An eye-catching food package can be a powerful way to advertise your company and create brand loyalty, no matter what your industry. These containers receive their imprint via assembly lines and are often collectible with the right design.

The most popular options include:

  • Boxes
  • Bags
  • Tins/cans
  • Mason jars
  • Plastic containers
  • Bottles
  • Wrappers
  • Cartons
  • Labels
  • Pouches
  • Tubes

You can’t deny how important packaging is in the world of marketing. Put food inside that package and you’ve got a recipe for success in any industry! This is a strategy anyone can use, whether it’s a food supplier whose products are on grocery store shelves or a non-profit that just wants to bring branded treats to their next fundraiser.

What are some of the most unique food packages? Why are customized options good for your branding? Help yourself to a full course on food and its role in advertising.

Of all areas of design, packaging is the most emotional. The right package can attract new purchasers to the brand while retaining current loyalists and increasing frequency of use.

– Stafford Cliff, author of 50 Trade Secrets of Great Design Packaging

Why is Food Packaging Important?

A customer might buy a food product, or pick it up from a table, based solely on how it looks. If it comes in a collectible tin or a pretty box, they’re likely to be more interested than if it’s just stuffed in a brown paper bag. In fact, 33% of a customer’s decision in making a purchase is based solely on the package!

This means you have an opportunity to win over the crowd with food that’s served in a delicious looking package. Add your logo to a tin of popcorn or put your company’s name on individual baggies of candy. If you offer something attractive enough, people are going to gobble your brand up and ask for seconds!

Successful package design embodies cultural characteristics that the product itself contains to attract customers and make them familiar with the brand.

– Aifeng Wu, Sichuan University of Arts and Sciences

What Are the Most Creative Food Design Packages?

Perhaps no other product benefits from visually enticing packaging more than snacks and food. Check out some of the most unique food packages of all time:

  • Mighty Rice Pouches
  • Thelma’s Cookies Boxes
  • Chokablock Ice Cream Cartons
  • St. Olive Bottles
  • Sir Kensington Ketchup Jars
  • Kallo Rice Cake Potato Sacks
  • Oh Snap! Pickle Bags
  • Take a Bite Bars
  • Pipcorn Bags
  • Seabrook Crisps Bags
  • SoSo Factory Eggs
  • ICA Kaviar Fish Tubes
  • Good Hair Day Pasta Boxes
  • Chocolate Pantone Swatches
  • Utopick Chocolate Bars
  • Tyto Alba Wine Bottles

In restaurants, how food looks is a key part of how much customers enjoy their meals. Why should it be different in convenience stores? We shop with our eyes first, so packaging design is important.

– Brad Perkins, Convenience Store Decisions

What is the History of Metal Tins for Food Packaging?

Sometimes a package completely transcends the product itself. In fact, there are people who collect liquor bottles strictly due to their aesthetic value. The same can be said for well-designed tins and labels.

In the late 1800s, the most desirable way to purchase food was in metal tins. Metal lithography became a real force in advertising, especially for promotional products such as lunch boxes. Fast forward to today and you’ll see this vintage touch being used by a number of companies. Some cookie and popcorn shops are popular due to their collectible metal tins and containers. While classic advertising tins are collectible due to their vintage appeal, modern versions are often rereleased with new designs and patterns.

The branding potential with these food tins was unquestionable. Not only could customers enjoy the food inside the containers, but they could also reuse these containers in their homes. The more innovative and original the design, the more likely people are to continue buying the product. Overall, eye-catching package designs are a great way to create loyalty to a brand.

The package is very important in the moment when the shopper recognizes it as an old friend or a new temptation. Packaging strives at once to offer excitement and reassurance.

– Thomas Hine, author of The Total Package: The Evolution and Secret Meanings of Boxes, Bottles, Cans, and Tubes

The Move Toward Healthy Eating

Aside from being eye-catching, the best food packages also keep the content inside safe. Society is moving toward healthier eating, and as such, people have higher standards for their packaged foods.

How Has Food Packaging Changed?

There’s a lot of talk about BPA-free plastic and meeting FDA requirements. It takes a lot of time, material, and money to meet the demand for safe snack foods.

In recent years, many food companies have started to create packaging that’s durable enough to withstand transportation, assembly lines, and other damage, moisture, toxins, or contamination. There are even some that are doing what they can to be eco-friendly. For instance, Goodstart Packaging makes certified compostable packaging that can be used by the food service industry. This requires less energy to manufacture, creates less pollution, and is overall better for Mother Earth!

When Did Food Start Using the Nutrition Label?

In 1990, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) made it mandatory for all packaged foods to disclose nutritional facts, expiration dates, and other information on an exterior label. This helps those with dietary restrictions determine what is and isn’t safe for consumption.

The Food and Drug Administration enforces this law, meaning there isn’t quite as much room for marketing messages on a product’s package. Right after the law was released in 1990, many grocery stores had to restock their shelves with new packages.

Companies began to get creative with how they used their space and what information they presented. For instance, Campbell’s Soup started printing full-color photographs on their cans featuring a recipe. Meanwhile, Kellogg’s had fun printing puzzles and treasure hunts on their cereal boxes. This was an important step forward in advertising on packages since it gave customers a way to interact directly with the brand.

How Can You Advertise with Food?

Packaging can be an effective marketing tool, but you can take it step further by printing directly on the food. Take for instance colorful frosted cookies, rich chocolate pieces, or individual mints. These popular items feature a company’s name or logo printed with edible ink.

Tasty promo products are a viable option for not only the food industry, but any organization! For example, Piedmont HealthCare, a medical company with 100 locations around the country, used logo cookies to advertise their brand at an annual trade show exhibition. While healthcare may not have a direct connection with food, they were able to make a big impression and get a whole new audience. After all, who doesn’t love a delicious treat?

Don’t Forget the Packaging!

Advertising with customized candies, cookies, mints, or other edible promos means double the branding. Not only are the treats printed with your logo, but so is the package they come inside. You have a couple options for how you want to wrap up all those tasty treats.

  • Decorative tins
  • Branded boxes
  • Adhesive labels

Decorative Tins

A metal container is a great place to store pre-wrapped candies or bags of popcorn. They are also good for loose snacks such as chocolate chip cookies, popcorn, or assorted nuts.

Branded Boxes

A plastic-wrapped box filled with an assortment of promotional treats and tied with a decorative bow is great for holiday gifts and giveaways for top clients.

Adhesive Labels

You may be looking for simple branded snacks to keep in your lobby or waiting room. Better yet, you might want something that you can print in full-color. In this case, adhesive labels with your logo are a great way to go.

Whether you’re a realtor trying to enhance your open house with customized popcorn bags or a lawyer making clients feel more welcome with branded mints, an eye-catching food package can send a positive message.

Ready for a treat? Check out how your promotional snacks are made and packaged!

Stats for Success

1 in 4 American adults will eat at least one piece of candy every day of the week.

The shelf life of a chocolate bar is about one year, whereas hard candies like promotional mints last an average of two years.

90% of consumers reuse the packaging boxes and bags after purchase.

An estimated 40% of consumers will share product packaging photos on social media.

The Bottom Line

Boxes, tins, and other containers are just as important as the food inside. Not only do they keep your products safe, but they also provide additional brand exposure. Wrap your food in a pretty package, and your customers will want seconds when it comes to working with your company!


Gaille, B. (2017, May 22). 43 Awesome Candy Consumption Statistics. Retrieved May 15, 2018,

Candy Warehouse. (2018). Candy Shelf Life. Retrieved May 15, 2018,

Reyhle, N. (2016, March 7). 4 Reasons Why Product Packaging is Important. Retrieved May 15, 2018,

Conran, J. (2018). Why Your Product’s Packaging Is as Important as the Product Itself.
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Aayam. (2018). Know the Importance of Product Packaging Design in Branding & Marketing.
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Wu, A. (2015, June 15). Food Packaging Design and Its Application in Marketing.
Retrieved May 16, 2018, from Carpathian Journal of Food Science and Technology

Perkins, B. (October 2017). Need for Food Packaging Is Clear. Retrieved May 16, 2018, from Convenience Store Decisions

Weingarten, H. (2013, September). A History of What is Required on Food Labels and the Nutrition Facts Panel.
Retrieved May 21, 2018, from

Collector’s Weekly. (2019). Antique and Vintage Advertising Tins.
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About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.