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Children inspire innovation in packaging due to new rules

Is the future of packaging for children about to change?

From July this year the Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) released the following rules in response to the increasing concerns of childhood obesity that will shake up the world of marketing:

  • Ads for HFSS (High Fat, Salt or Sugar) products cannot appear in other media where children make up over 25% of the audience.
  • Ads for HFSS products will not be allowed to use promotions, licensed characters and celebrities popular with children; advertisers may now use those techniques to better promote healthier options.
  • The Department of Health nutrient profiling model will be used to classify which products are HFSS.

Celebrities and cartoon characters will be banned from promotional material but not food packaging. Does this mean more brands will use this to their advantage on their packaging or avoid this completely so it doesn’t cause issues in the future?

The Dutch food industry has already made a bold move in deciding to remove popular children’s characters from the packaging of unhealthy foods.

“The decision, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will mean characters including Dora the Explorer, Disney’s Frozen heroines and Miffy the rabbit, are to be banished from food and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar which are targeted at children.”  

How influential are children?

Although not necessarily active consumers themselves, children will certainly try to influence what their parents buy them. If something catches their eye on the shelf, they will go on about it until their parents give in. It’s important the packaging not only stands out for the adult but also the children.

As packaging digest quotes ”Kids influence up to 80 percent of all household purchases. And as a market segment, they are impossible to ignore. In fact, ignoring them may mark the beginning of the end for your brand.

6 months:

Babies are able to recognise brands by forming mental images of logos and mascots

Age 2:

Brand loyalty may begin

Age 3:

Specific requests for brand name products

Age 5:

Children are ready to make their own (parent financed) purchases

Age 7:

Control over their own decisions

Pretty influential it seems! Stats are courtesy of Packaging Digest

What can brands do?

The best children’s packaging is made with a good sense of humour as well as fun and colourful design elements that make them stand out against competitors. Below we have looked at some of the best examples that we can find. These go the extra mile for innovation and have Slice Design’s approval!

Smoothie Safari connect their straw and the packaging to bring the animal to life

Beehive use the bear on pack as a fun way to encourage children to eat their breakfast cereal

Bla Bla use their packaging as an open mouth to display the products. An exciting way for kids to open the pack and dispense the sweet for consumption

Similarly Cloetta use the mouth concept as a cool way to open the chocolate inside

Coromega use a friendly character to represent the packaging on their healthy food – encouraging children healthy can be fun

A lot of brands such as Heinz & Tilda rice have released kids ranges as they know the potential and revenue this market can bring. It’s important that these packs are different to the normal parent branded packaging which both Heinz and Tilda have done – Tilda use elephants on pack to appeal to the younger generation.

It will be interesting to see from July what the impact of the new rules means for the future of children’s packaging. Which of these packs do you like? Tell us here.

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