Packaging is never more in focus than during the festive gifting period. It’s not just about how something looks when it’s wrapped, but that it also makes an impact when the paper comes off.
However, it isn’t just gift items that are getting a festive makeover. We’re also seeing Christmas-themed packaging coming to all sorts of everyday products as brands look to make themselves part of the holiday experience. Here are 10 Christmas packaging designs that caught our eye for 2020.
- Heinz Christmas range
Baked beans and tomato ketchup may not spring to mind when you think Christmas, but Heinz wants its everyday essentials to remain part of the festive season. As such, its Heinz to Home direct-to-consumer website is offering personalised cans of baked beans, spaghetti hoops and tomato soup, and tomato ketchup and mayonnaise bottles to customers as novelty gifts. As well as having the recipient’s name on them, each product label features a festive star print. What’s more Heinz has also launched a box of Christmas crackers which contain mini pots of tomato ketchup. At first glance the sleek gold and red packaging doesn’t give away what is inside, making them suitable for any table, but there is a gentle nod to Heinz’s famous labels for those in the know.
- Kettle Chips
Premium crisps brand Kettle Chips is bringing its limited edition Truffled Cheese & Sparkling Wine flavour back again for Christmas this year. The company is also extending the festive theme to its other share bag flavours. Each flavour is retaining is existing colour scheme, but the packaging has been redesigned to add a ribbon and label to the design. As such, the packaging now evokes a present. It’s a simple change but it is a great way for Kettle Chips to make its products part of customers’ Christmas plans. It also subtly encourages them to choose Kettle Chips when buying items to take to a friend or family member’s house as the packaging is a little more special than your standard crisp packet.
- Bacardi ecommerce packaging
It’s the gifting time of year and more than ever ecommerce will be a big part of it as customers opt for the safety of buying online while the pandemic continues. Bacardi has responded to this by developing clever gift packaging for its Grey Goose and Martini non-alcoholic lines that are designed to be posted but retain that gift impact. As such, the amount of packaging used is cut by 25%. Exclusively available from Amazon, the two packs look much like your standard brown cardboard box from the outside. On opening though, the box reveals eye-catching interior branding, which also holds the products in place and protects them during transit. In the case of the Martini aperitivo the design evokes the various ingredients, while the Grey Goose set focuses on the brand’s blue colour scheme.
- Almanac Beer Co.
Californian craft beer company Almanac Beer is getting into the Christmas spirit with its limited-edition Ugly Sweater LOVE Hazy IPA. As the name suggests, the can sports an ‘ugly sweater’ style design in red, green and white. It’s a fun festive spin on the typical beer design, but it also gives the product instant gift status. The limited-edition nature, plus the seasonal design, makes for a beer that feels more like a considered present as opposed to just buying any standard can design off the shelf. Almanac has also extended its festive range to include a 12-beer Christmas 2020 box and 8-beer Hanukkah 2020 box. The perforated doors mean the boxes function much like advent calendars and the bright, colourful designs mean they make for great gifts as well.
Another everyday product that has had a Christmas makeover is Tropicana’s fruit juices. The company has retained its core recognisable design but given it a festive twist. The fruit imagery on the front of three of the brand’s orange juice varieties and its apple juice have been turned into baubles. In the background is a festive snowflake design. While fruit juice may not seem like an obvious festive choice, Tropicana notes that chilled fruit juice sales rise 121% during the festive season which indicates high demand from shoppers. As such, Tropicana’s limited-edition design might win the brand more sales as consumers look for products to fit in with their festive plans.
- Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Another brand reinventing the beer for Christmas is Great Lakes Brewing Co. The craft beer company is well known for its annual Christmas Ale but this year the design has been tweaked. For the first time the Christmas Ale is available in 12oz cans and this has come with new design dimensions. As such, Great Lakes Brewing Co. has provided a great example of how to update a heritage design with a new snow-covered town scene that still retains the well-known train car filled with ornaments motif. The wrap-around design not only makes the Christmas Ale cans stand out, but also translates perfectly to the 12 can packs, which again makes for a great Christmas gift.
We love Diptyque’s festive gift packaging because you just don’t need any other packaging. The brand has adopted an animal winter scene for its gift packaging this year which sees us looking out of a window on everything from swans to deer. Our favourite design is the mini gift bag which comes pre-tied with a ribbon and could easily be popped under the tree as is without any extra wrapping or frills. While arguably this gives the recipient advance knowledge that a Diptyque gift will be theirs, we think this may only add to the anticipation and excitement of seeing what is inside. By making its packaging beautiful to look at Diptyque also gives it a decorative edge that customers will be keen to have on display in the run-up to Christmas day..
This is one that doesn’t look like Christmas packaging. In fact, Jukes has created gift packaging for its non-alcoholic wine-style drinks that is reminiscent of high-end jewellery packaging more than any drink. This sees the customer mentally position Jukes alongside luxury brands. The white Tasting Box cube is simply branded with the Jukes name. The lift lids off as with a jewellery box to reveal nine bottles of Jukes’ drinks featuring its three top flavours. We love the surprise element to this packaging which offers a touch of wow factor to a category that doesn’t always get very creative with its packaging. In addition, it shows how packaging can be used to create a festive gift without actually referencing the holidays in its design.
- Reese’s White Elephant
For those who may not know, the White Elephant gift exchange is a different take on Secret Santa that sees participants each contributing a wrapped novelty gift and then blind picking and swapping them in an attempt to get the best prize. This year Reese’s has opted to create something that it thinks participants will be fighting over – a peanut butter filled white chocolate elephant. The packaging even acknowledges that purchasers may want to keep it for themselves. As well as maintaining the recognisable Reese’s branding, the packaging shows exactly what is on offer via an elephant-shaped window. We love that the brand has taken a different approach to traditional Christmas chocolate by focusing in on an unusual niche, which will help it stand out on the shelves alone. But we also like that the packaging is designed to be gifted making it a great novelty present even outside of the White Elephant exchange.
- Primark gift bag
Simple, but effective, this is one of our favourite Christmas packaging ideas of the year. Fast fashion company Primark has updated its recognisable brown paper bags into something multi-purpose. Featuring a festive red and white stripe design, the bag encourages customers to use it as wrapping paper by cutting off the top and bottom. It’s a great concept because it ticks so many boxes – it fits in perfectly with Primark’s brand given its existing bag design, but it also offers a more sustainable wrapping option. For one, it means the bag isn’t going to waste after the customer brings it home. Two, it is a more environmentally friendly wrapping option as it is easily recyclable unlike some wrapping paper. In fact, it’s such an obvious idea we have to wonder why it took Primark so long to do it.
By Cate Trotter, Head of Trends at Insider Trends