Packaging 101: The Complete Guide

Meet Kyla Moore, the dynamic project coordinator at Arka, who is driven by her passion for sustainable packaging. She is dedicated to assisting businesses.

Creative Packaging Design Ideas for Food 

All the food packaging ideas below are suitable for different types of brands. That’s why you must define the company’s values and goals before deciding on one option. We will try to explain the purpose of each one. 

Eco-Friendly Food Packaging Ideas 

One of the food packaging ideas we strongly recommend is using sustainable packaging materials. Store your food in recycled paper, compostable plastics,  or recyclable cardboard. That way, you will reduce your carbon footprint and do something good for the planet Earth. 

Apart from that, you will get an appreciation from the consumers. An average buyer expects to see food products stored in sustainable packages. Sustainability has become a trend you must follow to beat your competitors and make a stronger bond with buyers. In addition, we strongly recommend you use labels to inform people about the packaging materials you use. 

eco friendly food packaging ideas

If sustainable packaging ideas seem challenging, you can always contact Arka for help. Our packages can be customized in any way you want. More importantly, all the materials and practices we use are eco-friendly. Switching to eco-friendly packages will be much easier that way! 

Minimalist Food Packaging Ideas 

No one says your food packaging must contain many design elements and colors. On the contrary, minimalist packaging design has become one of the biggest trends in the good packaging industry. Some consumers expect to see simple yet elegant and sophisticated packages.

minimalist food packaging ideas

So, what exactly should you do? Use simple lines and a limited packaging color palette. You can even use one-color packages or packages with different shades of the same color. Logically, that color should be connected to your brand. The point here is to focus more on providing value to the consumers instead of making crazy designs. It is a suitable solution for sustainable brands that want to ensure an elegant touch for their food products. 

Vintage and Retro Food Packaging Ideas 

In today’s competitive food industry, one of the most unique packaging ideas for food would be to focus on retro designs. People are sometimes nostalgic and want to purchase products that remind them of good old times. That especially counts for people who experienced the most wonderful years during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Your food can be a reminder of specific events from the past. If you offer them vintage and retro packaging, they will be even more happy to buy your product! 

vintage food packaging idea

So, how to think of the best vintage food packaging design? Just check out how food packages looked in the past. Use the samples you find as an inspiration and adapt all the elements to your brand's needs. Be sure you will find a lot of inspiring retro food packaging ideas! 

Edible Food Packaging Ideas 

Fortunately, many innovative food packaging ideas apply to this type of packaging. You can use some of the edible materials like seaweed and rice paper. Also, you can use edible ink for prints. If you want to add an element of surprise, you can use a wrap that will dissolve in contact with hot liquid. That way, it will reveal the enclosed food. 

edible food packaging idea

Personalized Food Packaging Ideas 

One of the food packaging ideas that will help you make a stronger emotional bond with consumers is personalization. Personalizing packaging isn’t as difficult as you think and does not come with high requirements. You can add personalized notes inside the packaging or add a personalized message on the package surface. Also, handwritten notes can be good. You can write “bon appetite” or something similar and print it on the packaging. Most people would appreciate that! 

personalized food packaging ideas

Reusable Food Packaging Ideas 

Creating reusable food packaging is amazing for sustainable brands. That way, they will reduce the amount of waste people make. Apart from that, your package (with logo) will remain in the house of your buyers. That could be a good reminder to visit your brand and try out the food you sell. Also, friends and family that come to their house will notice your brand potentially. Doesn’t that seem like a good promotion? 

reusable food packaging ideas

Yet, most people do not have “sustainable habits”. Write educational content or short notes reminding people to reuse your packaging for other purposes. 

So, which type of food packaging would be the best for this purpose? Our top pick is craft containers. They can be used for transportation and storage. 

Interactive Food Packaging Ideas 

The purpose of all the creative food packaging ideas on this article is to make customers engage with the package. That’s why we recommend you always have interaction in mind. 

The interaction can be made at the moment when people are opening the package to take the goods. Some design elements worth mentioning are tear-away sections, pull tabs, and even origami-inspired folds. Unwrapping the package will ensure a lovely unboxing experience. 

interactive food packaging ideas

Food Packaging Ideas for Special Occasions

Releasing a limited packaging edition during some special events or holidays is a great marketing tool. You can add motifs that are strongly connected to those occasions. Some holidays you should focus on are Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving Day. If you think of the best design, your product may become the main symbol of the event. 

special food packaging ideas

Custom Food Boxes 

Traditional food boxes can sometimes be a good choice. Yet, they do not bring the level of uniqueness that you strive to achieve. Arka can help you customize your packages. You just need to think of special designs before reaching us. Focus on creating food packages with unique shapes and smaller sizes. That way, you will ensure better protection for the product and spend less on packaging production (less materials required). 

custom food boxes

A good example of that is how different brands store pizza. As you know, most packages have a triangular shape. Your task is to find additional design elements that will make your products unique. Our recommendation is to focus on minimalism. Add only a logo and slogan on your custom food boxes and boost your brand awareness that way! 

Bold Typography for Food Packaging

Most entrepreneurs neglect the importance of typography on the packaging. That’s why you should make a statement by using bold and attention-grabbing typography. We recommend using large yet eye-pleasing fonts to highlight the main info. For instance, the main focus should be on the company’s name. That way, you will improve your brand awareness. Apart from that, you can use bold packaging typography to highlight some of the main benefits of your food/brand. You can use a few words to say more about your brand's unique background or special ingredients you use. 

bold typography food packaging

So, which type of typography would be good for food packaging? Mela Pro font is good for short messages. Also, you can try to impress people by using Clarkson Script and Jonesy. Pink Lemonade font would be great if you focus on retro designs!

Whimsical Food Packaging Ideas 

Playful packaging design ideas for food can sometimes help brands improve their value. These designs are matchable with candies, sweets, and similar types of food. You can use vibrant colors and whimsical illustrations to design your packages. Also, if possible, you can add imaginative characters. But, use them only if they are an important part of your overall promotion. 

fun food packaging idea

Luxury Food Packaging Ideas  

Luxury food packaging ideas can significantly increase the price of your food. However, remember that the taste must also be premium in that case. Don’t use these designs if you have nothing special to offer. Also, apply our suggestions only if your target audience is people willing to spend more on luxurious brands. 

You should use premium materials to create the food packaging to achieve this goal. For instance, satin finishes, embossed paper and metallic foils can help a lot. You will manage to incorporate designs that communicate elegance and sophistication. The typography should be bold, and all the letters should be colored in gold, silver, or grey colors. 

luxury food packaging ideas

Vibrant Food Packaging Colors 

A vibrant color palette has the color to make packaging eye-catching. Using them will allow you to represent the true excitement and energy that your product can bring. We will let you experiment with colors, but remember they should be related to your brand. For instance, if your logo is red, you should use different shades of that color. You can also try to grab people's attention by using contrasting colors. You should also check which colors are the best contrast combinations and which emotions these combinations cause. 

vibrant food packaging idea

Storytelling Food Packaging Ideas 

The purpose of food packaging is to tell a story about your brand. That way, brands want to give a sentimental value to their brand and automatically ensure better profit margins. The design elements used for storytelling should tell more about the brand’s journey. In other words, you should use illustrations and textual content to tell more about your product’s origins and ingredients. You can also add a QR code on the packaging. After people scan it, they should get the chance to see the video of how you prepare the food. It is one of the food packaging ideas that can make a deeper connection between your brand and consumers. 

storytelling food packaging idea

Takeaway Food Packaging Ideas 

This type of packaging should focus more on functionality than design, especially when considering cooked food packaging ideas. The food can lose its quality during delivery/transportation. Because of that, you should use packaging materials that can maintain freshness and temperature. 

Paper bags, foam packaging, and compostable packaging containers would be an excellent choice for cooked food packaging ideas. Also, you should customize the packaging and make it convenient for transportation.

Custom Labels and Stickers for Food Packaging 

The creative packaging design ideas for food should also contain a plan on how to customize stickers and labels. It is mandatory to put your brand's logo as well as more details about the food you sell on the custom stickers. If you can’t put all the information in one place, the simplest alternative is to incorporate a QR code. That way, people can easily access them by scanning the QR code with their smartphone. You can directly lead them to your brand's official website or “About Us” page.

food packaging sticker idea

Frozen Food Packaging Ideas 

Frozen food has different packaging requirements. You may not have a chance to experiment with designs a lot here. We recommend putting illustrations of the product inside and adding a logo on the packaging surface. Another thing you can do is use frost-resistant windows and allow people to see the food before spending money on it. 

The more challenging thing would be to find the most appropriate packaging materials. They must be durable and resistant to freezing temperatures. Some of the options suitable for frozen food are laminated papers, tin cans, and corrugated boxes.

frozen food packaging ideas

Food Packaging Ideas with Artistic Illustrations 

Artistic Illustrations can be an amazing attention-grabbing tool. They can either be hand-drawn or digitally made (the second option is more popular today). This food packaging idea aims to ensure a distinct artistic flair to the packaging. That way, people will memorize it for a longer period and easily differentiate it from the products your direct competitors are selling. 

illustrated food packaging ideas

Movie and Pop Culture-Themed Food Packaging Ideas   

The options, in this case, are unlimited! You can add different motifs related to TV shows, popular movies, songs, and other cultural trends. Despite visual elements (imagery), you can also add quotes or references. It is a great way to target a specific group of people. Yet, be careful with copyrights here. 

themed food packaging ideas

Food Packaging Trends 

We are sure our list of packaging design ideas for food will inspire many entrepreneurs. Yet, don’t forget it is crucial to follow the latest trends in the packaging industry. By doing that, you will remain competitive. Here are three trends you should have in mind before picking one of the mentioned food packaging ideas

Smart Packaging Solution

Technology has become part of our daily routine. That’s why smart packaging has become a preferable option for many people. You can use things like freshness sensors and temperature indicators as part of packaging design. That way, your packages will become more functional and valuable. People will have the chance to see more details about the quality and condition of your products in real time. You no longer have to spend time convincing people that your food is fresh! 

Sustainable Food Packaging 

Modern consumers require sustainable packages (more than 80% of them). Use materials that are biodegradable, recyclable, and reusable. Some of the best options are recycled paper and cardboard, seaweed packaging, mushroom packaging, biodegradable packaging plastics, etc. 

NFC Tags and QR Codes 

QR Codes and NFC tags are bridging the digital and physical experience gap. Both solutions can allow people to access more details about the product via their smartphone. They can learn more about the recipe, ingredients, nutritional facts, and other relevant information. Also, if you sell products online, people can reach your online shop by scanning QR codes. It is one of the advanced practices that is becoming a trend in the food industry. 

Final Thoughts

Define your brand’s values and goals before choosing one of the food packaging ideas highlighted on this page. Follow the latest trends to remain competitive and meet the expectations of modern consumers. Ultimately, focus equally on the visual aspect and functionality of your packaging. That is the only way to ensure a unique unboxing experience and boost your brand’s value. 

FAQs on Food Packaging Ideas 

Can creative food packaging ideas positively influence customer perceptions? 

Yes, the selection of the best food packaging ideas can impact customer perceptions. If the package is visually appealing, it will grab the attention of potential buyers. Also, it has the power to create a long-lasting impression. Sooner or later, a strong emotional bond can be created between consumers and brands. 

What is the significance of using cultural motifs in food packaging ideas? 

Brands can create a strong emotional connection with a specific group of people. Certain cultural aspects are an integral part of someone’s identity. Check out which colors, symbols, and designs are suitable for specific cultures. Also, make sure to understand the cultural sensitivities the right way. Ensure that you do not insult anyone’s beliefs and backgrounds. 

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