4 ways packaging helps sell dog, cat food

Four current trends in pet food packaging exemplify how bags and boxes can tap into popular consumer demands.

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Photo by Andrea Gantz
Photo by Andrea Gantz

Pet food packaging can help sell the product when the container presents honest, healthful messages and uses functional, attractive design, just as in premium human food packaging. Four current trends in pet food packaging exemplify how bags and boxes can tap into popular consumer demands.

1. Visual premiumization

Gone are the days of cartoon critters on every dog and cat food box. Now, pet food containers often use similar designs to human food packaging. Premium products tend to have a black background, which conveys an air of high quality.

Another trend in the visual premiumization of packaging is matte-finish printing. It creates a muted effect for the graphics on the bag. Similarly, a registered-matte finish knocks out elements of the matte, making those areas look glossier. This can make a company name or logo pop off the bag.

2. Special attribute promotion

Effective packaging calls out attributes, such as non-GMO or organic. An effective way to do this is with icons, instead of text.

Bright color schemes with warm accents and engaging fonts can highlight important product and company attributes, such as grain-free or family-owned.

3. Sustainable, yet functional

Many consumers now want to know that their purchases don't cause environmental problems and that their pet food bag won't outlive them in a landfill. For example, seventy percent of Tetra-pak’s packaging is paper harvested from a managed forestry system. For every tree the company cuts down, they plant three.

Beyond sustainability, packaging must be convenient for the consumer. Rectangular packaging allows for stacking and efficient use of cabinet space.

4. Flat-bottomed bags

The block-bottom bag, also referred to as flat-bottom bag, combines features of the stand-up pouch and a side gusseted bag. The block-bottom bag allows printing on all sides, which increases the space for company information, logo, feeding instructions and other messages.

In addition, the side panels of the block bottom bag are made from a separate piece than the front and back. This means the sides can be made from a different material. This can give pet food packages an edgy look.

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