Display of ingredients in food packaging

Has anybody got examples of an outstanding ways to display food ingredients on packaging? Thanks!

Give me a bit more detail in what you are trying to accomplish. The breakdown is always your hierarchy of communication. Are you trying to display different variants of a brand? In that case brand usually comes first and then product shots. Product shots are generally used for taste appeal so then need to look as appetizing as possible, but they can also be used to show usage. It all depends on the intent of the communication.

Below is a picture of a M&M’s bag. As you will see here it is all about the brand, but we show usage through showing the product in a bowl. The brand is the number one communication. If you look the snack mix bag, here the product shot is meant for taste appeal, still the brand is number one in the hierarchy.


I use a variation of the AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) chart.

Using PackageID’s example of a communication hierarchy:
Attract - Brand
Orient - Product shot
Inform - Milk Chocolate
Confirm - Made with Real Milk Chocolate

Or the second image:
Attract - Brand
Orient - Product shot
Inform - Salty & Sweet
Confirm - Roasted Almonds & Crunchy Pretzels / Chocolate Chips & M&Ms

Unless you mean the ingredient list at the bottom of the nutrition facts. If that is the case, the FDA regulates that.

iab : sorry that I have not made the question clear enough.

So here is a problem : food ingredients are written in several languages on a small package. They are almost unreadable without a magnifying glass. Has a successful solution been implemented to solve this problem and make the ingredients more understandable to people of all languages?

I was thinking of doing a cross between a universal pictorial representation of certain ingredients and periodic table of elements…
Basically, I’m just seeing too many incomprehensible ingredients. Also, there are many accidents caused by lack of attention paid towards ingredients in the product. Maybe it’s a biased view from myself, as I had several such accidents. However, I still stand by an opinion that people should be more incentivised towards reading what is inside the food wrapper.

Well as somebody who is allergic against some foods and ingredients I thought your question was crystal clear.

But the answers were typical. For people within the conventional “food” industry it is not about communicating what
really goes into those products but about creating an experience for the consumer and a strong brand image for the
company. I’ll try to leave it at that.

If you try to find some positive examples look at organic (Bio in Europe) food. The “Frosta” brand http://www.frosta.de
comes to mind. They do convinience food like microwave meals and have an examplary way of communicating
what goes into it and what not. Over here McCain already learned from them, purified the ingredients, reduced the
use of potential allergenes. They even use little icons to depict potatoe, salt, etc.

Perhaps this goes the way you were thinking about it?


I thought of McCain instantly as well (I have an allergy too, maybe that’s the common thread)

Full article here: McCain launches additive-free frozen foods | CBC News

There is also this handy symbol on the store brand granola bars of a Canadian grocery chain:

I’m trying to remember if I’ve seen it on any international products…

That is an excellent question. And for the food industry, I have no idea. But the same problem occurs in the medical industry. Launching in the EU requires 13(?) languages and we usually include Kanji for Japan. We have small bottles with minimal label space, so a standard of icons was created instead of the laundry list of languages. Do I really need to spell out “Expiration Date” 14 times?

So here is an example of approved icons that we use:

Then there is my favorite, which basically means we don’t have enough room on our label, refer to the package insert (that thin piece of paper folded 20 times when unfolded is as big as your table) for the translations.

I would hope the food industry would have something similar. Whether it would solve your objective? Maybe not, but it is a place to start. You need to find a food regulatory genius. My medical regulatory genius sits across the hall from me. She is very handy. :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot for all your replies. They have truly pointed me in the right direction.

I’m off to lay down some ideas, but feel free to keep the conversation going.

Not exactly ingredient oriented, but what’s with “Enlarged to show texture” images on some food packaging?

And what’s up with showing brocolli in a bowl on the front of a package and labeling it, “Serving suggestion”?

Interesting - it appears that food packaging sometimes fails to communicate what’s inside, so it has to show a way of serving it in a really small space on some wrapper.