Product Packaging Melbourne

by | Sep 27, 2023 | Graphic Design, Print Design

The secrets to successful packaging design for FMCG

Great packaging design generates even greater results.

Case in point: Harcourt Valley Brewing Co. Our initial product packaging design for this brand sold over half a million units in Australia. Following that success, they commissioned us once again to design the product packaging for their newest flavour, Blackcurrant Smash.

As a sparkling alcoholic drink in a can, this time made from fermented black currants, the new packaging reflected their established brand identity and existing design concept, while including fresh product label design and illustrations to suit the type of package: a single can, a 4-pack, and a 24-pack carton.

Many of clients have learned, the FMCG industry is notoriously difficult to crack. In such a saturated market, it’s essential to find the secret sauce that demands your customers to take notice and stick around (over all the other competitors on the same shelf).

Here are some key considerations that brands should ask themselves in order to successfully sell food products in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

Does it taste great?

The design is what piques consumer interest. The content is what helps to sell it. But at the end of the day, the product quality is what secures customer loyalty. As the essential starting point: your food or beverage product itself must taste great. Good packaging design may encourage the original purchase decision, but it won’t be enough to sustain ongoing purchases from customers if the quality isn’t up to standard. In an ideal scenario, high quality design and food packaging should reflect the high quality contents within.

Our visual mockup of product packaging design for a can of sparkling alcoholic drink.

Our visual mockup of product packaging design for a can of sparkling alcoholic drink.

Does it speak to its target audience?

Effective packaging design should always be supported by a considered strategy behind it. Before we start on a concept, we need to know who we are designing the product for, what drives them, what do they value, what are their interests, and what are their pain points. Extensive customer research will identify the demographic and psychographic information needed to align the results with a final design that will appeal to the product’s intended audience. With this research, we can make measured choices regarding each design element, from the logo design, the colour palette, the style of graphics, and even the size of the product, in order to create an emotional response that encourages the purchase decision.

Does it convey a sense of value?

There are so many FMCG products competing for attention. Most of the time, it’s not only about the type of product you sell; it’s about how that product can differentiate itself and offer something unique to the market. Think about your USP: Is it premium quality? The right price point vs. the quality of the product? Luxury vs. budget? Maybe it gives the purchaser a sense of improving/inspiring a better lifestyle? Or that it eliminates a pain point they are concerned with (e.g., diet, health, or ethical consciousness). Ultimately, your product should convey a sense of value that only it can bring to the table.

Does it stand out on shelf?

An interesting observation about the product packaging industry is that the product doesn’t necessarily need to be the prettiest design on the shelf. However, it does have to stand out alongside its competition. This is especially evident in the FMCG space – remember, a consumer can take only 5 seconds to make their purchase decision! When considering food brands packaging, the simplest graphic design decision could make all the difference, e.g., using a unique colour palette that no other competitor is using in the category, which also speaks to the flavour appeal of the product.

Illustration and graphic design for product packaging by Christie Davis Design

Does it have a respected brand identity?

Never underestimate the value of a well-known brand identity. A consumer will often make a purchase decision purely based on the trust they have already established with a brand, regardless of how good a packaging design looks. This is a major reason why creating a unique, striking, and memorable brand design is so crucial from the beginning. Developing brand trust in the FMCG industry is a goal worth pursuing. It will take time to achieve, but fortunately it is reinforced through applying the right process described in the considerations mentioned above.

With the (not-so-secret anymore) considerations to developing effective FMCG product packaging revealed, we hope you can refer to this checklist during your journey to building a stand-out food and beverage brand.

Talk to us.

The team at Christie Davis Design would love to hear about your goals for your next FMCG design project. Discover how our custom packaging design solutions can help you grow your food and beverage business to shelf-soaring heights.

Get in touch today! We’d love to chat.


Browse through our branding showcase to view more examples of our product packaging design work.

View our portfolio.