Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

April 30, 2015

4 Min Read
Packaging design trends add value to store brands

In the national versus store brands fight, many store-brand packages continue to conquer discerning consumers with stand-out designs that help capture profitable sales. Immersion into some of the best packaging designs of the year for store brands, as deemed by the designers, shows how these products connect with savvy shoppers.

Yesterday, my esteemed colleague Rick Lingle shared some of his favorite packaging designs seen during the judging of the 2015 Store Brands packaging competition in mid-April. Today is my turn.

(Ha! Think you know the winners by our reports? Think again. Rick and I were only two of four judges and we all had our faves, but they weren’t always the same for the category. You’ll have to wait until the winners are announced in the June issue of Store Brands.) [4-30-15 correction: The winners will be published in the July issue of Store Brands]

I start my show-and-tell with the chic carton design for Beauty 360 bamboo tools from CVS. The large window lets consumers see the quality of the tools while keeping them pristine from would-be samplers. The simple graphic of green bamboo leaves communicates the natural-ness of the product and the silver ink adds an upscale element of beauty. This design definitely resonated with me, a baby boomer. But I think it would appeal to women of all ages.



The Beauty 360 carton was one of several packages using silver to catch the light and the eye. Here are two other packages making the most of silver hot stamping: Awaken by Quality Choice (sold in various stores) and  Skin+Pharmacy from CVS. Both personal care product lines used the hot stamping judiciously, but I like the design treatment better for Awaken. It’s a bit hard to read Skin+Pharmacy text in the reflective color. However, I also liked the clean, scientific design that communicates the Skin+Pharmacy brand position.

Next, more color trends…


We saw a few packages using bold, contemporary colors as if they owned it. Abound snacks, also from CVS, took the unusual lime green and made it work in a category already awash with bold colors. They closely match/manage the color across multiple substrates, such as flexible packaging and paperboard cartons.

Next, duo-tone…


Rick showcased the elegant packaging for Irresistibles brand olive oil from the Metro store chain in Canada and referenced the two-tone sprayer trigger, which I think is one of the most impressive sprayers I have ever seen/used. The green rubber portion provides a most-comfortable fingertip control for continuous spraying that was so smooth. The ergonomics of this package make it highly enjoyable to use. Strong repurchase incentive.

Next, another functional feature…


I liked many things about the CVS Medicated Roll-On Chest Rub packaging—the hands-off roll-on applicator; the clean, white container (which you can’t see inside); and the matte printing on the carton. But the little tab at the top of the carton that gives you a thumb-hold to easily open the flap actually made me exclaim “Ah!” when I first saw it. I think all cartons should do this!

Next, another good carton design…


To me, the packaging design for Love Some frozen desserts says FUN!, which is just want you want for a product often bought for celebrations. The branding gels—from the name/logo to the contemporary colors to the clear window that showcases the yummy product.

Lastly, cue up my final packages…


Flavor and scent cues appeared on packages of several different product categories, connecting a visual to the most-compelling taste or smell. Here are just two examples.

The CVS Nicotine Gum uses high-end graphics to communicate the different product flavors, such as cinnamon sticks and mint leaves, which really pop off the matte carton with a gloss highlight. The design elevates the taste appeal of a product typically bought for less-enjoyable reasons: to help quit smoking.

In a somewhat less glamorous product tier, the Price Chopper dish soap shows a stylized picture of green apples on its label to invoke a powerful scent memory with shoppers.

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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