Food Packaging With an Edge
by Jessica Deseo on 12/15/2021 | 15 Minute Read
Winners of the iF Design Awards 2021 celebrate country-specific traditions and impress with colourful designs
Food packaging design is a world of its own, where being eye-catching is the top priority. Especially in the Asian region, colours, shapes and animal worlds play a central role. A product show that is fun.
Commercial packaging design should first and foremost attract attention, arouse the viewer's curiosity and whet the appetite for the contents. Because at the shop counter, the inner values count at least as much as the packaging. As a gift box, however, the packaging has a special significance. This is reflected in many of the designs, lovingly crafted down to the last detail, that were honoured in the 2021 iF Design Award competition. Two of them with the coveted iF Gold Award.
In China, Vietnam and other Asian countries, the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated every year. Families go on outings. In many places, lantern displays, dragon dances and acrobatic performances are held. In the evening, they watch the magnificent full moon. The festival traditionally includes the consumption of moon cakes. And it comes in all sorts of enchanting wrappings. This year, numerous designers have been awarded prizes for their mooncake gift boxes. Colourful and opulent, they convey the traditional values of the festival.
Besides the moon festival, there are of course many other occasions to package products attractively. Be it the lucky rice for the wedding table, precious olive oil, honey or beauty elixirs - the winners of the iF Design Awards 2021 had no shortage of ideas. The following designs particularly impressed the jurors:
BIZEUN PURE GIFT SET
Pure elegance – honoured with gold: The colour white has played an important role in Korean culture since the Joseon Dynasty. Pure white food with a mild flavour is traditionally considered a blessing, and a breakfast of white rice cakes on New Year's Day is said to bring well-being and long life. This gift wrapping from SPC SAMLIP with ribbon and seal sends a festive message, while the minimalist style of the boxes appeals to modern tastes. The recyclable material used as a wrapped fabric also adds a modern touch to the packaging.
Pure and natural: Thung Kula Ronghai is a famous rice-producing region in Thailand. The Srisangdao Rice brand tasked the Prompt Design Company with creating a packaging solution made of recycled materials that represented the highly natural farming processes used to produce this organic rice. This die-formed packaging is made of the chaffs of rice yielded in the husking process, the inner cover of which is embossed with a rice grain in relief. This box also beckons for reuse, such as a tissue box, thanks to the rice-shaped opening in the outer top layer. The design received an iF Gold Award by the jury.
Menin Douro Estates olive oil
Liquid gold in a bottle: Menin Douro Estates is a Douro wine producer that aims to be a new source of heritage for its region. The company selected Omdesign to create its olive oil branding with the tagline “Douro’s New Legacy.” This premium product expresses an elegant and minimalist image, featuring a label with an aesthetic embossed illustration of the estate’s chapel. The challenge was to maintain the simplicity and sophistication of this 280-year-old building but include enough of its iconic details that have made it a symbol of the producer.
Ecological Journey Gift Box
A fuse of regional art and wildlife: This packaging features the producer region's traditional folk art of paper cutting used to depict five rare and endangered species. It was designed by Wuhan Pufine Advertising for Wuhan Fengzhichao Biology. The detailed paper cut outs depict animals such as the South China tiger, the golden leopard, and the golden monkey living in harmony with nature. The beauty of the paper cut-outs also gives the box and attractive honey jars a second use for storing mementos and keepsakes for years to come.
GUAVA ECO-FRIENDLY CLAMSHELL
Sustainably packaged: This sustainable packaging design by Frutas Premium Sa De Cv a 91% reduction in plastic. The project is the result of an investment of time and resources, research, trials, and, most importantly, “awareness.” These eco-friendly trays are 100 % recyclable and compostable, made with bamboo and sugar cane residuals to reduce plastic consumption by 91%. The tray is fitted with perforations to allow ventilation for the guava and can be restacked.
Mooncake Gift Box
In the light of the moon: This packaging by Aukey Technology was created for the traditional Chinese Mid Autumn Festival, a unique gift box that contains a moon-shaped light, four mooncakes with the traditional rabbit motif, and a letter of thanks from the company founder. The box itself is completely square but contains a perfectly spherical moon, bringing to mind the traditional Chinese notion of the land being square and the heavens round. The RGB moon lamp is 3D printed. The cakes themselves are all different flavors and bright colors.
Lee Kum Kee New Year Gift Box
The mouse as patron: Lee Kum Kee is a national brand with a history of more than 130 years. Kitchen sauce such as soy sauce have always had an old-fashioned brand image. 2020 was the year of the mouse in the Chinese lunar calendar. The food producer cooperated with Tmall and the designers of ALINE STUDIO to launch a new Chinese-style gift box. With its youth-targeted, Chinese design, the packaging design positions Lee Kum Kee to strengthen its brand image and reacher young consumers.
BANBOU PATISSERIE & COFFEE MOON CAKE
A soft dream: This bright, joyous packaging of BANBOU PATISSERIE & COFFEE includes inner and outer boxes and a carrying tote. The color theme is understated natural tones but punctuated by the use of bright blues and turquoise, contrasting with warm golds and an overall light, white purity. The main graphic element is a star created by circles, which is used in repeating patterns. The designers of Y.STUDIO wanted to invoke the warm safe feeling of childhood when mothers serenade their children to sleep with the "Little Star" lullaby.
Flying to the Moon
Immersion in Chinese culture: The Mid-Autumn Festival is an ancient tradition known for mooncakes, lanterns, and family reunions. The packaging of this Mid-Autumn moon cake by ShenZhen XiShang Boutique Packing is inspired by the four-corner palace lanterns found in ancient Chinese palaces. The box is fitted with an LED light at the bottom. The lantern shade is adorned with traditional imagery such as the Jade Rabbit, the Moon Palace, and Dunhuang Apsaras.
Project Rise Germinated Rice Wedding Favor – RED
A toast to bride and groom: This packaging by Qianhou serves as a wedding favor containing germinated brown rice and was designed for modern Taiwanese-style weddings. Wedding favor design needs to appeal to both older guests, the newlyweds, and their younger friends. This design achieves this balance, also celebrating the modern agriculture techniques used to produce the rice. Inspired by the clutch bag, the main structure relies on clothing design tailoring techniques that transform one single sheet of paper into the bag.
LUXIHE Chinese Pastry Gift Set
Colorful coat for pastries: This gift box packaging for LUXIHE Chinese pastries draws its inspiration from traditional Chinese culture, presenting iconic images such as the Chinese dragon, the phoenix, Dunhuang Apsaras and The Vast Land. The designers of BOSHI Brand Design fused together contemporary and heritage aesthetics to reinterpret the pastry gift box, a tradition in Chinese culture, but one that expresses the unique character of each pastry, offering the recipient an enjoyable visual and edible feast of Chinese culture.
Gift from Yan Selection
Lovely assorted: This gift box of health drinks for women from Yan Selection uses an outer box adorned with graphics of swallows. The lines are simple, smooth, and dynamic, showing nimble and energetic swallows in flight. The packaging perfectly combines an Asian aesthetic and the brand image of Yan Selection, associating both product and producer as swallows that will continue to soar upward. The gift box was designed by Beijing YAN Selection Technology and Shenzhen Shangtang Technology for SanDuo Technology (Beijing).
Aranya Jinshanling Honey
Aligned with nature: Aranya is an upscale property development brand. This packaging concept is for its honey products from the Jinshanling mountain area, where Aranya operates an exclusive and environmentally friendly real estate project. The design of Minuage aims to convey the brand's core values of respecting the natural environment and offering their customers the utmost quality. The outer box is a twisted oblique shape, inspired by the italic logotype. The box design requires no adhesives to hold in its folded shape, another nod to the company's eco-friendly values.
Familiar originality: The design of the rice packaging features a vintage-like illustration of "China's Model Worker, Zhao Yafu," a trusted figure in Chinese culture. It was designed by SHENZHEN BOB DESIGN. The inner bag containing the rice is both aesthetic in its use of typography and the texture of the rice visible through the transparent material, but also advanced in how it seals and protects the product. Environmental features include outer packaging material made of pure cotton thread and virgin paper without any use of chemicals.
You will find all of the iF DESIGN AWARD 2021 winning designs here
And also in the brand new iF Design App – download it here