10 Tasty Food Packaging Designs

When you’re a foodie like me, you shop for ingredients and products that are tasty, healthful and high-quality. And when you’re a design geek like me, you also look at food packaging design: elegant typography, mouth-watering photography and overall craftsmanship.

200_beverage_packaing_bootcampFood is a central part of our culture, so it’s no surprise that there’s been an explosion of great food packaging design to go along with the rise in food products. Whether it’s an artisanal jam or a mass-retail prepared meal, excellent packaging design plays a huge role in making a sale. A well-designed label, box or bag stands out on the shelf in a big-box grocery—and it tells the story of a small-batch product at a farmers’ market or neighborhood shop.

We’ve scouted the web and asked some of our top food packaging design friends to share some of their latest work. Feast your eyes on these delicious food package designs.

Callegari Olive Oil Bottles

Design firm: Pereira & O’Dell
Client: Callegari Olive Oil
Creative team: PJ Pereira, Jaime Robinson, Rai Favacho, Patricia Ebner, Moses Kelany, Jeff Ferro, Drew Saucedo, Judy Kreiter, Lo Braz, Charlie Wolff
Why we like it: We’re all about the looks. This is a simply gorgeous packaging design for a premium extra-virgin olive oil brand. The Spanish product is sought-after by chefs and foodies (it’s available online), so the creative team wanted to create something really special to turn buyers into brand ambassadors. The team created several package designs with a Spanish tile motif, including a bottle that resembles a drop of oil and a companion version that’s more sculptural (it tips on its side). A limited-edition pen-shaped bottle lets chefs “sign” their plates; a perfume flacon captures the sensual experience of smelling and tasting the fragrant oil (both are promotional items). The packaging positions the product as a luxury ingredient, not just something to splash on a salad.

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Artisan Fresh Food Packaging

Design firm: Michael Osborne Design
Client: Walmart/Sam’s Club
Creative team: Michael Osborne, Anne Tsui, KSC Photography
Why we like it: Props to the big-box retailer for recognizing the power of smart design, and for calling in a heavy-hitter like Michael Osborne and company. Sam’s Club executives wanted to create a new line of private-label bakery goods and prepared foods (salsa, bread, desserts, etc.) MOD developed the brand name and designed a wide range of packaging (boxes, bags, labels). The team’s inspiration? “Inspiration in the food category is simple: Design what you’d love to buy and eat!” Osborne says. “We accomplished this goal through mouth-watering appetite appealing photography and/or the ability to see the actual product through the package.”

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Briaura Artisan Foods Boxes

Design firm: Funnel—The Fine Commercial Art Practice of Eric Kass
Client: Briaura Artisan Foods
Creative team: Eric Kass, Stacy Newgent Photography
Why we like it: This series of food packaging for Briaura Artisan Foods has just the right mix (pun intended) of modern meets comfort. The line includes four baking mixes made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients. “I wanted the packaging to have a fresh, clean style with a country kitchen warmth. Since these are mixes it was important to show the delicious finished product in an appetizing setting after baking. Laura from Briaura traveled from Virginia to my studio/home kitchen in Indianapolis to personally make each recipe.”

Briaura Artisan Foods packaging

Mast Brothers Chocolate Packaging

Design firm/client: Mast Brothers Chocolate
Creative team: Nathan Warkentin, Rick Mast, Michael Mast
Why we like it: This packaging design breaks the mold for traditional chocolate wrappers, with simple patterns instead of imagery that references the product or its origins. For earlier iterations of the package design, the in-house design team drew inspiration from vintage papers; they now create the patterns and designs from scratch. Executive manager Derek Herbster says they consider the moods and feel of the season when designing each new line of chocolate packages, much like a fashion designer might create a line of clothing.

Mast Brothers packaging

Daily Chef Prepared Food Packaging

Design firm: Michael Osborne Design
Client: Walmart/Sam’s Club
Creative team: Michael Osborne, Jane Anderson, KSC Photography
Why we like it: MOD created a comprehensive series of food package designs for Sam’s Club’s new Daily Chef line of shelf-stable and frozen foods. The real challenge in a project like this, Michael Osborne says, is the enormous scale. “Believe it or not the actual design portion of this project was relatively small compared to seeing each component through printing,” he says. “If you don’t have a rockstar project manager (or two) with extremely high organization skills, the ability to negotiate and process a massive amount of day-to-day project minutiae, who is also a teacher, therapist, referee and bad cop with angel wings, don’t even think about doing a project of this nature.”

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Vigilant Eats Food Containers

Design firm: Funnel—The Fine Commercial Art Practice of Eric Kass
Client: Vigilant Eats
Creative team: Eric Kass
Why we like it: Where some small-batch food producers go for the warm-and-fuzzy aesthetic in their package designs, this product breaks the mold. Vigilant Eats is a new brand of ready-to-prepare breakfast cereals (think: a good-for-you version of microwave oatmeal). Designer Eric Kass says the package design, with line illustrations and a scientific style, is “simple, clean and powerful, relating to the healthy, pure ingredients and cause-oriented stance of the company.” Kass was inspired by military rations, particularly by a 1960s-era canister of “Survival Biscuits” from a fall-out shelter.

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Crème de Lys Wine Packaging

Design firm: Sterling Creativeworks
Client: Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines
Creative team: Cynthia Sterling, (image: Pamela Reed)
Why we like it: Nevermind that this is a nice, easy-drinking, reasonably priced Chardonnay. Diageo wanted to reposition the Crème de Lys brand toward women and tapped Sterling Creativeworks to redo the wine label design. The new label is girly and swirly, with graphics inspired by whipped cream and French pastries, making the wine appeal to female buyers as a “special treat,” says Cynthia Sterling.

Creme de Lys

Jeni’s Ice Cream Sauce Jars

Design firm/client: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
Creative team: Jeni’s Splendid Art & Design, Allison Chapman of Igloo Letterpress
Why we love it: Well, it’s salted caramel ice cream sauce, for starters. But this food package design is super sweet, thanks to an all-type solution and letterpress aesthetic. Jeni’s, a Columbus, OH-based ice cream producer with a national reputation, worked with Igloo Letterpress and their library of antique wood and lead type to whip up a label that incorporates “the heritage feel of letterpress, but pulls the textures and shapes into the modern world with bright, contemporary colors,” says Beth Dekker or Igloo. The creative team took prints created on an old Vandercook press, scanned them and used them for the package design.

Jenis Sauces packaging

Cat Lady Preserves Packaging

Designer/client: Sumayya Alsenan
Why we like it: Here’s someone after my own heart: Sumayya Alsenan loves both food and design. Not only is she a skilled visual artist, she’s also the jam-maker behind Cat Lady Preserves, a side project she’s hoping to turn into a small business (thanks to a successful showing at a holiday fair in her Brooklyn neighborhood last year). Alsenan’s Cat Lady Preserves packaging design is, like her product, handmade and personal. The simple, flexible packaging system includes printed B&W labels that she finishes by hand with rubber stamping, embossing and handwriting to fill in the info (including ingredients, serving suggestions and product names). “Designing the labels was actually a really difficult task for me, because it was the first project I designed that truly combined my two passions: cooking and graphic design,” she says. The result is utterly delicious.

Cat Lady Preserves packaging

Goode Company Food Packaging

Design firm: Principle
Client: Goode Company
Creative team: Allyson Lack, Pamela Zuccker, Erin O’Connor, Terry Vine, Mike Guillory
Why we like it: An eye-catching combination of rough (cardboard, burlap) and refined (a script-y logo) creates a just-right look for a line of Texas sweets and meats. Principle created a series of food package designs for Goode Company, a family-owned and Houston-based group of restaurants that sells hand-crafted pies, barbecue sauces and rubs, and smoked meats. Principle creative director and co-founder Allyson Lack says the team wanted to tap into the 35-year-old company’s heritage and develop consistent brand standards. “We resurrected their original calligraphic logo for the packaging series,” she says. “Our role has been to help preserve their brand image that Houstonians love so much, but to unify all communications going forward so things feel integrated and unified.” Mission accomplished, y’all.

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6 thoughts on “10 Tasty Food Packaging Designs

  1. jjones

    Great article on food packaging! The examples definitely support our work on design trends in the culinary world. For example, the Goode Company packaging is a perfect representation of what we call “Simple Refuge” – comfort food delivered in a simple package that has nostalgic cues, such as whimsical typography. I also love the Callegari olive oil bottle – what a great merging of form, function and finish!
    - Jen Jones, Director of Design, Sterling-Rice Group

  2. DesignerVIC

    These are all really great packaging design. They all have something in common, there all pretty heavy on typography. I love this style. It is very 1950′s with a twist of modern. Simple but not too simple. This is the style that i love to do and that i find really ascetically pleasing to the eye. There’s not too much to look at(not overwhelming), your eye moves all around, not having to focus on too much. Really gets the message across.

  3. tomovox

    Fantastic article. It serves to vindicate an opinion I’ve had for some time now that 99% of the best in food packaging design is to be found with smaller companies and private-label brands. The typography in all of your examples are what catch my eye the quickest. Simple, sort of a throw-back to the typography of the 1950′s and 1960′s.

    What I find unattractive in package design today, and for the last several years, is a sort of “bubble” or “faux-shiny” effect along the edges of lettering in much of the typography used on packaging now. Almost a cartoon-like style. Last night, I was surprised to find a new product from Betty Crocker, a brownie mix, that featured the type of design and graphics displayed in your examples.

    I’m hoping maybe it’s a signal that the tide is changing in package design.

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