPoint to learn more about effective food packaging or check out my book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain™ or give us a call at NewPoint and let’s talk.