How Meat Packaging Has Evolved

Every food category has its own unique trends and opportunities. Over the years, meat packaging has evolved to reflect consumers’ new needs, and it’s important for brand leaders to be aware of creative changes that can help their meat products be successful in the modern grocery landscape.


Design Should Communicate Authenticity

More than ever before, consumers want to feel confident that they know exactly what is in their food, how it’s prepared, and where it comes from. Major COVID-19 outbreaks in meat processing facilities earlier this year only made consumers even more aware of how important transparency is in food production, and it will be easier for brands to inspire shopper loyalty if the products’ package design communicates a sense of authenticity.

There are many different ways that packaging can convey authenticity. One way is to use design to play up the brand’s story. This story might come from the brand’s reason for being, traditions, heritage, or even just the company’s location. Wherever the story comes from, it should help consumers form a personal connection with the brand. If the packaging tells the shopper something about how their meat got from the animal to their plate, they may feel a greater sense of trust in the brand.


It’s Important for Meat Packaging to Have Appetite Appeal

While shoppers do want to see the product that they’re buying, raw meat alone does not have great appetite appeal. Images of a finished recipe, cooking utensils, or ingredients can do a lot of work to make a product look more appetizing. For example, Works Design Group included a shot of a skillet when we worked with Hatfield Quality Meats on their Recipe Essentials line.

Over the past year, more shoppers are cooking for themselves at home than ever before. This means that there is an opportunity for meat brands to bring in new consumers that may have never tried their products before, but this group is also more likely to need recipe inspiration to drive the purchase.


Meat Brands Should Take Advantage of Callouts and Claims

Meat brands that are looking to keep up with trends and appeal to new customers should take advantage of callouts and claims. The exact messaging that they use will depend on their brand’s unique selling features, but there are different categories to explore based on the product and shopper profile. For example, brands that are looking to appeal to health-conscious shoppers could utilize calorie, ingredient, or better-for-you claims, while ethical callouts would be a good fit for mission-driven brands that want to emphasize eco-friendly production practices or charity projects.

There are so many opportunities for meat brands to reimagine their packaging and connect with shoppers in new ways. With effective messaging and strong visuals, meat brands can stay on the cutting edge of category trends and respond to consumers’ changing needs.


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