6-Step Guide to Crafting Your Perfect Beverage Packaging


Choosing appropriate packaging is crucial in the food and beverage industry. The right package protects the product during shipping and handling, allows the customer to store the item safely once they purchase it, and prevents spoilage or damage. An effective package design can also make the product more attractive to potential buyers and provide excellent branding opportunities. What’s more, in the process of designing effective packaging for their beverages, companies need to ensure their packaging materials and processes comply with all applicable regulations.

Are you attempting to create a new beverage packaging design for one of your products? At Innovative Packaging Co., a leading provider of custom packaging solutions for the food and beverage, cannabis and manufacturing industries, our skilled team has developed the following guide to help you maximize your results. 

How to Create Beverage Packaging Designs

Our easy-to-follow process for designing high-quality beverage packaging consists of six steps: 

Step 1: Determine the Structure of the Packaging

Packaging often consists of three layers — the outer portion, inner area and actual product. The specific qualities of these structure elements depend on your beverage item, so you’ll need to design these areas based on your product:

  • Outer: An outer package contains and protects the contents. It’s also the first thing customers see when examining your product on the store shelf or display area. As a result, outer packaging provides the first branding opportunity. 
  • Inner: Inner packaging consists of additional items, such as shrink wrapping and cardboard dividers, that keep your goods safe during handling and transit. 
  • Product: Product packaging like cans or bottles holds the liquid contents.

Step 2: Select the Type of Material Used for Packaging

You’ll have several material options for packaging your beverage product. Evaluate these criteria when making your selection: 

  • Product: Determine which material is best for keeping your product safe while giving you enough creative design freedom.
  • Competition: Whenever possible and practical, choose packaging that makes your product stand out from your competitors’ offerings on a crowded shelf.
  • Budget: Packaging material costs vary widely — your company’s budget will play a significant role in the selection process.

Step 3: Decide on the Type of Information You’ll Print on Your Packaging

Consider what customers really need to know about your product and ensure you include this information on your package. You may start by determining the product’s unique selling proposition (USP). The USP is the feature or benefit that separates your product from the competition and should be a focal point of your packaging, marketing and branding efforts. 

Only put the necessary information on your packaging to attract shoppers. A simple design could make your product stand out from the barrage of bright colors and unusual patterns that inundate the modern consumer.

Step 4: Evaluate Your Packaging Design

Once you’ve come up with a design you like, place it under additional scrutiny to determine if it meets the desirable parameters in other crucial areas. For example, find out what the product will look like on the store shelf when surrounded by your competitors’ items. 

Ask yourself if the design will appeal to your target market and whether it is versatile enough for you to make upgrades when needed. You should also consider whether creating a reusable package is viable. 

Step 5: Collect Feedback Through a Test Round

Attaining feedback before you finalize your packaging design selection can help determine if you’re heading in the right direction. While your internal decision-making teams can provide essential expertise based on their experience and market and industry knowledge, they may not necessarily see things from the customer’s perspective. Ask friends, neighbors and people on the street what they think about the design and seek their opinions on improving it. 

Step 6: Reach Out to a Professional Packaging Company to Bring Your Design to Life

Designing beverage packaging can be challenging, even if you’re a veteran of the process. Because every product is unique and the competitive landscape is constantly changing and evolving, it helps to partner with a third-party expert that understands what it takes to achieve the most successful outcome. 

A professional packaging company can provide valuable insight and present additional design options you hadn’t considered. An experienced partner can also create custom drink packaging designs that might be outside your internal capabilities. In addition, a capable designer can help you follow the best packaging practices, such as keeping the design simple and making the most of the limited space available. 

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Contact IPC to Learn More

Do you have questions about our guide to beverage packaging design or need help with an upcoming project? The IPC team is ready to serve as your trusted partner and bring your packaging dreams to life. Take the next step by submitting our online form to request a quote today.