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  • Ruby Qian

Marketing by Design: Food Packaging

February 22nd, 2021

By: Ruby Qian

Imagine: you walk into your local grocery store and decide that you will try a new snack today. The shelves are full of the various colors and sizes of the plethora of snacks waiting to be devoured by you. How do you decide which snack you will buy?

This is where the importance of food packaging comes in. More often than not, I choose the snacks I want to try for the first time by their packaging. Some packages have eye-catching graphics while others have catchphrases that lure me in. There are various elements that form the whole package experience, and thus, this shows how crucial marketing is in designing and packaging a product.


The packaging is one of the first experiences a customer has with a food product; hence, a great design would be able to effectively convey various business values (i.e. sustainability) while also being able to draw consumer attention (Why Food Packaging Design Matters to Your Overall Marketing Strategy).

Furthermore, the selection process for a food product is similar to choosing a Christmas present to open. There is the enticing mystery of what’s to be found inside as “gift-giving occasions have taught most people that packaging is special, personal, and tantalizing” (Why Food Packaging Design Matters to Your Overall Marketing Strategy).

Therefore, good and effective food packaging should be able to accomplish all of the following:

  • draw consumer attention

  • clearly state the brand's message

  • appeal to target customers

  • derive positive emotions.

To understand these concepts in detail, let’s take a look at three food packaging designs that accomplish the above points:

MADE --- Coffee Cold Brew Cans

What I love about this design are the pastel colors and illustrations of the brewing process. The pastel blue and orange color choice is pleasing to the eye and allows the typography of the brand logo to stand out amongst the can; it draws consumers’ eyes to the logo. Furthermore, amongst a shelf of other coffee cans, which tends to be of brown color, the pastel blue color scheme pops out and is eye-catching to consumers. Moving on to the graphics, the line art of the brewing process is not only informative but also a very modern and chic illustration. The graphics give customers more clarity on what they are purchasing and consuming.


KitKat bars in Japan are a staple when it comes to lively and eye-catching packaging designs. With a variety of flavors, customers are able to explore the abundance of choices KitKat provides. Each flavor has its own unique packaging style, and the colors and graphics for each package provide context to the flavor represented. Overall, I get a very playful and exploratory feeling from all the choices of flavors I can choose from for KitKat.


Created by the Russian art director Vera Zvereva, this milk package design showcases a playful cat moving across milk cartons. As dairy occupies more than 22% of the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) food products structure, Zvereva was determined to use this design to stand out on the dairy shelf -- and I believe it worked. The dark blue color of the cat sticks out from the white background and allows customers’ eyes to be drawn to the dynamic movement of the cat. This easily allows Bryansk Dairy Plant to stand out from its competitors and appeal to its consumers. In conclusion, this packaging design is one of my favorites as it is incredibly creative, interactive, and fun.

From these three examples, we are able to see how brands are able to cleverly design their food packages to convey a message and stand out from their competitors. Overall, what was your favorite design from these three? Are there any eye-catching food packaging designs you’ve found recently? Share your thoughts in the comment section!


Ruby Qian is Marketing Society’s 2020-2021 Co-Director of Content. She is a sophomore at NYU Stern, concentrating in Marketing and Management with a minor in Digital Art & Design.

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