Designing Packaging for Healthy Snacks – A New Era of Essentialism

As healthy snacks are becoming increasingly popular, packaging designers have to accommodate to new requirements. Creating a stylish and modern, yet clean-looking packaging can be a much easier task if four easy tips are followed.

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The conscience of the society for a healthier lifestyle has been growing for a couple of years now. People pay more and more attention to their activity levels, regenerative measures and, of course, to their nutrition. While traditional eating habits of three main meals per day still exist, people appreciate the opportunity to have a healthy snack while they are on the move. As a result, packaging designers aim to accommodate to these new requirements. As with every other product, it is decisive that the visual appearance of a packaging fits the character of the product. In case of healthy snacks, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious in terms of moral obligations and food origin. Accordingly, they want clean labels, simple sentences and real, recognisable ingredients – overall purity and authenticity. Companies thus need to tell the “seed to product” story in an ethical and transparent way.

But how do they do that? To create a convincing packaging, designers might want to follow the guideline below.

Packaging Hierarchy: The Foundation of a Tidy Look

First, designers need to introduce a clear, structured packaging hierarchy. This will help to communicate a simplified message which is easy to understand. Overloading a design with as many features and benefits as possible might seem alluring; however, contrary to the majority of packaging styles of the past, people nowadays appreciate simplicity much more.

How a well-structured packaging hierarchy can look like, has been shown by Natasha’s Kale Crunchies by Dynamo. Their design can be easily divided into four essential pieces of content: brand, product, benefits and flavour. Following their example, the name of the brand should be prominent but not over power. The product name, on the other hand, can be large and confident. Apart from written descriptions, real product imagery is a nice way to display what the food actually looks like. Both brand and product name can be given additional characteristics through the size, font and colour of the typography. Finally, the benefits and flavour should be concisely illustrated on the packaging. Product features such as vegan or gluten free are well-suited for the use of iconography.

Designers should ask themselves the following questions: Are the elements complementing and informing in a coherent way? And is it easily possible to figure out what the product is? If these questions cannot be answered with ‘yes’, the design should probably be modified.

Stay Simple at Wording, Be Courageous at Colours

After locating the different pieces of content wisely on the packaging, designers have to choose the appropriate wording. For snack designers, clear and plain language is the way to go since their target group tends to be busy and does not have time to read long and confusing texts. The packaging of a product should therefore only feature information which is relevant for the consumer. The Gaea fruit bars do not list anything else than the six ingredients, which is exactly everything consumers want and need to know.

Equally important is the selection of the right colour palette. Designing the packaging for a healthy snack does not mean that the colours have to be all naturally or boring. Eccentric typography and vivid colours can help the product become livelier and more recognizable. Apart from this, young people are keen to try bold and extravagant flavours – something which can be translated through a creative and non-standard packaging look.

Finally, the packaging format is crucial for its success. Designers have to keep in mind that snacks are primarily created to be consumed on the move. A small resealable pouch is thus the perfect way to respond to the requirements of the consumers. This packaging format allows them to reclose the bag and pack it away – without letting the food lose its freshness.

What do you think should designers focus on when creating packaging? Do you remember a packaging which has truly amazed you? Tell us in the comment section below.