Auditing Your Food and Beverage Packaging

A packaging audit eliminates guesswork in your products’ packaging success. According to recent research, the design of a product’s packaging influences consumers’ (72%) purchase decisions when selecting which products to buy so it’s critical to get your packaging right. Successful food and beverage product packaging needs to be designed with visually effective market appeal but also needs to be in keeping with sometimes confusing, government regulations.

Shopper looking at food and packaging design in a retail grocery store.

Why do a packaging audit?

Your packaging has approximately 2 seconds* to tell a shopper who you are as a brand, what they’ll experience once they open the package, and why you are better than the other products in your category. But beyond this initial impact of message and aesthetics, your packaging must also adhere to legally stringent labeling requirements set by government organizations.

Exact food and beverage legal labeling requirements will vary based on the country. It is critical that your packaging adheres to the rules set forth in the country where you sell your products. Labeling and packaging regulations specify the type of information you present on your packaging and these regulations can often change. These rules dictate what information needs to be included, how information is presented, and even the size of the font to be used in certain instances. If you have compliant packaging, resist the urge to simply scale the artwork from an existing package or label to create a new size. This could make your new package or label out of compliance.

Failure to meet product labeling requirements exposes your business to legal liability and compliance risks. Since regulations vary between countries (and sometimes even between states), the potential for costly errors increases as your business expands to other regions.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates most food labels, but meat, poultry, and eggs are under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture. Other countries have their own regulatory departments such as the SFCA in Canada. If selling in a foreign country, accurate and culturally aware translation of your food and beverage packaging is sometimes necessary.

Maintaining legal compliance while measuring your products’ placement, aesthetic appeal, and success within your category can be a confusing space. A food and beverage packaging audit will provide insight and strategies to navigate this process.

What is a packaging audit?

A packaging audit gives clarity on what’s visually driving shopper decisions and thus be able to provide successful packaging strategies as an outcome. An audit will evaluate your product against legal packaging regulations in the country or countries where your products are sold. If you are considering new SKUs at different sizes or are pursuing retail opportunities in other countries, a packaging audit is highly recommended.

Your products’ viability and in-store impact will also be examined and compared to your competitors’. It is a critical step to decode how your category most effectively uses color, shape, form, typography, logos, and imagery to get the attention of fast-moving consumers in retail spaces. An audit will give you fluency in this visual language so your brand can both occupy the category confidently but also clearly highlight differentiators.

In a nutshell, a packaging audit is an informed view of your brand as it lives in the retail marketplace. It’s a rewarding and interesting process that can make your brand more effective wherever your products are sold. It gives your brand an advantage in the highly competitive retail environment where being different is not enough.

We’ll do the hard part for you.

Contact us to gain better insight and strategic retail options via a food and beverage packaging audit. By the end of the audit, your brand will have a solid foundation to be a retail standout with clear, strategic direction grounded in your brand and sales goals. Send a meeting request using our contact form or give us a call at (831) 975-5002 before your next packaging production run.

Want to learn more? Visit for more resources and information on produce packaging law and design.

*Source: Explorer Research