No matter how great your food products taste, you still need a tasteful packaging design. However, designing packaging for food products is often more challenging than with other products. 

The good news is that Box Genie is here to help you conquer these challenges and design incredible food packaging with these insightful tips. 

Health and Safety Requirements for Food Packaging Design

Food packaging comes with health and safety requirements that other products do not. It’s important to understand these health and safety requirements before designing your food packaging. 

Here are some specific requirements and regulations to keep in mind:

  • The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) provides requirements for food contact materials due to the risk that substances from packaging materials could potentially migrate into the food.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlines requirements for food labeling so that consumers know what they’re buying and eating. All food packaging must include a common name, net quantity, manufacturer information, ingredients, nutrition facts, and allergen information. 

The 7 Different Aspects of Food Packaging Design

  1. Material
  2. Security
  3. Shape
  4. Printing
  5. Color
  6. Visuals
  7. Information

There are seven aspects of food packaging design: material, security, shape, printing, color, visuals, and information. Let’s discuss each of these aspects in greater detail so that you can develop the best food packaging design: 

1. Packaging Material

For starters, you need to choose your packaging material, keeping in mind the FFDCA regulations mentioned above. The good news is that most common packaging materials are safe to use with food items, including materials like cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass. 

2. Packaging Security

Next, you need to consider the security of your packaging material since the main purpose of packaging is to secure and protect the product. 

This is especially important when it comes to food, as food packaging needs to prevent contamination, leakage, spoilage, etc. In some cases, a nice seal will do, whereas more secure packaging may be required in other cases. 

3. Packaging Shape

Now is where the fun really begins with packaging shapes. There’s no shortage of different shapes to choose from, but some of the most common shapes include rectangles, cubes, cylinders, and spheres. 

At the same time, you shouldn’t be afraid to go with a unique shape for a more eye-catching effect on and off the shelf. 

4. Packaging Printing

You can’t just have a plain food package with nothing on it! At the same time, the packaging material you choose will determine your printing options. For example, you can usually print directly onto the packaging itself with cardboard materials. 

With plastic and glass materials, you may want to consider printing onto a paper label and placing it on the packaging. 

5. Packaging Color

While you’re thinking about printing, you also need to think about color. The color of your food packaging actually says a lot about your products and your brand. This is because colors have been proven to evoke certain emotions, a concept known as the psychology of colors

For example, green packaging might be associated with healthy food products and promotes feelings of peace and harmony. On the other hand, red packaging might be associated with exciting food products and promotes feelings of passion and strength. 

6. Packaging Visuals

You also need to make sure that your packaging color coordinates with the rest of the visuals on your packaging. Of course, you will want to feature your brand logo pretty prominently on your food packaging, so make sure that the colors don’t clash. 

You may also want to feature actual photos of the food item itself, especially if the packaging isn’t transparent and consumers won’t be able to see it before they buy it. 

7. Packaging Information

Last but certainly not least, you need to include all relevant and required information on your food packaging. Going back to the FDA guidelines mentioned above, you must include a common name, net quantity, manufacturer information, ingredients, nutrition facts, and allergen information somewhere on your food packaging. 

7 Tips for Tasteful Food Packaging Design

Consider these factors:

  1. Your food products
  2. Brand
  3. Your customers
  4. Your industry
  5. Transportation
  6. Storage
  7. Environment

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of food packaging design, let’s take those different elements and create a design that works for you: 

1. Consider Your Food Products

Different food products require different types of packaging. For example, dry goods like cereals are usually packaged in cardboard, whereas liquids like sauces are usually packaged in glass or plastic. 

2. Consider Your Brand

You also need to select a food packaging design that matches your brand image and values. If you’re a new brand that’s just starting and you’re still unsure what your brand is and what it represents, you need to create a brand personality before going any further with your packaging design.

A brand personality is a set of human characteristics attributed to a brand based on what they want to represent. For example, if you’re a luxury brand that sells vegan cookies, then your brand personality might include attributes like “sophisticated,” “sweet,” “friendly,” and “healthy.”

From there, you can design packaging that matches these characteristics. So if you’re a luxury vegan cookie brand, you may want to consider packaging materials like glass or even metal to give off that high-end feel and justify charging a higher price.

You can then incorporate glossy photo-quality printing on your labels with fancy script fonts to complete the exterior design. You may even want to consider adding some packaging extras to enhance the overall customer experience. 

3. Consider Your Customers

Speaking of customers, you need to consider them when designing your packaging. First and foremost, your packaging should be convenient and accessible for your customers. 

For example, if you’re a snack brand, you want your packaging to be lightweight and easily transportable so that it’s easy for your customers to grab it and go. 

You may also want to consider making your packaging resealable so your customers can snack now and save some for later without needing another container or risk the snacks getting stale. 

If you’re not quite sure what your customers are looking for when it comes to packaging — ask them! It’s quick and easy to conduct a poll on social media. 

Alternatively, you could send out customer surveys via email. If you’re looking for more detailed and comprehensive information, you may want to consider holding a focus group to inform your packaging design. 

4. Consider the Industry

It also helps to consider the industry when designing your food packaging. Certain industries are known to use certain types of packaging. So if you’re feeling stuck, check out some of the competition’s packaging for inspiration.

At the same time, you shouldn’t feel as though your packaging has to be the same as everyone else’s. Sometimes, it’s good to stand out from the crowd so long as your packaging is thoughtfully designed and thoroughly tested. 

5. Consider the Transportation

Before you make your final packaging selections, you need to think about the transportation of your food items to the customer. Are your items being sold and transported to customers directly or purchasing them at a retail store? 

These days, more and more food companies are based solely online. In this case, your packaging might need to look a bit different to withstand the shipping process from you to the customer. 

Corrugated cardboard packaging from Box Genie is great for this, as it provides food items with security, stability, and protection throughout shipping and ensures that everything arrives in one piece. 

6. Consider the Storage

You also need to think about the storage of your food items. Are they sitting on the shelf for a long period? Do they need to be refrigerated or frozen? Are they designed for immediate consumption? 

These are all important questions with answers that will undoubtedly impact your food packaging design. 

7. Consider the Environment

Last but certainly not least, you need to consider the environment when designing your food packaging. Now more than ever, consumers and businesses alike are making green choices to help save the environment. 

Businesses are using more eco-friendly production methods and packaging solutions, whereas consumers are prioritizing businesses that employ these methods and share these values.

So if you want to promote an image as an environmentally conscious business and win over sustainability-minded consumers, then you need to use recyclable or reusable packaging for your food items. 

One great option is corrugated cardboard from Box Genie that’s made with a majority of recycled materials that can be recycled up to seven times. Other eco-friendly food packaging options include glass, metal, and hard plastic containers that can be reused and repurposed. 


If you’ve decided that cardboard is the right choice for your food packaging, check out some of the amazing products offered by Box Genie! If you need any help on your food packaging design, always feel free to reach out to the experts for guidance. 


Summary of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act | US EPA

Color Psychology: Does It Affect How You Feel? | Very Well Mind

Most Consumers Want Sustainable Products and Packaging | Business News Daily

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