“Thinking outside the box” becomes “re-thinking the box’s outside” when it comes to cutting-edge tea packaging. Savvy manufacturers and retailers have realized great design draws the customer’s eye, even before they’re aware of the quality of the product within. A recent Tea Journey article described must-have packaging design as “bright and edgy,” as well as using compostable and/or biodegradable materials.
At June’s World Tea Expo, innovative packaging was on full display. One of Asia’s biggest packaging companies, Tianhui, showed off vividly colored, biodegradable kraft cardboard containers in multiple sizes, and Overseas Sales Manager Evelyn Que described them as a “hot seller” to U.S. customers. Tianhui has also innovated attractive cotton paper standup pouches and uses linen jute to create a striking drawstring bag for gifting tea cans.
As tea consumption rises globally, designers worldwide are showcasing their skills on prototype packaging. Soon Mo Kang’s “teashirt” bags hanging in a box “closet” made waves in 2011, and still look fresh now. The Swedbrand Group, a packaging company founded in Hong Kong by two Swedish nationals, blogged about “The Most Creative Tea Packaging Designs” and included the unusual shapes and slightly vintage-looking graphics of The Image Group for Tabi Tea, designer Magali Pagnier’s “Fleurs de Tilleul” packaging that opens like a blossom, and designer Sara Walsh’s design for glass jars topped by corks and boasting retro-style graphics.
Japanese company Ginza Jukkoku/Awatsuji Design’s elegant packaging features brush-stroked images on white backgrounds paired with modern shapes in boxes, bags, and canisters, while Lance Han of Taiwan-Dot Design Co.’s design for the Chosen Tea 1869 series evokes two mountains nestling next to each other. This Awatsuji Design utilizes a silk ribbon theme.
Caitlin Jordan, writing for canva.com, has 50 “insanely creative” suggestions for designing packaging of multiple forms of food items, with examples illustrating each. (Included is the iconic “teashirt” mentioned above.) The suggestions range from “think about the experience,” to “tell a story,” to “include a tactile experience.”
“There should be no hesitation to push your product’s package to the max,” Jordan writes. “It can be functional, purposeful, entertaining, or just outright bizarre, but one thing’s for sure: The more creative and inspiring your packaging is, the more likely the product is to sell.”
Gift Packaging from Classic to Contemporary
The four subsidiary companies of China’s Baoshan Changninghong Tea Industry Group were represented at the World Tea Expo by not only its range of green, black and puer teas, but also by some of its stunning, classic packaging. Exquisite designs decorate the enclosures of puer cakes, resembling plates as they are displayed on wooden stands. The gift boxes and jars that contain “Precious Changninghong Tea,” “Zen of Old Dragon,” “Dragon of Lancang River,” and “Classical Aroma,” among others, are treasures worthy of the teas they contain.
Gift packaging must meet higher freshness and safety standards, but this isn’t a deterrent to inspired design by companies such as innovepackaging.com, whose tea gift boxes with satin ribbon handles and metal tea tubes for canisters are both eye-catching and practical.
Yunnan Sourcing makes a gorgeous drawer-style box for brick puer called “Yunnan Beauties.”
One main takeaway: The familiar can become boring. Packaging is an essential aspect of marketing, and by re-thinking box, canister, bag, and gift packaging, you take the first step to reinvigorate your sales by making the customer stop, take notice — and maybe even find the eye candy irresistible.
Source: Tea Journey