You've designed and produced a one-of-a-kind, delicious food product. But is that product going to walk off the store shelves and jump into your customer's cart all by itself?
A well-designed label sells your product. But when it comes to designing food labels, there is a lot to think about.
If you want to understand the importance of food packaging and label design, read this guide. We'll explain how important a good label is to succeed in the food and beverage market today.
Getting Your Customer's Attention
Your product may be delicious. In order for it to be a success, though, it has to sell. Before your customers can buy your product, they have to notice it.
Purchases follow attention. Where your customer's attention goes, their money will likely follow.
Labels are one of the most important ways you can get your customers' attention. Bright colours, an intriguing name, and creative design will draw consumers to your product label.
Conveying Your Brand
Today's consumers are interested in more than the product that you are selling.
With so many options on the market for every need, consumers are looking for the one that matches their lifestyle, preferences, and interests. And instead of researching every company to decide how their buying choices fit into their lifestyle, consumers conserve mental energy by relying on product branding to figure out which product fits their needs.
That's where your product branding strategy comes in.
Your brand is more than the way your product looks: it's the ethos, mission, and values of your company. However, your labels should strongly reflect your brand. They're an essential advertising tool that tells your customer exactly who you are.
Capitalize on buyers' desire to avoid difficult decisions by letting your brand speak for you. Your label design will tell your customers much more than what your food product contains; it will tell them who you are and how you fit their lifestyle.
Do you want your product to appeal to a younger, more casual demographic? Design a label that incorporates bright colours, sans-serif fonts, and whimsical graphics. On the other hand, if your target market is more professional, choose classic colours, clean lines, and formal fonts.
If you make your customers work to figure out if your product is right for them, they will probably leave it on the shelf. Well-designed labels make it easy for them to see whether your product resonates with the lifestyle they want.
Giving a Taste of Your Product
With so many options for every product, we have all had the experience of facing a store shelf full of nearly-identical granola bar boxes, wine bottles, or loaves of bread. It leaves us wondering: what's inside the package?
Your customer shouldn't have to read the fine print to get a sense of what your product has to offer. The packaging can tell them about your product before they even read a word.
For instance, the growing trend of eco-friendly products appeals to customers who are seeking to live a more ecologically conscious lifestyle. If you have a natural product to sell, using eco-friendly labeling and packaging lets your customers know that your product lines up with their earth-friendly philosophy.
Details like recycled packaging, natural fibre products, and minimal ink all connect with the trend of protecting the environment. Use earth tones like greens, browns, and undyed paper to evoke an earth-centred aura. As well, choose a label that is environmentally friendly.
When a customer looks at a product that is packaged to reflect these trends, they won't even have to read words of the label: they'll know right away what's inside and why it's the right product for them.
Making Your Product Inviting
Did you know that when someone picks up or touches a product, they are usually more likely to buy it?
Studies have shown that touching a product helps the customer to feel ownership over it. The sensory connection establishes an emotional connection and makes the customer feel like the product already belongs to them. This makes them more likely to buy.
How can you make your customer want to reach out and pick up your product? Design an attractive-looking label that invites your customer to get a closer look.
Attractiveness is especially important when you're designing a label for a food product. As every chef knows, we "eat with our eyes," meaning we appreciate how a food display looks even before we take the first bite.
An enticing label has the same effect: it draws consumers to your product, giving them a hint of the delicious product inside. Customers will be far more likely to reach for a product with a label that looks good enough to eat.
In marketing, what is more important: to have an attractive-looking label, or one that stands out from the crowd?
If you said the unusual label, you're right. A beautiful label does matter. However, in marketing, product differentiation is the most important factor in achieving sales.
With so many similar options for buyers to choose from, most of the brands on the shelves blend together. The customer's attention naturally goes to the one box, bottle, or bag that stands out.
Product differentiation also helps develop customer loyalty. Buyers form purchasing habits; once they have chosen a brand, they tend to reach for it again and again. Having a standout label makes it easier for customers to look for and buy your product.
Meeting Industry Regulations
Your food packaging label design should be interactive, inviting, and clearly branded. However, a well-designed label has substance as well as style.
Your food label has to convey key information about your product, as required by law in many jurisdictions. A great label design incorporates all the information that you need to include but keeps the design visually engaging enough to draw your buyers' attention.
Food Label Regulations
Food labels must comply with international standards to ensure that the name on the label is specific to the product you sell. In addition to the name on the package, food labels in most jurisdictions must include:
- Nutritional information
- Processing information (for example, if the food has been cured, smoked, or dried)
- Ingredient list
- Information about allergens, including whether the food contains a common allergen or is processed in a facility with common allergens
- Quantity of food (in grams or mililiters)
- Expiry or "best before" date
- Country of origin
Additionally, many countries have special requirements for common foods such as bread, cocoa, coffee beans, meat products, waters, and sugars.
Alcohol Label Regulations
Alcohol drinking laws and norms can be very different among different countries. However, the FDA requires any beverage that contains alcohol to have its alcohol content displayed "prominently and conspicuously." The European Commission provides a similar list of guidelines for alcohol labeling.
Whichever country you are in, an alcoholic beverage label isn't complete without a design that includes a place to display its alcohol content clearly.
Many countries also require your beverage label to include:
- Nutritional information
- Warnings about consuming alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Information about the country's minimum drinking age
- Warnings about drinking and driving
With alcoholic beverages, it's crucial to provide this practical information in a way that doesn't compromise the label's visual design. That's because research has shown that even more than with other food products, the appearance of a bottle strongly influences the consumer's decision to purchase the beverage.
With cannabis regulation laws varying widely from country to country, make sure you double-check your local regulations for cannabis label requirements. However, your jurisdiction may require some or all of the following requirements:
- The dispensary, strain, and batch number of the product
- Date of harvest
- THC concentration and amount in the product
- The amount of THC per serving
- Clear health warnings about addictiveness, carcinogenic effects, and other health effects of cannabis
- Warnings about consuming cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Warnings about the effects of cannabis and driving prohibitions
- The minimum age permitted to purchase cannabis in your country
All of this information can take up a lot of space on a label. Creative label design for cannabis can include it all while still letting the label look appealing and desirable.
Designing Food Labels, Made Simple
A well-designed food label does more than meet government regulations—it also gets your customer's attention and sells your product. That's why labels are an indispensable tool in your marketing strategy.
When it comes to designing food labels for your small and medium product batches, check out LabelProfi. We are certified in FDA food standards, ROHS, and REACH, using 100% medically and environmentally safe technologies. Contact us today for a detailed inquiry about producing your next label.