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Natural Product Packaging

By: Red R. Thalhammer
Posted: December 10, 2007, from the December 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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A major shift is needed in the area of organic and natural products especially. For this segment, the concept of health-conscious products has made critical advances but the packaging hasn’t. Most natural products are still sold in containers that are pure waste. Consumers seeking organic and natural products look for brands that speak to their lifestyle approach. In order to engage and keep these consumers, the packaging of such products must also appeal to this contemporary mindset.

First and most important, the packaging of natural cosmetics should be biodegradable. With the right materials having been used in its creation, the packaging should make this fact very clear by using alternative visual cues to raise itself above the norm. Some brands have attempted to distinguish themselves through label design; however, the result often appears overly crafted and regressive, weak and cheap, or simply plain. Assuming that the natural product is of a high-level, sophisticated quality, why is there so little innovation and fresh approach when it comes to presenting it on the store shelves?

Consumers of health-conscious, natural, organic and sustainable products comprise a progressive group that is not afraid to try new things. When branding products for such consumers, be daringly sophisticated, innovative and different. As the number of products targeting this audience grows, it is vital to sustain their interest on a sociological and aesthetic level. The modern consumer is asking for products that show true improvement on the status quo and wants to do business with companies that communicate honestly, passionately and with authenticity. These natural products must present a healthy alternative to everyday living and stand out from generic skin care, both in the content of the product and in the packaging design.

The branding of natural cosmetics and skin care needs to be fresh and lively. These products should carry a message that conveys a certain luxury, special pampering, or that sweet skin pleasure not provided by a generic product. This message must be aligned with the company’s unique philosophy of contemporary elegance and the enhanced quality that natural ingredients bring to the product. A successful example of such a natural product line is Korres, of Athens, Greece, with its roots in homeopathic pharmacy. This inventive line has an engrossing and contemporary look that is mirrored both in the packaging of its products and the interior design of its stores worldwide. The combination of partially vertical type and pleasing product shots effectively communicates the pure ingredients used to manufacture the products. In this way, the packaging reflects the authenticity and honesty needed to attract new customers.

Structure and Art

To improve and support the differentiation between natural and generic brands, packaging design must focus on two areas: the container structure and the graphic art. In order to achieve concrete and innovative results, these two aspects of packaging must blend seamlessly during the process of creating a brand identity.