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April 1, 2014 Transcript of #CommsChat on packaging design

Earlier this year, the U.S. made the decision to redesign its nutrition facts label, a requirement on food and drink packaging. Europe subscribes to looser regulations about packaging, yet in each case, packaging designers have to work within both the constricts of government regulations and the needs of the food or drink company itself.

In last week’s chat, we were joined by Toby Southgate (@tobyrolla), CEO Americas, Maria Trindade (@Mariaptrindade ), senior consultant for Brand Union, UK and Stephanie Landry (@Steph_A_Landry), design director at Brand Union’s New York office.

Some highlight tweets:

  • @Mariaptrindade  While some mislead with portion sizes, others such as Innocent use labels as an opportunity to do some brand-building
  • @tobyrolla  packaging is a primary touchpoint in driving consumer engagement – it should represent brand strategy and key equities
  • @TimElliottUK  on child targeted food , I like the use of fun facts and tying them into entertaining / educational health things
  • @Steph_A_Landry With more awareness to allergies and sensitivities, nutritional info is more relevant than ever.
  • @Mariaptrindade I believe it’s also the responsibility of F&D brands to educate consumers – albeit in a fun way

The full hour:

 

  1. Tess Wicksteed says that design is helping to evolve the confectionary market, connecting consumers to healthier offers.

  2. Innovative design is changing the visual language around food, exposing new demographics healthy living.

  3. Packaging has a huge role to play in the future of health.

  4. Signing off now. See you all next week! G’night

  5. digitalblondeKaren on Instagram, digitalblonde on Pinterest. gets bigger everyday. Loving it!

  6. And that’s the hour folks. We’ll have the recap tmrw AM. A hearty thanks to our friends at for their time & expertise

  7. evolving core brand equities – where brands can do so credibly – to better reflect consumer wants / needs

  8. To help people make better choices, it’s about much more than numbers and %s. It’s about motivating & making it fun

  9. well so it does 🙂 … Your on fire tonight ith links at your finger tips 😉

  10. Maybe a simple rating system that appears small on FOP and links to nutrition info BOP?

  11. If standardised FOP labelling was made mandatory for everyone, it would help people compare products

  12. Final topic: What can the sector as a whole (or maybe the healthcare sector?) do to communicate more effectively on packaging?

  13. new regs so far are limited to BOP so not directly, at least in relation to a brand’s core visual equities

  14. Universal would be good … even if it’s a traffic light system on the base/top so people can tell while browsing

  15. . how will that change the approach to design in general? or will it?

  16. Not many brands go beyond packaging to help consumers be healthier e.g. motivational games / self-tracking tools

  17. yes, they’ll have to, over time, adopt new regs mostly to do with sizing of nutritional info on BOP

  18. From what I read, it’s about reflecting how Americans ACTUALLY eat – shows nutritional info of realistic portion sizes

  19. I think many brands and organisations have been trying the education thing. Lots more needed

  20. Every brand is different, and all communication should be conveyed through the lens of that brand.

  21. yeah That could be the answer , could the retailers back up or add something o the equation?

  22. ie, have they begun to or will they have to do things differently?

  23. T5: How has the recent US nutrition facts redesign impacted food and drink companies?

  24. education of the consumer so everyone has basic knowledge , if it’s down to the manufacturers, retailers or gov ?

  25. I believe it’s also the responsibility of F&D brands to educate consumers – albeit in a fun way

  26. Iconography and concise information treatments will always go far. Allowing breathing room for information can help

  27. challenging in some environments – “why would I do that when I could use the space for another (benefit) claim”

  28. t4 … I think it’s more about general education than design

  29. there’s lots that COULD be done. We’re in constant discussion with clients’ design and marketing teams on HOW to do it

  30. 1) Be 100% simple and clear, 2) Don’t mislead with claims, 3) Think about how people actually consume

  31. T4: Are there measures designers can take 2 make it easier for cust. 2 understand what’s included in product/make better choices?

  32. Good idea! I think that apps are making this kind of tracking possible

  33. . THAT would be great. I’m a lactard and constantly search EVERYTHING on packaging for allergy info

  34. : What kind of game? ” you could do a social game like “run keeper” beat your previous week etc ?

  35. With the increasing importance of protein/satiety in weight control, calories are less relevant for many consumers.

  36. With more awareness to allergies and sensitivities, nutritional info is more relevant than ever.

  37. Yup … My daughter ( age6) already aqua freshens as proof 😉

  38. and also, the corporation BEHIND the brand they’re buying into – full transparency, no hiding place for poor behaviour

  39. People tend to find it confusing. They focus on the simplest things like the traffic light system.

  40. RT : lots for me – on an allergen free diet at the mo 🙁

  41. increasing all the time – people care more and more about diet, health, wellbeing, the battle against sugars…

  42. Often it’s just a large amount of copy or even duplicate nutrition panel. Very challenging for designers.

  43. Creating a game to motivate people to ‘burn it to earn it’ takes the bore out of ‘being good’

  44. Let’s take a look at T3: What role does nutritional info and the like play in consumer choice?

  45. Connecting nutritional information to real life would help consumers i.e. ‘eat 3 of these as a snack’ vs 150 calories

  46. powerful visual equities, semiotics can transcend language and cultures – is red and white

  47. on child targeted food , I like the use of fun facts and tying them into entertaining / educational health thingd

  48. For instance using natural lighting in food photography on pack vs illustration can communicate “health”

  49. They can’t, coz they know that they aren’t making totally healthy food. Remember KFC.

  50. maybe, but there would be something incredibly disingenuous about eg onion rings pushing better consumer habits

  51. Packaging is crucial for communicating your point of difference among a crowded marketplace.

  52. Simple and fun data visualisation can be powerful – I love from our friends at Digit

  53. . interesting, I hadn’t even thought of language/cultural differences!

  54. YES it’s always been a struggle. Especially when you’re working with multiple languages.

  55. I’ve heard that food concerns in both countries are different. That may explain it?

  56. packaging is a primary touchpoint in driving consumer engagement – it should represent brand strategy and key equities

  57. In what ways can a brand communicate better about health and nutrition via packaging?

  58. Even if the product is undeniably ‘bad’, there are so many things brands can do to promote better consumption habits

  59. Exactly. I think there’s more information that should be communicated clearly in a standardized way.

  60. Joining in as there is a food and health theme 🙂

  61. RT : I agree packaging often conveys an impression of health that isn’t always reflected in the nutritional info

  62. We’re already kind of addressing T2: Why is packaging an important tool for companies in the food and drink sector?

  63. . is that difficult/restricting for designers?

  64. There should be opportunities to harmonize with design while adhering to the essence of the standardization

  65. . true. Many use the opp. to communicate about sustainability or even express brand personality

  66. agreed…there’s a whole trend in consumer behaviours that brands have an opportunity to embrace

  67. It looks like it could make a difference, but then, it excludes some impt things (like origin of food)

  68. While some mislead with portion sizes, others such as Innocent use labels as an opportunity to do some brand-building

  69. I wasn’t aware that BOP labelling isn’t mandatory, I’m surprised!

  70. . how big of a role does design play when it comes to consumers making choices about food?

  71. welcome to the acronym-laden brand strategy and design business! apologies on behalf of all of us…

  72. From experience in US/UK, it is frustrating to try and find info that I’m used to from American companies on British packaging

  73. Instead of seeing it as a burden, brands should embrace the high levels of consumer engagement with health

  74. RT : welcome to the acronym-laden brand strategy and design business! apologies on behalf of all of us involved…

  75. Sure – BOP is just back of pack and FOP is front of pack

  76. PSA: please don’t just reply to us, use the tag so everyone can see your tweets. PSA over.

  77. RT : Sure – BOP is just back of pack and FOP is front of pack

  78. Maria, can you explain the differences btw BOP and FOB?

  79. RT : Evening! BOP labelling will become mandatory in 2016 in the UK. FOP labelling is currently voluntary.

  80. If you missed the news, the US just redesigned its nutritional facts to make it easier to use by consumers

  81. T1: What regulations are in place re: packaging in the UK, Europe and US? Are companies impeded or helped by such regulations

  82. They are and . If you’re joining us tonight, plz use the tag to take part

  83. : looks at all aspects relating to communications, When: Mondays, 8:00pm UK.

  84. We’ll be joined by some folk who’ll discuss packaging, nutrition and design in the food and drink sector .

  85. It’s Brittany here from Communicate with Emily joining in on her first . But enough about us…

  86. Evening all. Do we have a for you tonight!

 

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