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Disclaimer: The postings in this blog section do not necessarily represent Desjardin's positions, strategies or opinions.

Communicating Healthy Features Through Symbolic Features in the Packaging Design

Perception of salient content is affected by the visual design of a food package, according to a 2016 Kiel University study. It turns out the main design elements of typeface and color play a large role in shaping "healthiness perceptions" and "weight perceptions." Here are important points to know about how designers can communicate with consumers with design cues associated with perceptions.

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The Sense of Touch and How Food Packaging Affects Purchase Decisions

The concept of touch plays a big role in food packaging, consumerism and safety concerns. Packaging designers want to make sure the material touching the food is safe. Shoppers like to touch packages before they buy them, which influences perceptions. Here are important points to know from various studies about the sense of touch and how it affects food packaging.

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Importance of Packaging Regulation For Perishables

Perishable products are described as goods that have a short lifetime or easily deteriorate. This includes things like fresh foods, dairy products, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals [1]. This is important to keep in mind when designing packaging for perishables as they have a larger risk of spoiling than non perishable products. Furthermore, perishable products are typically consumed or used on the body, so they regularly come into contact with sensitive areas. These issues lead to perishables posing real health risks for consumers when they are improperly packaged. Governments work to prevent these health risks by implementing regulations on the requirements for packaging, storage, and shipping of perishable products.

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Finding the Perfect Food Packaging

There are many factors that go into creating food packaging. Creating an acceptable package takes a lot of work and creating the ideal packaging for a product takes a huge amount of time. The design process needs to consider both design and non-design factors, along with who the intended consume is and any unique specifications for the product. Additionally, producers should be versed in government regulations for where the product will be sold. The most important regulations have to do with product labeling and ability to protect the product from contamination. The European Union and USA have strict guidelines for these topics and should be reviewed prior to packaging production [1,2].

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Government Regulation of Food Packaging (current regulations in EU and USA)

Government regulation in the food packaging industry serves to protect consumer’s interests and health. The downside is that it can also stifle industry growth if there is too much regulation in place. Regulation by both the EU and FDA covers packaging manufacturing practices, banned substances, food contamination, and material specific policies. The FDA is often seen as less restrictive than the EU because it has faster approval times and allows for a less restrictive packaging material designation known as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS). Regulation is important because when food packaging fails it can lead to bacteria growth and human health problems.

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Internal Coating for Food Packaging

It often takes food products a long time to go from being produced to sold. During this process they spend a majority of their time packaged in the same container. It is important that the product not only withstands the changing environment it is moved through, but also that it remains edible over the long time period before it reaches consumers. One of the main ways that products are packaged to increase their shelf life is through the use of internal coatings. These are layers of different compounds on the interior of metal packaging that creates a barrier between the food product and the metal.

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