Food Blog2019-07-02T16:08:08+00:00

Design for the Online Customer: How to Stand Out in the Amazon Market

I came across this article in The Atlantic just before the New Year in which Lisa Pierce, editor of Packaging Digest says, “one thing the folks at Amazon admit is that aesthetics don’t matter as much when products are being sold online.”

That gave me pause.

While I can agree that the online buying experience is night and day from a retail purchase, I would argue that packaging design is far more important in the age of e-commerce. After all, products purchased online are often viewed side-by-side with dozens of competitors. When shopping online, consumers can easily scroll through hundreds of products available from all over the world.

The quality of your design will immediately communicate perceived quality, value and prestige of your product.

There are three key packaging design considerations to take into account for the online customer:

1. Eye-catching labels. Packaging for e-commerce has two-phases. First, the actual product must be eye-catching and communicate your brand. Amazon shows the product itself, not exterior packaging, so consumers are making their first choice based on your label and the visual appeal of your product.

2. Customer experience. The second experience occurs once the product arrives. The “unboxing experience” should delight the customer and encourage repeat purchases. At a minimum, it should protect the product, be frustration-free, and provide useful instruction. Thoughtful packaging will also enhance the customer experience. Think about opening a pair of Apple earbuds. Would the experience be the same if they arrived in a plastic baggie? Not even close!

3. Shipping considerations. Packaging designed for maximum visibility on a retail shelf is often not optimal for shipping. If the online customer is an important part of your business, streamlined, minimal packaging that reduces waste and shipping cost is essential. It’s also better for the planet!

You will also want to consider a short video to show the consumer your product (Zappos does this beautifully). How does it look when it comes out of the package? How should it be used or displayed? For food products, how might you pair or serve the item?

Customer reviews are also important. If you have a new product on Amazon, ask your customers to post a recommendation, or even better a detailed review. How did they use the product? Do they have a favorite recipe or serving tip? There is good research to show that consumers are more likely to be influenced by other people than they are by organized marketing.

The Amazon marketplace becomes more competitive everyday. Thoughtful, professional design gives your product a competitive advantage and provides consumers with reassurance that they are buying a reputable, high-quality product. What works for retail may not work for e-commerce, but a few strategic adjustments can make your product stand out from the (online) crowd.

Featured Project: Grazing Goat Dairy

We are so proud to have worked with Grazing Goat Dairy to help build and launch their brand.

The team at Skillet Creative worked closely with the owners of the family farm of Grazing Goat Dairy to help develop their brand and identity, aiming to prioritize what makes them unique and stand out in a crowded and competitive food and beverage market. Then we helped them launch their products by creating labels for both their goat’s milk yogurt drink and caramel sauce.

When they were ready to start to talk to specialty food and beverage buyers, we designed a sell sheet that helps to communicate the unique attributes of this brand and their products. We are looking forward to great things from Grazing Goat Dairy!

Food Trends for 2018

Here come the list of food trends from big retailers to foodie publications. According to, Whole Food taps its global buyers and experts to find out what they predict will be on the shelves in 2018.

Here’s their top 10 Food Trends for 2018:

Flower power. Edible flowers in everything from coffee drinks to snack foods.

Powders. Move over peanut butter powder, make way for egg-white protein powders.

Mushrooms. These little fungus will move out of the produce department into the health and beauty and will be found in soap as well as coffees and teas.

Middle Eastern Cuisine. Consumers will get more adventurous as they expand their culinary palette into more middle eastern flavors.

Transparency. We’d argue that this isn’t a new trend, it’s been happening for a while but according to Whole Foods more consumers are demanding to know more about their food choices.

Plant-Based Products. We saw this trend coming on strong at the Summer Fancy Food show. Consumers are looking for more meat-alternatives.

Puffed and Popped. Since we love our snacks, according to Whole Foods, consumers will want to find more snacks that come puffed or popped.

Tacos, Tacos, Everywhere. Tacos will go beyond dinner time and start to show up on breakfast menus.

No-Waste Cooking. Reducing food waste is always a good trend to see. We’ve watched some amazing chefs in the northeast use every part of the animal in their restaurants.

Bubbles. Cheers to more sparkling drinks in the seltzer or cold brew category especially if they have less sugar than traditional fizzy beverages.

The Specialty Food Association just published their trend predictions for 2018 as well. Topping their list? Root to stem, goth food, plant-based foods, and even cannabis cuisine.

What trends do you think will stick around in 2018?

Consumers Looking for More Than Just Function in their Product Choices

Despite the word “natural” being loosely defined in the food industry, consumers are still draw to it on packaged goods. However, a recent report from the New Hope Network at the Natural Products Expo in Baltimore has found that shoppers are also looking for more substance behind the brands from which they purchase. New Hope’s report indicated that consumers purchasing natural products also want the manufacturer to provide transparency, have a social purpose, as well as nutrition and environmental stewardship.

New Hope identified eight natural food trends that they think will have the best opportunity to succeed with consumers: 

1. Environmental Expectations

2. Waste Not, Want Not

3. Feed Me

4. Collaboration Economy

5. Speed Scratch

6. Putting a Face on Farmers and the Food System

7. Regeneration

8. The Purposeful Brand

You can read more detail about each of these points in a summary article on

With this information, you can analysis how your brand fits into these trends and if you are effectively communicating your brand values to your consumers. If you need help articulating and communicating those points, we’re here to help. 

Can Millennials Make Tea Trendy? Innovative Packaging Could Help.

Sipping on a cup of coffee while watching the day go by in a funky coffee shop can be appealing to just about any consumer, no matter their age. When was the last time you were in line at your favorite coffee stop and heard an order for tea? It doesn’t happen in the U.S. nearly as much as in the UK. Which makes sense… where else is afternoon tea an event? But according to a report by Mintel, overall sales in the UK for tea is declining. Is it possible for tea to be trendy with the Millennials?

Unique tea flavor combinations could appeal to a younger consumer and perhaps give a boost back to the tea industry. Anita Winther, Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, said: “Consumers aged 25-34 have the widest repertoire of tea, which is reflective of this age group typically having a more adventurous attitude towards food and drink, with a greater tendency to seek out new foods and flavors to try.”

Probably not too surprising, but we think that outstanding and eye-catching packaging could also help attract new and younger tea drinkers to the market. Tazo Tea is always topping our list of functional yet innovative packaging. Check out more fun and attention-getting tea packaging concepts on And maybe next time go for the tea rather than the latte, you’ll be helping the tea industry, one cup at a time. Need help with your beverage packaging? That’s what we do best. 

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