Packaging Design – Not just for profit

posted on 20th Sep 2018

Consumers’ ever-evolving tastes and attitudes often influence a packaging update or complete redesign. Recently, a famous U.S. brand ‘Barnum’s Animal Crackers’ updated their iconic design due to pressure from PETA.

The previous design represented a number of circus animals living in their cages. At the time of the original design in the early twentieth century, this would have been considered a fun, child-friendly illustration. But fast-forward to 2018 and most people are appalled at the concept of circus animals living most of their lives behind bars and used for the entertainment of humans. PETA said it better “No living being exists simply to be a spectacle or to perform tricks for human entertainment, yet all circuses and travelling shows that use animals treat them as mere props, denying them everything that’s natural and important to them.”

It’s not just lobbying by large NPOs that can make a difference. Kellogg’s is changing their ‘Coco Pops’ slogan “Loved by kids, approved by mums” due to the concerns of a young girl in England. Manchester Evening News reported last month that Hannah-Marie Clayton complained to Kellogg’s that the slogan was unfair as it didn’t include dads. The new slogan will be “Loved by kids, approved by parents”, and it is now approved by all concerned.

Consumer observations can prove to be extremely valuable when researching how a packaging design is perceived on the shelf. It doesn’t always take a focus group to point out issues but they are worth considering in order to keep your brand relevant and avoid sales dropping due to outdated values.

Fiona O’Farrell, Packaging Designer

Fiona joined Neworld as a packaging designer in 2016. Her agency brand and packaging experience includes work for Kerry Foods, Boyne-Valley, Deep River Rock, Fruice, The Dalata Hotel Group, Dunnes Stores and Aldi.