Snacking has become a modern lifestyle. There are grab and go snacks, nutritional snacks, party snacks, snacks that are allowable indulgences, and snacks that fill in gaps any time of day or night. Snacks have also become an innovative and competitive category, which makes it fun to watch.
Combining the trends for clean (limited ingredient and processing) product content and packaging, along with the focus on better for you “healthy” foods, I was impressed with SAHALE SNACKS® packaging. Competing in a category of high gloss surfaces and extremely cluttered packaging, Sahale presents a calm, restrained image on shelf – but not diminished or recessive. While the competitive packaging is unavoidable, I found it easy to pass by in favor of a package design that is instantly comprehensible.
A major contributor to Sahale’s superior shelf presence was the decision to utilize a matte surface package, greatly reducing the glare created by fluorescent store lighting. Especially with flexible packaging, this is a factor that many CPG packages fail to consider as a long-term implication of packaging development. As a result of a glare-free package, and because of the extremely well-executed photography (obviously, supported with high-quality color separations and printing), the package leaves absolutely no confusion about its content.
Another curious thing about the packaging is that over 50% of the face or principal display panel is devoted entirely to the visual representation of the product within the package. Sahale enlarged highly detailed, close photography to demonstrate flavorings/additives that enhance flavor, creating a visual “bulls-eye” that the eye is automatically drawn to. The addition of discrete call outs highlight specific features consumers might find appealing, but there should be no question as to what a consumer can expect once the package is opened. The remaining 50% of the face panel is shared equally with the logo and descriptive product copy. Comparatively, competitive packaging tends to devote a significantly larger proportion of space to their brand icons logos, supportive copy and transparent windows revealing interior content.
I have to admit, I generally have an issue with how most flexible packaging ends up looking once on shelf. It tends to take the work and expense involved in developing impactful packaging designs and diminish them to packaging that is visually confusing and where it is difficult to distinguish or discern product differences. If you elect to use flexible packaging, insist on design concepts that will stand up to the display rigors of the intended marketplace and keep in mind – most cans and cartons have side panels that support branding if the principle face panel is not displayed. With flexible packaging, it is the face panel or nothing.
In spite of being set within a category that is generally “rumpled”, Sahale elected not to use a single color to reinforce the brand image, but instead used strong, saturated colors in creating dynamic branding that contrasts with the competitors’ brand colors. I found unity, continuity, and individuality in each of their packages.
This same direct communication also translates well to the back panel. The logo or brand mark supports but does not overwhelm the storytelling about the inspiration and origin of the product and commitment to clean, healthy product formulation. For the same reason bold colors work on the face panel, the back panels provide equal visual clarity with one exception. The “snack better promise” is a well-organized grid of the important ingredient content information that consumers are looking for in healthy snack foods. One glitch: a statement below the grid informing consumers about sustainability is difficult to read. This illustrates that you should apply as much focus as possible to type size and legibility to ensure its value to consumers.
Nevertheless, I find a great deal right about this packaging. It stands apart from competitors, it grabs consumer attention and it serves to tantalize the consumer with flavors that are different and good for you. With simplicity and restraint, Sahale created a visual design system that has unlimited potential for expansion and growth, and I hope to see more of these products and packages in our local store.
If you are exploring flexible packaging, contact us at 920-886-7727 or [email protected] Throughout our 60 plus years of supporting customers with consumer brands large and small, we apply our experience and expertise to the entire process to create efficient and effective solutions.
The purpose of our “findings” blog is to spotlight packaging that displays thinking that breaks the mold, delivers something new or chancy – or at the very least, highlights packaging that catches your eye in the retail environment.