Fruit and Vegetable Packaging Needs to Loosen Up and Have a Little Fun



One point I make every now and then in the magazine columns I write is tell produce growers and marketers to, “loosen up and have a little fun.”

Now, I don’t mean from a life philosophy point of view, but from a packaging and branding point of view. Let me explain. 

Fresh Produce Is Facing the Most Diverse Buyer Demographics in History

As fresh produce growers and marketers, today we are facing the most diverse buyer demographics in history. We have aging Baby Boomers shopping alongside plugged in Gen-Y’s, we have men shopping beside consumers with smart phones scanning QR codes, we have harried mums shopping with kids with iPads and there are increasing numbers not shopping at all – except via the Internet.

Within this context of diversity, the role of a brand is changing. No longer is a brand steeped in history or tradition. Today’s brands are all about getting attention and cutting through the clutter that is our new, connected, overly stimulated and bombarded life.

A Brand Needs To Stand Out From the Crowd

So how do you get cut through? I believe you need a brand or product name that ‘talks’ to the shopper. Unless you have millions to spend (which in fresh produce we don’t), you have to have a brand that makes sense.

You can also have a brand that has a little fun.

Take these basic ‘stocks’ I saw on the shelf recently. There is much I love about these packs.

  • There is good brand/product name balance

Simon Gault is a famous New Zealand chef. He’s has successful restaurants and several other businesses, so for the average Kiwi, his name would be known. But look carefully at the pack. Is his name the dominant feature? No, it sits subtly in the background. The fun on-pack copy is what stands out.

  • The packs are fun and a bit cheeky

I like the fact these packs are fun. In New Zealand, we have a word, ‘cheeky.’ It means, ‘has a bit of attitude’. When you consider the stock category, it is boring, plain and perfunctory. By having a bit of fun and using a bit of cheek, these packs stand out and capture attention.

  • The packs are bright with an eye catching design

Finally, you can’t help but notice these packs thanks to their funky type. So not only do the words catch your attention, but the whole pack design is based around the ‘hey, notice me concept.’

In fresh produce, there is a lot growers and marketers can learn from a pack like this.

  • Your name/farm name doesn’t have to have top billing. While it is important to your mother, it is not important to the customer. My advice: minimise your name if it is your brand.
  • Have a bit of fun. As growers or marketers, you produce some of the healthiest foods in the world. Fresh fruits and vegetables are completely on trend. THIS IS OUR TIME! So have some fun with that. Think outside the box. Use a bit of cheek.
  • Remember, pack design matters. While you make think your brother’s son, who did some art courses at school can design your pack cheaply, the reality is…good packaging design is a specialist skill. As is branding and product naming. Considering your pack is seen by thousands, if not tens of thousands shoppers per day, you need to invest in good design and good naming.

Your packaging is not just the protective shell that gets your product from A to B. Your packaging is an in-store mini billboard and it should work hard to drive your sales and support you earning a price premium.

If you want to do something new and unique with your pack or brand, keep me in min

d. I specialise in helping fresh produce companies use their brands, on-pack copy and pack design to sell more product and earn more money. I’d love to help you achieve more.