The Power of Packaging Design

How much power does packaging design have over the purchasing decision?

Most people take product packaging for granted. They enter the store, grab what they think they need…more if they’re hungry, and head to the register. What they may not realize is that they are subconsciously being swayed to purchase one product over another. Following are some of the reasons for consumer purchasing:

1. Desire – The desire to look good, fit in, try new things, taste new food, be the best, have the biggest…you name it, desire is the number one reason for purchasing a product.

2. Trusted Brand – A lot of marketing dollars, time, and consistent messaging goes in to a product in order to get the customer to buy from trust. These are brands like Coke, Heinz, Mercedes, etc. Most of the time the consumer will be willing to pay more because they trust the brand.

3. Convenience/Price – Over the past couple of years most purchasing decisions have been swayed by price. However, if the trusted brand or the more desired product doesn’t cost too much more, the consumer will usually be willing to pay the difference even when there is no real difference between the products themselves.


Emotion in Buying

Product Packaging has less than three seconds to grab the attention of a consumer. Those three seconds are very important when you consider that more than 70% of purchasing decisions are made at the shelf. Add to this the fact that supermarkets can contain on average 40,000 different products to choose from, then your package has got to work hard.

The majority of all purchases are driven from emotion. Even when there is a need, there’s usually a choice to be made between various options. Therefore, it’s very important to consider every aspect of the product and targeted consumer when determining the package design. With the right design, a new product can win the battle over a trusted brand even if it costs a little bit more


Proven success

Nusa Kitchen recently experienced the power of packaging design. They are a soup company that was experiencing a large drop in sales in the winter, near Christmas. After a little research and throwing around some campaign ideas, their creative agency decided to try something entirely new. They created covers for the soups that would only be on their soup in the winter. The covers resembled fashion outerwear and made the soups really stand out on the shelf during that time of year. The new design for its soup pots became collector’s items and Nusa Kitchen sold 25% more soup.



Vitacress Salads is a produce company in Europe that had traditionally relied on partners and distributors to sell their product. However, they were growing frustrated with what they believed to be lagging sales. After a  £10,500 investment in a completely new look for their packaged salads, their new packages stood out on the shelf and sales increased by 40% in one year.



Whether consumers are aware of it or not, they are all swayed by the power of design. They will buy a sauce or a bottle of wine, or try a brand new product simply because it stands out to them and appeals to their personality and desires. On the other hand, bad package design can also have the power to sway a consumer to avoid a product altogether just because that package design does not appeal to their personal tastes.


Have you tried a new product lately because it’s package design really stood out on the shelf?