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Thought Leadership for Healthy Food & Beverage Brands​

Reliable Packaging Design Checklist for better-for-you F&B CPG Products

By Leonard Grape

The closest sales touchpoint for your better-for-you F&B CPG brand is when the customer is at an arm’s length away from your product. This is the make-or-break point. It’s either they pick yours from the shelves and not any of the ten other displayed products or they ignore it and walk away.

The first thing that you need to understand is that you only have an average of 7 seconds to attract, engage, and convince a buyer through your product packaging design. While this may vary depending on research sources, 7 seconds make sense and I like to further dissect it into parts:

  • 2 seconds to capture attention

  • 3 seconds to convey product benefit

  • 2 seconds to relay other information

People have short attention spans and with the slew of information that distracts your customers, appealing to them is not an easy feat. With just 7 seconds to work with, you must figure out how to leverage your product packaging to help you convert sales.

Here’s a checklist to help you enhance your product branding and your package design:

o Prominent Brand Name

o Product Photo

o Key Benefit

o Brand Message

o Healthy Descriptors

Go on and see if each item is a check on your current product packaging. If yes, you can pause reading and get on with your day.

But if not, you can continue as I go through each of the checklist items to provide you with insights and some samples that can help your brand packaging.


This is to reinforce and utilize brand familiarity. If you’re doing your marketing right through your sampling, website, social media, PR, influencers, among others, your target market should already have some sense of who you are. They should have an idea about your brand name, logo, and color tones that are unique to your product.

Use this familiarity to your advantage by having a prominent brand name. It should be the first thing that they should see, and it needs to be bigger in size and highly legible. Make sure that your signature brand colors are also well integrated. You can imagine how your products will line up on the shelves. One better-for-you beverage brand that does this well is Pricklee, a cactus water brand that has a playful and vibrant personality with its name as the highlight of it all.

Another brand that uses this tactic creatively is Snact, an upcycled banana snack in the UK.


Customers are highly visual especially when it comes to food products. Since they can’t tear open your product yet, you need to give them a view of what’s inside.

A couple of ways for you to do this is to incorporate your product photo on your packaging design or to create a packaging style that leaves a transparent space to show its contents. Make sure they’re as enticing and appetizing as the real product to really capture attention.

I want to share two brand examples that utilize this tactical approach.

With Rind, their brand name is prominently featured, and they also show photos of what the chips inside look like. Mission Barns, on the other hand, given that it’s an alternative plant-based meat product managed to seamlessly integrate design and real product visuals into their packaging.

Again, be sure to show your customers the contents inside because that is what they are interested in buying.


Product packaging is a valuable but limited brand space. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to cram as much information about your brand and convey many things in such a small space. It would only lead to clutter and if there are tons of information, customers get overwhelmed.

Firstly, figure out what’s one or two compelling things about your brand then highlight those in your design. Is it about the nutrient content? Is it a plant-based hybrid product? Does it have functional benefits? Does the value lie in the texture and flavor?

A brand that comes to my mind for this packaging tactic is TRIP.

The brand employs a minimalist approach on their packaging and only highlights that their drink is infused with CBD or cannabidiol oil, which they are trying to shift into a more positive light and counter the stigma behind it. While it is also plant-based, vegan, and gluten-free, it didn’t cram all these info on their cans. But you will find all those brand attributes written on their website.

Your packaging is your strong tool to win over your customers and is not meant to do your full-on product education campaign. That is marketing’s job. Use the space wisely and just emphasize one or two unique benefits of your product.


A lot of the product packaging that I see among better-for-you F&B CPG brands miss out on this golden opportunity – conveying a message. Customers cannot memorize everything about your product but a message that can resonate with them can do wonders. It could be your first winning shot to convince a buyer to learn more about and try your product.

One brand that not only does well in displaying a prominent brand name, showing a product photo, and highlighting few benefits while also conveying a well-crafted brand blurb would be Outsanding Foods.

Apart from all the product information that they have, did you notice how they are telling you that it is a product that is addictively delicious but highly nutritious? That would get me picking the product up and even try it.


If you’re still reading up to this point, I hope your mind is now engaged and even thinking about how your brand packaging fares from the checklist that I shared with you. Feel free to reach out to us should you need help and support with the brand development of your better-for-you F&B CPG product.

As the last item from our list, you need to highlight what makes your product healthy. You can include healthy descriptors like plant-based, organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, among others. Another way to do this is by highlighting its functional benefit, vitamins composition, and power ingredients.

iWon Organics uses this tactic on their packaging given that their main product positioning is an organic protein snack.

Aside from the word organics on their brand name, they also included a USDA organic stamp to reinforce credibility and they have descriptors like plant-based, baked, and good source of fiber, all pointing out why it is a better-for-you snack. They close it up with a brand blurb that reinforces the brand benefit of winning on nutrition.


While these are helpful tactics, ultimately, you should play around with your brand and leverage your brand character to create a packaging design that is artful, unique, and authentic to your product. Our team at The Vineyard particularly love the design that Greenomic has for their better-for-you hairday pasta.

Talk about standing out from the shelves, right? They nailed this one and their one-of-a-kind design can surely maximize the two seconds that they have to capture a buyer’s attention.


To recap, the five elements of your brand packaging design that should be well crafted to enhance the reliability of your packaging would be: Prominent Brand Name, Product Photo, Key Benefit, Brand Message, and Healthy Descriptors.

I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or thoughts about this piece. And if you need help with your product branding, I’d be glad to connect and talk. Reach out to me at or visit to read more free brand development resources for the better-for-you F&B CPG industry.


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