Packaged FINDINGS: Carapelli has clean shelf impact…up front

Posted on Jan 16, 2020 by

A new year, a new decade and a new opportunity to examine what it takes to be meaningful on shelf and to deliver genuinely effective packaging structure and design. Packaging’s ability to engage the consumer is still mission-critical for sales effectiveness, especially as store shelves are being proliferated not only with increasing numbers of nationally branded products but by highly competitive private label or store brand packages that have taken the design and branding challenge very seriously, and are often times superior to the big national brands.

As I was shopping recently for olive oil, I was confronted by the increased size and variety of product offerings in the category. Perhaps I was surprised because I typically order olive oil online, ensuring the product I use has the specific and authenticated sourcing I am looking for (I am an admitted stickler on this point). However, it doesn’t change the fact that periodically I have to run to the store as a stopgap measure when I run short.

So how do you pick from and how long should it take to make a selection when you are confronted by an epic assortment of product – especially when all you want is a simple bottle of single-source olive oil? I didn’t have the time to examine all the packages so I reached for the first package that stood out – Carapelli® Olive Oil. With an intriguingly shaped dark bottle and a clean, direct, and easy-to-read labeling system, it readily caught my attention.

What prompted my quick review of the product variety was the clean impact of the packaging. The simplicity of a unified label design system very clearly delineated between the two styles but immediately trained and reinforced recognition and readership. A smaller, secondary label below the larger product label was dedicated exclusively to branding alone. There was an unquestionable quiet strength along with an elegance and assuredness that was communicated by the choices made in label size, material, color, and typography.

I was doing fabulously until I turned the bottle around to confirm the sourcing of the content, a subject of great interest to me. Unfortunately, I found it virtually impossible to read the content of the label. Worsened by the dimly lit environment of overhead fluorescent lighting, I barely caught the statement “Our Commitment to Quality and Transparency”, then lost my path trying to read the tiny copy. The label did have the recognized USDA Organic and Non-GMO icons to reassure consumers in that regard.

However, one of the important things about olive oil is whether it is the result of one pressing or whether it is composed of a blend of products sourced from differing groves or farms, and it was nearly impossible to decipher the decoding for the sources of the oil. Perhaps most consumers are never going to take the time to read or care about this information but if it is important enough to include, consumers should easily be able to read it.

Also, while the green metallic paper provided a lush feel and impression of quality on the front panel of packaging, the color almost obliterated the back panel copy. It would have been much better to use the same white paper stock used on the organic packaging to provide more legibility.

As long as the face panel is consumer facing on shelf, there is going to be appeal – it is an attractive and effective design – but the design effectiveness stops when it comes to the back panel. Effective packaging ensures all panels of the package work in concert to create a successful consumer experience and build brand loyalty.


If you need help with your packaging design that will ensure your product’s success, we invite you to start a conversation with us by contacting us at 920-886-7727 or

The purpose of our “findings” blog is to spotlight packaging that displays thinking that breaks the mold and delivers something new or chancy – or at the very least, highlights packaging that catches your eye in the retail environment.