Food Packaging Design in Malaysia: Balancing Aesthetics and Functionality

When it comes to creating a successful packaging design, there are many design elements that manufacturers can consider. However, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones are the most important. Sometimes, people think that aesthetics and functionality are in opposition to each other, but they actually work together seamlessly. 

In today’s consumer market, people are looking for packaging that looks great and is easy to use, fitting into their busy lifestyles. So, the big question is, how can manufacturers create packaging that balances both aesthetics and functionality?

Read on to find out! 

Packaging Design: Where Aesthetic Meets Functionality

So, we all know that aesthetic usually refers to beauty and art, but what does that have to do with product packaging, you may ask? Well, it turns out that today’s consumers are drawn to products with unique and eye-catching designs. Creative and colorful packaging can be super appealing and attract potential customers. A great packaging design should incorporate a range of creative elements, such as color, shape, texture, and balance. This way, the packaging can help tell the product’s story and make it super appealing to consumers.

But, it’s not just about the looks! Functionality is also super important in food packaging design. Manufacturers need to think of ways to provide value to consumers through their packaging. This can be anything from being convenient to reuse, to using sustainable and flexible materials. There are so many cool functional features that can be incorporated into packaging designs these days, which can help products stand out from the competition.

The Key Qualities of Functional Food Packaging Design 

What makes a packaging design truly functional for consumers today? Well, convenience is key, no matter what kind of product you’re selling. Manufacturers can incorporate a range of functional components into their packaging designs to make them as user-friendly as possible. 

Functional packaging should be easy to use, hassle-free, and fit seamlessly into people’s busy lives. Consumers are looking for products that make their lives easier, not the other way around. Here are a few common elements that manufacturers often incorporate into functional packaging designs:

Resealable features

Image source: Catalpha

Food packaging that has resealable features definitely stands a higher chance of selling on the shelves for these several reasons: 

  • Convenience: Resealable packaging allows customers to easily open and close the package, which is convenient for snacking, portion control, and on-the-go eating.
  • Freshness: It also helps to preserve the freshness of the food inside, which is important for customers who want to enjoy their food at its best.
  • Hygiene: It is able to protect the food inside from contamination, which is especially important for products that are meant to be consumed over multiple sittings.
  • Sustainability: This packaging type can also help in reducing food waste by allowing customers to store the food they haven’t finished yet. This can help them save money and reduce their environmental impact.

Sustainable materials

Image source: Behance

Many customers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of their consumption on the environment. They are concerned about the amount of waste generated by food packaging and are looking for alternatives that are less harmful to the planet.

Image source: The Dieline

Hence, having food packaging made from sustainable materials functions as a point of differentiation for a brand or product. Consumers who are eco-friendly or those who are specifically seeking out environmentally-friendly products would be more inclined to purchase from businesses that support ethical practices. 

Sustainable packaging often indicates that a company is taking steps to reduce its environmental footprint and may align with the customer’s values.

Easy-to-open packaging

Image source: The Senior 

Have you ever been so excited to try a new snack or food product, only to find that you just can’t get it to open? It’s such a frustrating feeling, isn’t it? You’re sitting there, dying to try it, but the darn packaging just won’t budge. You end up having to get up from your comfy spot and find some scissors or a knife just to open it. Talk about a buzzkill!

Customers appreciate packaging that is easy to open because it saves them time and effort. When packaging is difficult to open, it can be frustrating and lead to a negative experience with the product. 

Additionally, packaging that is easy to open is especially important for people with disabilities or limited dexterity. When packaging is difficult to open, it can be a barrier to accessing the product and limit the customer base.

Protective features

Image source: Double H Plastics

Protective features in food packaging are crucial for ensuring the safety, quality, and freshness of food products. In most cases, protective features such as tamper-evident packaging is designed to show if a package has been opened or tampered which also helps to ensure product integrity. 

Packaging with protective features can be more durable and resistant to damage during transportation and handling. This ensures that the product arrives in good condition and helps prevent waste due to damaged or spoiled items.

Space-saving designs

Image source: Catalpha

Space-saving packaging is often designed to be more compact and easier to store, which can make it more convenient for customers to handle and use. Consumers are increasingly looking for products that take up less space in their homes or on-the-go, and space-saving packaging can provide them with that convenience.

They are often designed to be lightweight and easy to carry, making it an attractive option for customers who are on-the-go or traveling. Products that are packaged in space-saving designs can be easily transported in backpacks, purses, or other bags, making them more convenient to use and consume.

Flexible materials

Image source: Perfect Packaging

Flexible packaging is often designed to be lightweight and easy to handle, which can make it more convenient for customers to use and store. The flexible material can be folded or rolled up, taking up less space and making it easier to transport.

On top of that, many flexible packaging materials are recyclable and have a lower carbon footprint than traditional packaging materials. Consumers these days are increasingly looking for sustainable options, and flexible packaging can be an attractive option for those who want to reduce their environmental impact.

When it comes to designing the food packaging, flexible packaging is a wonderful option to consider as it can be designed in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures, making it visually appealing to customers. Brands can use flexible packaging as an opportunity to showcase their unique brand identity and stand out on store shelves.

Another great thing is that flexible packaging is often less expensive to produce and transport than rigid packaging materials, making it a cost-effective option for both manufacturers and consumers.

Image source: Catalpha

No matter what industry you’re in, a functional packaging design can help build positive relationships with both existing and potential customers. It also gives you the chance to get creative and find the elements that work best for your product, making it both convenient and visually appealing. And remember, it’s important to let your customers know about the functional features of your packaging, whether it’s extended freshness, resealable capabilities, or eco-friendly materials.

The Impact of Aesthetics in Food Packaging Design

In the competitive world of food and beverages, creating an attractive packaging design is crucial for catching the eye of potential customers. While functionality is important, an aesthetically pleasing design can make all the difference in setting your product apart from the rest. 

According to a study conducted by Package Insight, 64% of consumers have tried a new product because the package caught their eye, and 41% have purchased a product again because of its packaging.

The use of color, shape, texture, and other design elements can make your product stand out on the shelves and entice customers to make a purchase. 

Remember these goals and objectives when designing your food packaging: 

  • Catch customer attention in the first three to five seconds 
  • Appeal to positive emotions 
  • It should strike to be instantly recognizeble 
  • Appeal to target customers 
  • Show clear product values and brand 

Without further ado, here are some key elements of aesthetic design that can help you create an eye-catching packaging design:


It’s not just about making a pretty package, though. The aesthetic design of your packaging can have a direct impact on consumer behavior. Studies have shown that colour can influence emotions and even buying decisions. 

Image source: Home_Sound Idea Digital Blog

  • Red is often associated with excitement, passion, and urgency. It is also a powerful attention-grabber that can stimulate emotions and appetite. 
  • Blue is associated with trust, security, and reliability. It can be used to create a sense of trust and dependability around a product, making consumers feel more confident in their purchase decision.
  • Green is associated with nature, health, and freshness. It can be used to convey a sense of naturalness and healthiness in food products, making them more appealing to health-conscious consumers.
  • Yellow is associated with happiness, optimism, and warmth. It can be used to create a sense of friendliness and approachability around a product, making it more appealing to consumers.
  • Black is associated with sophistication, elegance, and luxury. It can be used to create a sense of luxury and exclusivity around a product, making it more appealing to consumers who are willing to pay a premium price. 


Image source: SmashBrand

Minimalist and maximalist food packaging design styles are two contrasting approaches to packaging design that can convey very different messages to consumers.

A minimalist food packaging design emphasizes simplicity, cleanliness, and sophistication. It typically uses a limited color palette, simple typography, and clean lines to create a minimalist aesthetic. The purpose of this style of packaging is to convey a sense of high quality, premium products that are not cluttered with unnecessary design elements. This type of design is often used for luxury and premium food products that want to communicate the message of simplicity and high-end quality.

Maximalist food packaging design, on the other hand, is characterized by bold colors, elaborate designs, and intricate patterns. It often features multiple design elements, such as images, typography, and graphics, all combined into a complex design. The purpose of this style of packaging is to grab the attention of the consumer and stand out on the shelves. Maximalist packaging is often used for food products that target a younger audience or for products that want to convey a sense of fun and excitement.


Image source: Behance

Each shopper has their own unique multisensory approach to evaluating retail items.

In this case, texture plays a vital role in packaging as it must align with consumer expectations. For delicate products, more visibly protective packaging is necessary, which shoppers can assess by touch

Texture can create strong mental associations, just like visuals and other sensory stimuli, that stick with us throughout our lives. Some people may associate rough textures with unfinished or low-quality manufacturing, while others may have positive associations with roughness based on personal experiences like team sports. Smooth textures, however, tend to generate universally positive perceptions of a “complete package.”


Image source: Behance

Have you ever walked down a supermarket aisle and found yourself drawn to a particular product because of its eye-catching packaging design? Visuals and mascots are important elements in creating a brand’s identity and making it memorable for consumers. 

Image source: Behance 

Visuals are images that represent the product inside the packaging, making it easy for consumers to understand what they’re buying without having to read too much. Mascots on the other hand, are characters that represent the brand and can be relatable to people of all ages. 

This key element is important as it plays a crucial role in attracting attention, communicating information, and also building brand recognition. It can also influence consumer’s emotions – think about how the packaging visuals of certain products can create a sense of nostalgia or happiness. For example, seeing a brightly colored cereal box with a cartoon character may remind you of your childhood, and you may feel a sense of joy or comfort when you see it.


Image source: Pinterest 

Typography, or the style and arrangement of text on a package, can have a significant impact on how consumers perceive a product. The font, size, color, and spacing of the text all play a role in conveying the product’s message and attracting consumers’ attention.

For example, a simple and clean font with a lot of white space around it can convey a sense of elegance and sophistication, making the product appear high-end and premium. On the other hand, a bold and playful font with bright colors and irregular spacing can suggest a fun and youthful product, appealing to a younger audience.

Typography can also communicate important information about the product, such as its flavor or ingredients. For example, a handwritten script font can suggest a homemade and artisanal product, while a bold and modern font can imply a product that is innovative and cutting-edge.


Image source: Behance 

The shape of a food packaging does not guarantee success in selling but it will definitely gain brand visibilty. For example, a unique and eye-catching shape can help a product stand out on store shelves and attract consumers’ attention. A curved or asymmetrical shape can suggest a product that is innovative and cutting-edge, while a more traditional shape can communicate a sense of reliability and trustworthiness.

It can also impact how easy the product is to use and consume. For example, a packaging shape that is easy to grip and open can be perceived as more convenient and user-friendly, increasing the likelihood that consumers will choose that product over a competing product with more difficult packaging.

By paying attention to these design elements, manufacturers can create packaging that not only looks good but also effectively promotes their product. Don’t underestimate the power of aesthetics in packaging design – it can make or break the success of your product on the retail shelves.

How Food Packaging Design Can Influence Consumer Behavior

If you want your food packaging to be a hit with consumers, it’s important to understand their behavior when it comes to choosing products. It’s not just about having a design that looks good, but one that truly resonates with them and influences their purchasing decisions.

At the end of the day, the success of your product packaging is measured by how often it sells on the shelves, not how many awards it wins. So, how can you make sure your food packaging takes consumers on this journey? By creating a design that speaks to them and one that is functional too! Here are some factors that can influence consumer’s purchasing decision, so put them to good use! 

Attracting Attention

One of the primary ways in which food packaging design can influence consumer behavior is by attracting attention. The packaging design can make a product stand out on the shelf and catch the consumer’s eye. Bold colors, unique shapes, and creative designs can all help a product stand out and create a memorable impression.

Communicating Information

Food packaging design can also be used to communicate information about the product, such as its ingredients, nutritional value, and cooking instructions. Consumers are becoming more health-conscious, and they want to know what they are consuming. Therefore, clear and concise information on the packaging can influence their purchasing decisions.

Creating Emotional Connections

Packaging design that evokes positive emotions such as happiness, nostalgia, or excitement can influence consumer behavior. For instance, a product that reminds consumers of their childhood may make them more likely to buy it.

Emphasizing Sustainability

Sustainability is a growing trend in the food industry, and packaging design can play a significant role in communicating a brand’s commitment to sustainability. Brands that use sustainable materials and incorporate eco-friendly designs into their packaging can appeal to consumers who are concerned about the environment.

Leveraging Technology

Technology is rapidly changing the food packaging industry. Brands can use technology such as QR codes, augmented reality, and NFC tags to provide consumers with interactive experiences. For instance, scanning a QR code on the packaging can take consumers to a recipe video or a social media campaign, which can influence their purchasing decisions.

Tips for Food Packaging Design Process

Always design with the target market in mind

When it comes to packaging design, understanding your target market is key to success. Different demographics are drawn to different design elements, so incorporating those into your packaging is crucial. 

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For instance, if you’re selling candy to younger consumers, incorporating easy-to-open features and bright, playful colors will likely be a hit. On the other hand, if you’re marketing an alcoholic beverage to adults, incorporating sleek-shaped bottles with easy-to-open caps and richer colours like red and brown can invoke a sense of richness and maturity to the brand. By tailoring your product’s packaging design to your target market, you can maximize your sales potential and create a lasting impression on your customers.

Understand your target audience’s concerns 

Now that you have determined your target market, its important to understand the buyer persona’s pain points such as safety concerns, health concerns, calorie concerns, and more. 

Carry out competitive analysis

When you’re trying to sell a product, it’s important to do market research. By identifying where your competition is weak or missing, you can find opportunities to make your product stand out. Retailers usually place your product next to similar products from other brands, so it’s important to gather information on how your packaging compares to theirs. 

This includes looking at store brand options too. To really make your product unique and stand out, you need to have a good understanding of the entire competitive landscape.

Bringing it All Together: Balancing Aesthetic and Functionality in Food Packaging Design

Packaging design requires both aesthetic and functional considerations to create a successful product. Aesthetics help attract consumers to your product and differentiate it from the competition, while functionality ensures that the consumer can use the product conveniently. While aesthetics and functionality may seem to compete with each other, they must work together to achieve the best packaging design. Aesthetics draw the consumer’s attention, and functionality seals the deal. In the end, a successful packaging design requires a balance between both elements.

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