The category of fast food and breakfast cereals is characterized by bright packaging with a lot of illustrations. The target audience of breakfast cereals is active residents of megalopolises, mostly women, with an income above the average. They have a lot of worries, and cereal can save time on food preparation. They can buy them for themselves or for children. In the first case, girls usually look for naturalness and choose a variety of cereals with fruits, muesli or granola. Products for children – sweet corn flakes. They are also bought by parents (more often mothers), but the packaging design is more child-oriented.
Types of breakfast cereals:
- instant porridge (with or without additives);
- sweet flakes (can be of different shapes);
- muesli (cereals, dried fruits, nuts, bran, wheat germ, honey distribution);
- granola (oatmeal with nuts and honey).
cereal is characterized by a focus on children and large packaging volumes, as well as an abundance of characters on the labels. The marketing strategy for these products is usually built around a happy childhood. Energized, the little ones are ready to run and explore the world. The product itself is served as a tasty and healthy option for a quick breakfast. It is suggested to fill it with milk, juice or yogurt. Usually all of this is indicated on the packaging, sometimes in the form of infographics. The most common visual element found on a cereal package is honey and a honey spoon.
Products targeted at women have less flamboyant and more sophisticated packaging. Here, the main emphasis is on the healthfulness, nutritional value of muesli or granola. Manufacturers build the image of the consumer as a successful, beautiful girl who monitors her diet, loves herself, goes in for sports and chooses quality products. Also, the part of the positioning of such brands is the cheerfulness and morning energy that users will get by purchasing a cereal. The size of porridge packaging is standard and, depending on the manufacturer, fluctuates around the 0.5 kg mark. There are also portioned cereals on the market. One packet – one meal.
Male versions of cereal packaging designs are more difficult to find. We managed to find 2 concepts (unrealized projects). The first is “porridge for real men” and the second is unisex packaging in the shape of a cone and a carton of milk. Still, most of the products are aimed at women. As a last resort – is color-neutral . Manufacturers use yellow, green, white and orange colors. At the same time, it is not difficult for children to find more “masculine” packaging. For example, the famous American Cap’n Crunch cereal is more for boys.
In previous KOLORO articles, we wrote about the design of private labels, alcohol, cosmetics, sweets, tea. All articles tagged “design” can be viewed on the blog.
The packaging requirements for breakfast cereal are the same as for other food packaging. They must protect the product from external factors during transportation (snow, rain), help to keep its shape (corn flakes, rings and balls are very fragile) and maintain taste (damp flakes – tasteless).
If we talk about materials, then, as before, the most popular is the use of cardboard. The main advantage is absolutely environmentally friendly packaging, which is quickly unfolded and is renewable. Cardboard boxes help to maintain the shape of the product: rings and flakes will definitely not crumble. The large area of the cardboard packaging allows you to put a lot of information on the pack. In addition, on a subconscious level, cardboard is associated with quality and naturalness. This is not the case with plastic bags. Of the minuses – it can get wet and soak the contents of the bag. Often cardboard packages are made without viewing windows , and the consumer does not see the product. The third and main disadvantage: the cost of cardboard packaging is higher than the cost of flexible polymer packaging.
In second place is flow-pack. It is most often used for instant oatmeal (sometimes for muesli). Also, a flow-pack is made from a dense polymer film for large portions of flakes. Flow-pack is more practical than cardboard, and its cost is lower. Flow-pack type packaging is partially transparent, which allows the consumer to see the product.
New option (on the Ukrainian market) – doy-pack . A dense plastic bag that holds its shape great for muesli, granola and oatmeal.
Porridge packaging design: problems and solutions
The main problem with cereal packaging is the inability to close it after the first opening. Many consumers solve this problem by pouring muesli, flakes or granola into special containers for cereals. But some consumers are not a fan of such measures. The zip-lock doypack solves this problem. Packaging that is equipped with such a device will be an advantage for the consumer when purchasing.
Flow-pack is less practical from this point of view, but it can be closed using additional accessories: kitchen clothespins, stationery binders or simple paper clips.
This is the hardest trick to do with cardboard packaging. However, while we were preparing this material, we found a design for a cereal carton in the form of a milk bag. Thanks to the house-like shape of the packaging, it will be very easy to close such a box. We hope to see this solution on the shelves of Ukrainian supermarkets soon.
Trends in packaging design differ depending on the type of breakfast cereal. Products that are aimed at children are the brightest. The packaging resembles cartoons, they often contain play materials. These can be game cards that need to be cut out of the pack or found inside. Also, you can often see small games on the back: puzzles, stories about characters, crosswords or information about promotions. It usually involves collecting any prizes for labels or promo codes. All this stimulates the purchase of products, forms USP, distinguishes the brand from competitors, establishes communication with children and parents, makes them loyal consumers.
Products like flaked cereals and muesli with additives, as well as granola, which are aimed at adults, stand out for their more relaxed packaging. There is a lot of white, it is often the main color. Also, manufacturers place a great emphasis on naturalness: the image of fruits on the packaging, inscriptions about the usefulness of cereals, you can often find badges with recommendations of the association of nutritionists or notes about the beneficial substances that products contain.
Along with the growing popularity of vegetarianism, there is a growing number of a new category of quick breakfasts on shelves: granola and “live” food (not thermally processed). The packaging designs of these products are usually the most revolutionary. Colors and patterns may not be directly associated with products. Often there is no image of the product itself on the packaging. To understand that the viewing windows and the inscription with the name of the category help inside. The rest of the packaging looks like a piece of art in the style of pop art. For a wider audience, a more utilitarian pack would be a good option. Among vegetarians and vegans, who are usually creative and like to stand out, such a pack will be a success. The Beginnings muesli from Latvia is an example of a successful design for a niche product.
If you are inspired by these examples and want to explode the market with an extraordinary approach, contact the branding agency KOLORO. We will not let you down.
The packaging design for cereals is based on:
- usability (design);
- communication (message, appeal, message).
The first point can be characterized by the word “harmony”. Packaging should be done in colors that do not conflict with each other, fonts should emphasize the brand image, there should not be many inscriptions. The more text the manufacturer tries to cram into the packaging, the less return it will get. The main rule is to construct such a visual pattern in order to control the eyes of the consumer. Proper packaging catches the illustration and guides the consumer through the rest of the elements: title, supporting texts, infographics. She motivates to buy. To do this, she does not need to be the pinnacle of design ideas, to use images that were not previously in use. The main thing is that all elements are in harmony with each other and show the complete picture.
Khrutka and Baby are two great examples. Both packages are very simple, all elements and images are standard. Milk, honey, corn, a spoon for honey, “appetizing” images of products, a spoon with fruit that scoops up porridge – there is no novelty in all this. However, the image is very coherent and harmonious:
- no extra text;
- the logo takes up enough space to be noticed;
- colors and fonts are well chosen, they focus attention, not scatter it.
These two products are great examples of the right sales packaging.
Simple and tasteful – if these words are about your brand, contact KOLORO. We share your values!
Packaging design for instant porridge: a non-standard approach
The case of Dorset Cereals became famous in due time. The brand has been producing its products (good quality oatmeal) in a simple flow-pack for 20 years. However, in 2006 there was a redesign of the porridge packaging, after which the brand’s value increased from £ 4 million for three years. up to £ 45m How did they do it? Let’s compare the packaging before and after. One glance is enough to understand that the second is more advantageous. First, cardboard adds value. Secondly, brand name in the new version looks much more expressive . In the old version, only the name of the category catches the eye: muesli. Thirdly, these are – colors. The designers chose soothing shades that are usually not used for muesli. In addition, they did not paint pieces of fruit or nuts on the packaging. The whole range of packaging is made in natural colors. This echoed the brand’s new signature feature: a spikelet of cereals, the grains of which act as viewing windows. It is the basis of communication with the consumer and underlines the brand’s slogan: “Honest, tasty and real” (honest, tasty and real). In confirmation of honesty, below, under the brand name, the composition is indicated in large letters on the front side of the package.
In 2015, Dorset Cereals redesigned for the second time and developed the concept of natural food and premium quality. The concept remains the same. Calm colors in the base, composition in large letters on the front side, viewing windows and markings in the corners (new or classic taste). However, now the basis of communication is not a spikelet, which has become a rather straightforward way, but nature. For each package, the designers have developed their own characters: proteins for nut muesli, peacocks – for berries, chanterelles – for organic ones. All this helped to highlight the brand’s individuality and its closeness to nature. In addition, new supporting texts appeared on each pack:
- gloriously nutty muesli;
- our lovely organic muesli (our favorite organic muesli);
- luscious berries & cherries muesli (juicy berry-cherry muesli);
- fantastically fruity muesli.
They help establish communication with the consumer by promoting the product.
Quick Breakfast Packaging Design: Summary
Depending on the target audience, the approach to packaging design for breakfast cereals can be different. Through our review, we have highlighted several factors.
- Trite doesn’t mean bad. Most of the market leaders do not reinvent the wheel, but beautifully present the well-known stereotypes about quick breakfasts. They use recognizable symbols, paint rivers of milk, add mouth-watering images. This approach works with harmony.
- Ease of use is an advantage. If it is possible to foresee the closing of the package after the first opening, it is worth using it. Such packaging will get extra points and will sell better. And if the manufacturer is the first to offer a new form on the market or in a segment, it will become a good USP.
- Redesign of packaging can increase brand value by more than 11 times. This was proved by the first redesign of Dorset Cereals.
- Reinforcing texts help communicate with the consumer , and characters can be recognizable even when drawn in a flat style. Dorset Cereals proved this with their second redesign.
- Original packaging , unlike all others – a good option for niche products . The experience of The Beginnings brand has shown this.
To create a porridge packaging design that will bring new customers and increase the profit of your company, contact our agency. Our ideas are always backed by analytical research, which means that design from KOLORO is doomed to success!