Hop into Spring
Easter is a time for eggs and bunnies and for family celebration. It’s a time when designers can use their imagination to create distinctive and inspirational work that reflects the fun and tradition of the holiday. Bright eye-catching colours and exciting imagery enhance products on the shelves and add to the sense that this time of year is special.
While the focus is on eggs and chocolate, there is a huge opportunity for pack design to make the likes of hot cross buns, Easter cakes, bunches of flowers, tableware, childrens’ toys and even the weekend roast appear different and give them a springtime makeover at one of the busiest times for families to come together.
Easter allows design to make us feel that the dullness of winter is over. It’s the end of Lent when we can indulge ourselves and traditionally the time of rebirth, hence the egg, baby chicks, cute bunnies and pictures of playful lambs.
Good packaging has to be functional and eye-catching and reflect the product that it contains, while also appealing to a target audience. When it comes to chocolate eggs, the emphasis has been on reducing packaging and while chocolate makers have made great strides to meet environmental concerns and cut back on cardboard and plastic, a recent report from consumer group Which? stated that packaging alone accounts for up to a quarter, on average of the overall weight of the most popular Easter eggs. Design is always a balance between practical, protective, style and appeal.
With consumer spending predicted to be £900 million on Easter related goods this year, with £650m going on food alone, Easter has become second only to Christmas for food spend.
It's for this reason we see so many variants, in the grocery aisles as consumers are demanding more and more choice. Take the afore mentioned hot cross bun for example. Its humble origins lie way back in pagan times when Saxons would bake ‘cross buns’ in honour of the coming of Spring and its goddess Eostre. Christians claimed the sweet bread, making them the staple Easter fayre we know today. Traditional ingredients include sultanas and mixed peel, however nowadays gluten free and vegan play a part with blueberries, salted caramel, mango, pineapple and papaya featuring in supermarket variants, all designed to get customers tastebuds going.
While Easter pack design may need to have a sense of tradition, and it is sometimes difficult to get away from those sweet looking chicks and doe eyed bunnies, and bright spring colours which dominate, it doesn’t mean that the look of groceries we buy every week can’t be different and incorporate the classic and nostalgic with the witty.
Custom packaging is on the increase and cakes are an example. One in five families will buy a special cake to mark Easter. For some it may be the traditional Simnel cake, though more popular will be chocolate cakes and mini-cakes, slices and rolls, which despite having their own strong individual personalities are dressed up to make them reflect Easter by using inventive and creative pack designs.
Easter is about family, Spring is about positivity and optimism and the magic of both can be reflected by remarkable and thoughtful design which adds excitement to even the most basic of products.