(Not) Enough Already

Posted: May 2, 2014 by
Lynn Dornblaser

At what point do too many words, too many graphics, and too much “stuff ” overload consumers and turn them off? Well, I think if we had the answer to that, we’d all be rich. Is a clean, simple look the way to go, or is it better to load up the package with as much information as possible?
It’s likely that the answer is a simple and confounding one: “it depends.” It depends on the category, the claims, and the target market. And sometimes, too, it depends on the country.
In addition, Today, there are also many competing needs for the label. Besides conveying the brand’s personality, we are now increasingly faced with having to provide front-ofpack statements of key nutritional information. Witness the plethora of products (especially in U.S. breakfast cereals) that have a series of boxes or spots or graphic elements of some sort that essentially offer the main points of the nutrition statement on the front of package. Now, consumers don’t even have to flip the package around to the back to check out the nutritionals—it’s all right there on the front.
That can result in a crowded and confused package. But sometimes, as with the product shown here, the package can look crowded but actually be clear and concise as to benefits.
In Germany and Austria, True Fruits drinks are a line of chilled smoothie beverages that offer a range of benefits. The one on this page has an energy benefit, as it contains guarana seeds in addition to the other fruit ingredients. The product package clearly shows the benefits and main points of the product. The bottle is clear glass, so you can see the color and texture of the fruit inside. That’s a bit different for 250ml drinks, which are more likely to be in plastic with a full shrink sleeve label, or, for non-fruit varieties, in a metal can.
The company wisely uses white print for the label, to best show up against the bright colors of the drinks inside. Note the graphic elements on this particular variety—it looks something like a computer mother board. That ties in beautifully with the product benefit—this one is an Energy variety.
Perhaps what stands out the most is how the company conveys just what is in the bottle, and how much there is of each ingredient. The ingredient statement on the back of the bottle says clearly that the drink contains four fruit juices and guarana seeds. As is common in Europe, each of the fruits on the statement is shown to represent a percentage of total: grape juice (42%), Williams pear (26%), sour cherries (17%), cocoa fruit (14%), guarana seeds (1%).
That information is clearly conveyed on the front of the package as well, as can be seen by the vertical bar and the names of the fruits at selected intervals. While this graphic approach does not work for many categories (think of frozen meals, some of which have upward of 50 ingredients!), for categories where the formulation is relatively simple, it is a very clever way to tell consumers exactly what is in the product—and what is not. Perhaps the lesson here is that sometimes very complex graphic elements can actually provide a clear and simple message—and a maximized “Wow” quotient.