How does CPG packaging impact consumer behavior?

By Joshua Weatherwax

7 min read

January 11, 2022

Some products sell themselves. But, how is that possible?

The answer comes down to one word: branding.

When consumers are walking through a store they can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products around them. They will often avoid seeking out new products, so you’ll miss your chance if they aren’t appealing from a distance. Even if you follow the top food and beverage industry trends, you can’t sell a product the consumer doesn’t notice.

When it comes to your CPG products, you need to make them as appealing as possible. Even if the contents are sweet, no one will buy them if they look bland or unflattering.

Even small changes can have a considerable impact. For example, selling 16-ounce cans instead of 12-ounce cans may boost your bottom line. Likewise, changing the color can influence a shopper’s mood and impression of your product. These adjustments can also affect your sell-through rate for specific products, so paying attention to them will help you pick the best products to focus on.

So, because the right packaging is crucial for consumer packaged goods, let’s take a look at a few ways you can get the most out of yours and keep up with consumer buying patterns.

Packaging design

Your products have to create a positive first impression, so everything about the design matters, here are a few tips and tricks to connect with today’s consumer:

  • Minimalism – If there’s too much going on, the message can get confusing. When in doubt, keep the design simple yet bold. It needs to deliver the right message upfront. In fact, Millennials prefer minimalism more than other demographics, as evidenced by the uptick in minimalist brands like RX Bar.
  • Colors, Patterns, and Fonts – If you don’t know about color theory, now is the time to learn. For example, red means energy and passion (and hunger), while blue is calm and trustworthy. Understanding how colors influence shoppers’ moods and buying habits can help you connect with them better. Patterns and fonts also matter as they can create a balanced theme for your products.
  • CPG Packaging and Brand Identity – What do you want people to think of when they see your brand? Does your consumer goods packaging reflect that? If not, there could be a massive disconnect between what you’re selling and what people are buying. Focus on informing the consumer about your product without overwhelming them with information. Use bold words and colors that can stick in the customer’s mind and help establish an easily-recognized brand identity.

Safety and security

Consumer confidence in your brand is crucial if you want to build a substantial audience. So, your packaging needs to be safe and secure, but what does that mean exactly? Here are some examples:

  • Food Packaging – Tamper-evident seals and hygienic materials can ensure that the contents are safe to eat and keep longer.
  • Beauty Packaging – Would anyone want to try your cosmetic products if they think anyone could have used them first?
  • Health Packaging – Medicines, supplements and other health-related items should also be secure from anyone trying to tamper with them.

Another aspect of safety and security is how they relate to your brand identity. For example, the cosmetic brand Clinique has dominated the industry because of its focus on scientific and health-related products. Even the brand name invokes going to a dermatological clinic, making the products seem more potent and authentic.

Consumers want to know that they’re making a good decision even before pulling out their wallets. Your packaging can convey that confidence.

Green packaging

These days, consumers are paying far more attention to their impact on the environment. Single-use packaging is becoming far less acceptable, as people worry about the impact of their consumption on climate change and aime for a more sustainable lifestyle. In a recent survey, 83 percent of consumers 44 and younger said that they would spend more money on sustainable packaging. Even when looking at all consumers, the majority (70 percent) still want green packaging.

But, what does that mean for your business? Here are some examples of green, eco-friendly packaging:

  • 100 Percent Recycled Paperboard
  • BPA-free
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Plastic-Free
  • Recyclable
  • Recycled
  • Reusable
  • Sustainable
  • Tetrapak

Overall, if the material can be made without negatively impacting the environment and can be recycled or broken down naturally, environmentally-conscious consumers will be more likely to purchase the product.

Smart packaging

As technology continues to develop, it impacts all industries, including consumer goods packaging. Currently, smart packaging is still in its infancy, but as companies and consumers become more familiar with it, it should become more widespread.

But, what is smart packaging exactly? There are two ways to make your packaging more intelligent. First, you can utilize materials that help make your products better. For example, a beer maker may add oxygen absorbers to their bottle caps, extending the beer’s shelf life.

Second, you can use QR codes and similar scannable materials so that customers can interact with your product. One example could be a code that takes the user to a recipe for a specific ingredient.

Overall, smart packaging isn’t a “silver bullet,” but it can enhance your brand’s identity and allow you to engage with customers during their shopping experience. Also, smarter packages may be easier to track and manage on the back end, delivering insightful data for your bottom line.

Get specific insights on consumer preferences

Regardless of your products, you need to make decisions based on data and consumer trends. Fortunately, Byzzer can help by providing comprehensive reports that help you understand your shoppers’ behaviors better. Best of all, we’ll give you actionable insights so that you know what to do next.

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