The Coolest New Year’s Packaging Comes Weeks After January 1st

New Year’s Eve is an interesting holiday. It comes just days after Christmas, the monolithic event for retailers and CPG brands, which means that it is easily neglected as an opportunity for limited edition packaging. Additionally, it has very little iconography that is easily or creatively translated to design – beyond fireworks and alcohol, there isn’t much to work with. Of course, people have their traditions, but not to the universal level of a Christmas tree or a Hanukkah menorah.

New Year’s Eve also has the misfortune of being solely a one-day function. Christmas and Halloween inspire months-long “seasons,” giving brands a much longer window to sell limited edition products and/or packaging. Even the 4th of July – another single-day event – tends to be so important for certain categories (ie. hot dogs) that it feels worth it for relevant brands to release something special. New Year’s Eve stands alone as a holiday that seemingly everybody enjoys and that no brand wants to celebrate.

That is, until a few weeks later. Long after the champagne bottles have been popped and the confetti has been thrown away, many brands start to commemorate the Chinese New Year with beautiful packaging.

Unlike the Gregorian New Year celebrated annually on January 1st, the Chinese New Year has a huge bank of imagery to inspire designers. Most end up incorporating the bright red color associated with the holiday, blending in gold accents and other colors. Above are three examples of limited edition packaging from Patron, marking the Chinese New Year in 2014, 2016, and 2018 respectively.

Chobani released this limited edition yogurt last February. The mandarin flavor pays homage to the tradition of presenting the orange as a sign of good fortune for the New Year. Similarly, the dragon represents the iconic figure that features prominently in New Years materials and parades. Traditionally, the dragon symbolizes wisdom, power, and wealth, all desirable traits to want for the future.

Given that 2017 was the Year of the Rooster, Kellogg’s really knocked it out of the park when they released this limited edition box. Reimagining Corn Flakes’ mascot Cornelius Rooster as a composite of Chinese characters and illustrations, complete with a bold red and gold makeover, was a fantastic and impactful move on the part of the design team.

For 2010’s Year of the Tiger, Smirnoff released this tasteful and simple limited edition box. It featured a gold-foil embossed illustration of a tiger prowling down a hill, a visually interesting display of minimalism and restraint.

We’re looking forward to see what new designs come out over the next few weeks, and we will be sure to feature them every week on our Instagram under the hashtag #FestiveFriday. Check out our account to keep up with what interesting and innovative things are happening in limited edition packaging.


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