5 Food Branding Trends You Should Know Now

Posted by Kevin Keating on Jun 12, 2017 7:00:00 AM

With branded messaging competing for consumer attention practically every minute of the day, food manufacturers have to pay attention to branding trends to make sure products stand out from all the competition. 

Food brands must compete in a world where marketing messages are all around, all the time.

Everyone is going to buy food, and as easy as it is to simply continue to buy the same brand of the same product over time, sparking new interest in existing products and drawing attention to new product offerings requires tapping into the overall consumer zeitgeist. It is not quite as fickle as runway fashion, but food brands are reaching in new directions to make their products stand out in a positive way. Here are five food branding trends to know about right now.

1. Clean Labeling

The “clean” in clean labeling refers to ease of understanding. People want to know what is in their food in plain terms, and they want to find that information quickly. Complying with labeling requirements while spelling out ingredients and nutritional information in concise, plain language are ways to make food brands appeal to today’s often-rushed shopper who just wants to know if what is in the container is a healthy dinner. Some brands also include label features like QR codes or near-field communication technology for the shopper who wants to access more detailed information right on their phone.

2. Artistic, Sophisticated Packaging

From rustic gelato jars to cube-shaped jam containers, packages are taking on new looks, materials, and shapes to appeal to shoppers’ aesthetic sense. Placing beautiful packaging on the table when house guests are over or simply treating themselves to something nice becomes easy for consumers when brands take their cues from today’s popular minimalist aesthetic and package products beautifully. Combined with clean labeling practices, the result is prepared foods that do not require serving dishes to be perfectly presentable at the table. 

3. Modular Packaging

Rather than cling-wrapping a sandwich and dropping it along with a piece of fruit and a bag of chips into a paper bag and calling it lunch, people can make lunch far more appealing with modular packaging. Kits with different sized, sealable containers that fit together in a larger container keep foods fresh while preventing them from being squashed. Prepared takeout foods from delis and takeout departments of supermarkets are increasingly incorporating modular packaging as well, in an effort to elevate the eating experience. 

Modular packaging is now available in more takeaway and prepared foods.

4. Artisanal Versions of Everyday Foods

From locally-sourced dips to “fairy tale” chocolates to organic herbs, products made with extra attention to detail make up another of today’s top food branding trends. People want high quality foods that are not necessarily mass-produced, but they often do not have the time or skills to prepare these foods themselves. This trend also brings foods to regions where they might not otherwise be available. Artisan nut butters, non-factory-farmed meat, or organic pudding can be found now on the local supermarket shelf.

5. International Inspiration

Both packaging and ingredients are increasingly influenced by international cuisines and cultures. Asian-inspired branding is popular at the moment, with ready-to-serve dishes like bean sprouts and squeezable spring roll sauce, and “heritage” food branding in general is trending everywhere. You can even find branding and ingredients inspired by the ancient Minoan civilization, with packaging inspired by Minoan jewelry. International sauces in elegant packaging are offered by Mumbai-based Saucery and make using a wide range of sophisticated sauces as easy as opening a jar.

Today’s top food branding trends have to do with artistic and innovative packaging designs, many of which incorporate new technologies that appeal to the consumer who wants to be highly informed about food choices. Other food branding trends have to do with offering international and “heritage” products that have heretofore been harder to find outside of large urban areas.

The bottom line is, consumers have more choices than ever, and food branding trends are ways that food manufacturers reach out and do what they can to lock down consumer loyalty and attract new customers in a fast-paced, information-overloaded world.

Topics packaging, food branding