You’re vacationing in the mountains of New England, smelling the fresh pine scent of the evergreens as you stroll down a cute little main street, popping in and out of every souvenir and novelty shop you encounter. You could purchase SOMETHING from every store you enter, especially if you have kids…

You’re getting hungry when you spot a box of Maple Leaves…Wait, WHAT IS THIS? It is in fact maple but they aren’t selling real leaves in the box but Maple Cream Cookies! You buy them and while strolling aimlessly, end up eating the entire box (with or without the help of others). You don’t really even LIKE maple flavored foods unless it’s syrup for your pancakes. So, what gives?

As food & beverage package designers, pretty much ANY KIND of packaging grabs our attention (which makes it super challenging to get through a grocery store in a timely fashion) but what is it about novelty packaging that sucks us in? It’s safe to assume that we’re already in a relaxed state of mind, we’re on vacation and as the saying goes “When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do.” But I feel this year it’s a bit more than that. For the past 18 months, most of us have had this mindset for “comforting and familiar” products – we wanted to be reassured. With the summer months came the need to travel and get out. Are the novelty gifts/packaging and impulse buys reinforcing our need as human beings to break out of our confines and explore? YES INDEED! While on vacation we want all of the experiences, and you tend to buy outside of your normal buying behavior (and price point for everyday products).

From a design standpoint, this packaging suits the “vibe” of the location and the “attitude” of the “vacationing consumer.” It is designed to attract that intended audience. Now if you weren’t vacationing in New England, strolling leisurely and smelling all of the smells, would you notice this box of cookies on a grocery store shelf? My guess is no. That is why knowing your consumer audience, where your product is being sold and making sure the packaging aligns with these takeaways is key.

Now that summer has come to an end and we’re all getting back to our own realities, let’s talk about your daily packaging goals or if you’d rather just talk about your summer vacations, we’d love to hear about those, too. We like to pretend we’re still away!