Health Aware Foods are Influencing Food Design

In the past few years, everyone has become concerned with nutrition and health.  Sure, everyone wanted to be healthy before, but even in the nineties when I was a kid, there was no organic or gluten free section of the store.  Food was, well, food, and you ate what the family did.  Now every time I go to the store I see foods that are gluten-free, organic, all-natural, and a multitude of other brands that promise you a healthier lifestyle.  These brands are trendy, up-to-date, and in following with the fitness fad that began in the mid 2000’s.  They’re not boring and they’re not tasteless; the foods are exciting, good for you, and fun to buy.  Many of these brands are also exclusively focused on targeting the “healthy” market, and don’t offer alternative products for customers who don’t want to focus on the health.  In other words, these brands have a targeted niche that’s large, growing, and directly influencing food design.

A few words that these health trending brands embody.

Marketers have to respond to these trends that dictate a way of eating and life, by figuring out the needs and interests of the consumers.  The packaging and labeling for these brands has also followed suit.  Creativity in design will help move these brands off the shelves and to customers quickly.  Many consumers are also equating low quality packaging with a low quality product.  Shouldn’t the food that’s better for you be presented in a classier way than a trans-fat saturated snack?  Natural authenticity is considered better than industrial perfection, and it makes the brands more approachable, with an honest brand attitude and personality that gets along well with anyone.

How are labels and packaging facilitating this?

One thing I’ve noticed is that the organic and uber-healthy food trend started not that long after the trend of “going green”.  Maybe when people decided to seriously recycle and take of the earth, they also decided their health should be up there too, and so a fad was born.  It also seems like many trendy food brands feature recyclable packaging so it’s healthy for you and the earth.  But what makes a brand look like it’s healthy, natural, strong, and all around amazing?  One easy answer is with white.  It sounds amazingly simple and way too good to be true, but it’s not.  To many people, white is simple, natural, light, and clean, all features that a health conscious trendy brand would be sure to have.  Another way is to use labels or packaging that are actually natural, like printable wood veneers for a true organic nature touch.  In different shades, wood labels and packaging give great brand personality, plus they’re 100% recyclable.  Textured and rough materials might be a way to go as well; letting the customer feel the material naturally instead of a processed and finished label.  Even a simple clear label that lets the food speak for itself might do the trick.  By keeping designs and materials simple, letting the honest brand personality shine through is easy to do through food design packaging and labeling.