Packaging and Labelling of a Food Product

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Packaging and Labelling of a Food Product

When you step into a supermarket and look around, you are surrounded with colourful and exciting packaging - all of which trying to sell you that particular product. Whether you buy that product is up to you, but the purpose of the design and labelling on the container is to attract and intrigue you so much that you feel you have to pick it up and chuck it in the trolly.

Have a think about some of your favourite foods. Does the wrapper on your favourite chocolate bar appeal to you? Would you have bought it in the first place if you didn't like the packaging?

Packaging and Labelling of a Food Product

There are loads of different techniques designers use to sell a product - from bright colours, to simplistic text - depending on the age group of the people they're trying to attract. However, there are some limitations involved in the design process: The material used for the packaging needs to be suitable for the food product it is holding.

For example:

If the product is a 'hand-held, take-away item', the packaging is likely to be...

  • See through - so the consumer can quickly see what they are buying.
  • Easy to remove.
  • An insulator - if the product needs to be kept hot (for example, Polystyrene).
  • May be grease and moisture resistant - to keep hands clean.
  • Ideally, it should be easy to dispose of, and recyclable.

Suitable materials could be...

Plastic: This is lightweight, moisture-resistant and see-through, but can be difficult to recycle.
Polystyrene: This is lightweight, moisture resistant and keeps food warm, but can be difficult to recycle.
Paper: Lightweight, easy to recycle and print on, but not resistant to moisture or grease.
Cardboard: Easy to print on, can be shaped to provide support, can be recycled, more moisture resistant than paper.

Take-away products will not always show details of ingredients, weight, storage details, etc.

However, if the product is sealed in a wrapper, it should show the following legally required information:

  • Name and address of manufacturer/importer/retailer.
  • List of ingredients in descending order of weight.
  • Weight, or quantity.
  • Storage instructions/cooking instructions.
  • An indication of when it should be consumed - for instance, 'eat-by'.
  • Name or description of the product.

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