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Packaging Design

Vday Packaging Also Embraces Gals, Pals, and More

February 14 isn’t just for lovers anymore. Valentine’s Day now celebrates caring relationships of all kinds. And product packaging reflects this broader inclusiveness.

For years now, I’ve doted on my grandkids, showing them my affection with notes and a little something for the holiday that celebrates love: Valentine’s Day.

I’m not alone in extending the festive cheer. This day has developed — especially over the last several years — well beyond its original essence, with two plays on the moniker:

Galentine’s Day — For ladies, unattached or not, who value their female friends.

Palentine’s Day — For guys who appreciate their male pals.

There are other components to the holiday, too: Treating your pets and yourself!

Andrew Darmohraj, CAE, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Pet Products Association (APPA), explains, “More pet owners are using Valentine’s Day as a reason to purchase gifts and show love for their pets. Whether that means Valentine’s Day-themed treats, toys, and accessories or pet heart health and cardiovascular support products, now is the perfect time to let your pet know you love them with products promoting holistic pet happiness and wellness.”

And, according to The National Confectioners Association, “Although normally thought of as a holiday for sharing confectionery, this year’s Valentine’s Day is also expected to benefit from the rising trend of ‘self-care’ as consumers treat themselves with their favorite confectionery items to celebrate the day and support their emotional well-being.”

The range of products suitable for gifts for any “besties” has exploded in recent years. While the favorites still skew to candy hearts and flowers, we’re seeing more unusual ideas — like heart-shaped take-out pizzas from Donatos, NFTs of the artwork The Kiss from Gustav Klimt, an outdoor air misting system for at-home dates, or an exclusive digital download of Air Supply’s new album, Love Letters, before its public release.

How are packaging designers keeping up? Today, package graphics for February 14 holiday are both more targeted and more inclusive, as this slideshow illustrates.

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