As an adult consumer, there are mixed messages and an overload of information surrounding our choices every day. Sugar levels, salt content, organic, gluten-free, artificial versus natural ingredients – no wonder the supermarket shelves become increasingly difficult to navigate! Imagine the same scenario for when parents have to identify, choose and, above all, trust the products they buy to feed their children.
The demand in readily prepared baby and toddler food has increased over recent years, partly down to the rising demand for convenience by the growing number of working mums. This growth has somewhat been steadied by a notable movement in which many parents prepare their child’s food at home, as they can feel better reassured of the ingredients going into the food. For this reason, the marketing of food packaging targeted at babies through to toddlers needs to capture consumer engagement, education and trust and to a lesser extend taste appeal (after all, young children’s tastebuds are highly underdeveloped and very susceptible to being acclimatised to extra sugary or salty ingredients).
A desire for consumers to have clear visibility of the nutritional value on packaging has grown over the past few years, a trend which has not escaped the baby and children’s food market. If parents are becoming more aware of what they are eating, then this most definitely extends to what they are feeding their children at such integral stages of development. A word that has become synonymous with “health” and “honesty”, as a way to label your product as credible, is “organic”.
According to the Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2016, the organic market continued to see growth for the third year running, with growth up 4.9% in 2016 alone on the year previous. Within this growth, organic baby food accounted for the majority of this market share at almost 60%. There is also a recent trend for toddler food to be more experimental, with the introduction of “superfoods” such as kale and quinoa finding their way into packs.
So where can it present challenges?
There is a plethora of components to consider in baby and children food packaging: education on the nutritional benefits, engaging the consumer by making the packaging visually appealing, taste appeal and strong brand equity (which in this instance most likely cements itself in being a trusted source). These elements all need to be included in order to make the pack appealing and, more importantly, reassuring to parents.
How to ensure all elements balance on pack
With something as important as a child’s nutritional and growth development, brand equity is incredibly important, ensuring that the parents have faith in the brand. A brand that has risen to success from doing exactly this is Ella’s Kitchen, building a strong relationship of trust with the consumer by stressing the fact that the brand itself was created by a parent’s desire to feed their child wholesome, honest, good food – and the design being created by the child originally!
Brand equity can establish itself in packaging choices. For example, the choice of font can be extremely impactful – simplistic child-like font denotes openness and honesty, and clearly sets out the target base. Colour is also important – what colours will attract the parent consumer and also appeal to a child? The use of playful colours can aid this, but not too strong as to appear garish or artificial.
Another aspect to be mindful of is stating clearly what ages the food is appropriate for, alongside the nutritional information on pack – what are the ingredients, are they all natural, are they organic? Could an image of a raw vegetable on pack help to demonstrate this point? How much salt or sugar content is there in each pack?
Usability is also highly important. Is the packaging easy to use? If it’s an “on-the-go” drink pack, then is it easy for a child to drink from? Is it a resealable pack for all those mums who will want to steadily share out the contents of the pack over the course of a day?
Slice Design has worked with various large and small FMCG companies to help them solve package demands such as this. For our work with Great Foods on their new falafel and pakora range, our designers had to negotiate all elements on pack appropriately, making sure that the logo, dietary specifications and display of natural contents all balanced on pack. All of these aspects of package design help to entice new consumers, and effectively sells the product for you!
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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