Packaged FINDINGS: Kraut’s simple design has strong shelf impact

Posted on Jan 30, 2020 by

I love it when packaging stops me dead in my tracks with its unadulterated impact. Such was the case when I passed by the Cleveland Kraut packaging in our local store. As with most of the packaging I like, it was the simplicity of the design concept that I admired the most.

So many times packaging designs have a surplus of graphic elements that do little to “connect” with consumers – they are there to fill space, and from my standpoint, contribute to visual anxiety. In the case of the Cleveland Kraut packaging, a strong design grid and color scheme that can be uniformly applied to the packaging for multiple product styles immediately create a compelling visual presence.

The slightly italic letter style used for the logo is bold but not brutal. Its consistent placement, uniform sizing, and format reversing out of a black cap to the package unifies the family of products with maximum consistency. The flavor and preparation designation, centered below the logo is emphasized and communicated with color variation for each flavor variety, and clear windows provide visual insight on product content and preparation – and in doing so introduces new varieties of products never before offered.

As a consumer, I was drawn to and into this product immediately. Admittedly, I like sauerkraut in almost any form but I wanted to try the preparations beyond the “standard” variety. Using one of the consistently strongest panels of the package for product information, the back panels elaborated on the various product formulations. While I would have liked more specific information, they provided enough copy and icons to communicate content and recommendations for product use.

The back panels are as well organized as the face panel of the package. It’s helpful that the overall color-coding system supports the flavor variations but if I could change anything, I would recommend a reevaluation of copy legibility – where black copy against a dark background lacks contrast, resulting in reduced readability. This copy is a critical factor in connecting the product to consumers. When you work with your package design team, make copy legibility a high priority issue. This includes the font type, the type size, letter, and line spacing, and most importantly, the contrast of copy on color backgrounds. People do and will read your packaging, so do everything possible to facilitate that process. One final suggestion is regarding the product being raw and probiotic – perhaps a more compelling definition of the value to consumers  – which to sauerkraut aficionados should provide a more authentic tasting product as opposed to other more highly processed products.

A package can’t be everything. Ultimately consumers will decide how they feel about the flavor, texture, and aroma of a packaged product but that exchange has to wait until they buy it. Minus that interchange, the package is the only tool consumers have to react to, and in this case, the package does an above-average job of creating excitement on shelf and drawing the consumer in.

Regardless of what you are developing packaging for, if you need help with the structure, design, and marketing 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.


2 Responses to Packaged FINDINGS: Kraut’s simple design has strong shelf impact

  • Keith K Voss says:

    I love reading your articles. There is so much that is involved in good packaging and you always explain it so well. BrandDirections has so much expertise in this area.