“The snack that smiles back”, “Taste the rainbow”, “They’re g-r-r-reat”, “The breakfast of champions”. When you read these slogans, you instantly know what snack it’s referring to. The biggest players in the snacking industry have both a catchy slogan and high quality packaging design to go with it. The design for Goldfish is minimal, yet traditional. Skittles’ multi-colored package design pulls from its call for buyers to “taste the rainbow”. Tony the Tiger is almost instantly recognizable as the mascot for Frosted Flakes. And Wheaties targets young athletes who want a healthier cereal and are inspired by the cover athlete.
Though these brands have had revisions over the years, their message and branding have largely stayed the same. In order for your snack brand to stand out, you’ll need to create a consistent and visually appealing label that catches the attention of your target audience.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do this yourself. M&R Label is a professional label printing service with plenty of experience in the food industry. In this blog, we’ll go over a few basic strategies that will help you crunch the competition with snack packaging!
Snack Packaging Guidelines
Before we get to the fun snacking designs, let’s go over a few fundamentals. The FDA has guidelines that dictate what should be displayed on your food label. You’ll want to make sure your business follows these guidelines closely. If you fail to meet FDA regulations, your snack brand could fall apart worse than a nature valley crunch bar in the hands of a toddler.
Principal Display Panel
The Statement of Identity and Net Weight needs to be displayed on the front of the package or another prominent area, commonly referred to as the Principal Display Panel or PDP.
Statement of Identity
Tell your potential customers what the product is, i.e. “chips” or “chocolate” or “pistachios,” etc. The most common name of the food should be used. If there is no common name, use an appropriate descriptor. Brand names should not be used in place of the name of the food.
As for font size and type, the FDA asks that you make it big and bold so there’s no question as to what’s in the package. Make your product stand out! The Statement of Identity should be parallel to the base of the package so it’s easily readable.
With the rest of the design, like your artwork, brand logo, etc. you can be as creative as you want, so long as those elements do not obscure the Statement of Identity.
Net Weight or Quantity
Inform consumers how much product is contained in the package. The Net Weight needs to be displayed on the same panel as the Statement of Identity, and both metric (grams, kilograms, milliliters, liters) and U.S. Customary System units (ounces, pounds, fluid ounces) should be used. The Net Weight should be placed on the bottom 30% of the PDP, parallel to the base of the package.
Information Panel Requirements
The Information Panel is one of the most important parts of a food product label and contains a lot of moving parts, but don’t be intimidated! Once you know what’s required, it’s easy to fill in the blanks. Each section has its own set of requirements.
In the information panel, you’ll list everything from serving size to daily value percentages. Though there are many moving parts to nutrition labeling law, the main detail to keep in mind about the Nutrition Facts panel is that it must be easy to read. The FDA lists the following requirements that will ensure readability for your consumers:
- Font that is at least 1/16 of an inch in height based on the lower case letter “o.” Usually, this means a minimum of 6 pt font.
- Font cannot be three times as high as it is wide, or the words will be distorted and unreadable.
- The header “Nutrition Facts” must be the largest font size in the panel (larger than 8pt) and must span the width of the table.
- The panel must be set off in a box.
Though the Nutrition Facts panel does not have to be black and white, the font must contrast with the background enough so the information is readable. Think light background, dark letters, and an easy to read font.
The Nutrition Facts panel doesn’t have to be placed parallel to the bottom of the box, like the Net weight or Statement of Identity, though the FDA recommends consistency with the presentation. If the Nutrition Facts panel is too large to fit on the Information Panel vertically, you can move the footnote to the right, or present it in a tabular format instead.
You will need to list the possible nutrients and daily values that your product provides. Since every product is unique, we can’t cover every possible scenario, though the FDA goes in depth regarding these requirements.
Snack Packaging Choices
When you partner with a professional label company like M&R Label, you can trust that we have the knowledge and experience to make sure your products meet labeling standards! It’s vital to make sure the type of packaging you choose is best for protecting your product and keeping it fresh. The last thing you want is customers opening your product to find all the chips crinkled or cookies crumbled. We can help guide you in figuring out whether a box, bag, glass jar, or container would be best for your product!
Companies are continuing to be creative about how they use QR codes. In this year’s Super Bowl, one of the most memorable TV ads was a floating QR code! Strategically placed QR codes are an excellent way to introduce your brand to a customer in an interactive way. Include QR codes on your product that navigate customers to your online marketplace, or give them more information about your product. For help with creating QR codes, bar codes, or UPCs partner with a trusted professional label provider like M&R Label.
Crunching the Competition
Did you know that 88% percent of people snack? Of that 88%, 57% of people snack every single day. That’s a lot of snacking! Whether you make delicious cookies or savory trail mixes, there are mouths out there ready to experience your snack.
But how will you set yourself apart from the crowd? How will your company crunch the competition? Luckily, we have many clients in the food industry and are ready to help with these tips…
- Sustainability – Not only does becoming eco-friendly help the environment, it has also been proven to help drive sales and brand recognition! In fact, a survey published in 2020 reported that the majority of American Generation Z consumers – those born between 1995 and 2012 – would pay a premium of 10% or more for sustainable products. Among those consumers willing to pay more for sustainability, 53% look for products with environmentally-friendly packaging.
- Levity – Today’s social climate is forcing people to look for levity in what’s around them. When it comes to your label design, many people are seeking lighthearted designs that show enthusiasm, witticism, and a strong sense of humor.
- Minimalism – We recently saw a boom in pop culture-inspired packaging that featured bold colors and playful illustrations. Now we are moving back to minimalist looks. This is partly due to people living increasingly busy lives and not having the time to deal with the confusion to find out what the product is truly about. Minimalism also provides feelings of transparency that are appealing to consumers.
- Target Market – Another way to differentiate your snack from the pack is to identify and relentlessly target a niche demographic. Is your food gluten free or vegan? Appeal to that crowd. Perhaps your snack has an energy boost and high protein for athletes? If that’s the case, appeal to a sporty demographic. Do your research on your targeted demographic and meet their needs with your product.
Just like most of our appetites when Oreos are around, the snack industry is showing no signs of slowing down. It might seem like an impossible task to stand out in a market so saturated. But with a consistent aesthetic, targeted marketing, and high quality custom labels, you can meet your goals.
The labeling experts at M&R Label are here to help you do just that! We offer flexographic printing which speeds up the printing process in an eco-friendly way. We can also manage label inventory and can help you create the perfect design with high quality label materials to get your snacks off of shelves and into hungry mouths.