How Your Brand Can Stand Out On Shelf in the Grocery Store

An average grocery store has 40,000 items and consumers spend less than 3 seconds looking at products at shelf. With natural category growth still outpacing conventional, eye-catching packaging is an imperative and an investment in your long-term success and growth. But where to start?

Below, we outline 3 pillars of great packaging to give you a framework for standing out on shelf.

1. Differentiate Your Packaging
  • Conduct an audit of your competitors’ packaging to find white space in the category, then own that space. Having a unique design on the shelf will make it stand out to your consumers
  • If all the other packages in your shelf set are in “clean, white” packages, take a risk and go in the opposite direction… don’t be afraid to try something completely new on shelf
  • Different doesn’t necessarily mean too bold or overly colorful, sometimes quiet confidence is louder

2. Develop a Clear Hierarchy
  • A clear hierarchy is in many cases the most important part of a good design
  • Clear hierarchy allows consumers to easily and quickly get the information they care about while quickly scanning the shelf
  • Use consumer insights to find out what frustrates consumers the most about the current packaging. For example, we found that when shopping for greens, consumers were often frustrated with the small product names on packaging, so we made “spinach” the biggest thing on pack for Fifth Season greens.
3. Make It Memorable
  • Develop signature elements of your product design that keep consumers coming back for more
  • This can be as simple as a unique message that ties into your brand purpose and values, or a special gift or customized sample in each unboxing experience
  • This draws consumers back again and again for the positive brand experience, differentiating your product from the competition

Standing out on-shelf is critical to your brand’s success. Create a design that moves away from the competition and status quo. Develop a messaging hierarchy that clearly and simply tells your consumer what they need to know. Don’t forget to add signature elements to make your package interesting.

If you’d like to learn more about our design capabilities, please email