Packaging is important for your food product if you wish to sell it on local food or Saturday morning markets. It’s the first thing that your prospective customers see. They will be curious, pick up your product and have a look at the label.
Some people want to know what the ingredients are. Others look for where it was made. Yet others want to know how it was made – for instance, with an old traditional family recipe or the process involved if it is, for example, a cured product or even a jam or preserve.
I came across some interesting products with a recent visit to the Overberg in the Southern Cape. One was a delicious Seville marmalade jam, which only had the description “Seville Marmalade”. We were in a remote area where there wasn’t much choice so I bought the marmalade jam and discovered that it was absolutely delicious. I have bought some of the Scottish and British marmalades and this was up there among the very best. But the point here is that people in the area probably know this marmalade and recognise it immediately as a home-made product. This marmalade jam had too little information.
Another product and came across was the traditional “Boereseep” which is a farmers’ soap made by the Afrikaans (Dutch, Flemish French Hugeunot) pioneers in the country. I was extremely lucky to get my hands on this cake of soap because it is not readily available. This special soap is extremely mild on the hands and you can use it for your watercolour painting brushes and remove all the colour pigment stains from your fingers. This product had comprehensive information – what it could be use for, the ingredients, where it was made, who made it and even a cell number on the packaging.
Food and other products for local food and Saturday morning markets need to have packaging that attracts buyers. Prospective customers want some sense that the product is home made and confirmation of that personal touch on the packaging. If you have a story or a back story to tell, why not included in a condensed way? It will help supports the authenticity of your product.
You also need to consider health conscious consumers who want to know what the ingredients are especially when it comes to quantities of sugar involved.
Be careful about getting professionally printed labels in full colour. These kind of labels and packaging can be found with products from the giant food manufacturers. These days consumers question such products not really believing the information on labels and packaging. Sometimes they leave out ingredients, other times they use fancy words for nasty stuff that is included in the products ingredients.
A personal choice of mine needs to go for products that have labels that are minimalistic because I find an elegance in such simplicity – especially the occasional British food products I buy where the branding is straightforward and low key. Such understatement speaks volumes.
You want to make sure that your product has believability, credibility and authenticity. Don’t underestimate the intelligence of purchasers – they have a lot of information to hand these days from the media and social media in particular.
Give some thought to your packaging, go for something that expresses your authenticity and test it on a small group of potential customers.