Palate Meets Palette In Snack-Packaging Design

Intense color and sophisticated graphics are taking snacks by storm.

By Kate Bertrand Connolly, Packaging Editor

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"Being a natural-foods brand, we felt it was important to have clean look and had in mind creating a design using a white matte finish as a background and having a colorful focal point at the center to attract the eye," explains Jim Breen, chief executive officer of Live Better Brands.
The packaging is color-coded by flavor, with a bright but unobtrusive strip of color down the right side of the bag. The word "Sprouted" is printed vertically, in monochrome, on the side strip. Workhorse 45, Centennial, Colo., designed the package graphics and works with Live Better Brands on social media, advertising and other creative work.

Live Better Brands uses metallized OPP film for its form-fill-seal bags; metallization provides the oxygen and moisture barrier needed to protect the preservative-free chips. The flexographically printed film is reverse printed, and a matte finish is applied to the film for a premium look and feel.

Way Better Snacks are currently available in 5.5- and 1.25-oz (the latter, single-serving) bags. The brand owner plans to launch an 11-oz. "Way Bigger Bag" in June.

A crisp approach

Cleverly designed package graphics for the all-natural, premium 34 Degrees brand do double duty, attracting shoppers while providing merchandising options for retailers. Denver-based 34 Degrees packs its wafer-thin crackers, or "crisps," in paperboard boxes and, as of January, in single-serving film pouches.

"A couple of our brand signatures are the prominent logo and the bold, warm, variety-specific colors that are used on all the retail packaging, even the master case," says Jennifer Margoles, general manager at 34 Degrees. The company offers five flavors of crisps in boxes. The single-serving snack pack is used only for the brand's Natural flavor.

Way Better Snacks
 Way Better Snacks Multi Grain

The 34 Degrees products are typically displayed in deli departments. Margoles says retailers like the colorful packaging and appreciate that the crisps drive sales of other deli items.

"We work to give [retailers] a lot of options for merchandising," she says. "One panel of our box can be merchandised vertically. The other can be merchandized horizontally. We give pairing suggestions and invitations to our social networks and really try to engage the consumer but also make it a lot of fun for the retailer."

Even the company's master cases are designed with merchandising in mind: Instead of plain brown corrugated board, 34 Degrees uses white corrugated printed with the flavor-specific color of the crisps inside that case.

In addition to appealing graphics, structural design is put to good advantage in 34 Degrees' retail boxes. The crisps are arranged in a paperboard tray that's wrapped with transparent film. When the tray is inserted in the box, die-cut circles in the box and tray line up to provide a view of the crisps through the film. The box panel that's designed for vertical display, and the panel designed for horizontal display, each has a round window to show off the product.

The new single-serving snack packs are designed for individual retail sale as well as inclusion in snack/meal kits and trays — with the possibility of merchandising in the cheese case. The pouches are made from OPP film, which protects the crisps from moisture and also prints well. The film is flexographically reverse printed, with the print layer sealed between two layers of OPP.

From a marketing point of view, 34 Degrees' snack pack offers "a portion-controlled packaging format which complements what we see as the rising trend across all classes of trade for higher-end, on-the-go meal and snack solutions," Margoles says. "People want portability, [and] they want the same brands that they know and love and keep in their pantry. And I think they want premium options, as well."

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Food Processing Magazine.

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