Packaged FINDINGS: Cream cheese impresses on shelf – at first

Posted on May 20, 2021 by

Planning for successful package design is complex and a good packaging team must take into consideration every contingency of surface design, physical structure and shelf placement. I recently came across David’s Deli Triple Cream Cream Cheese Spread and was immediately caught up with the impactful package, especially the top panel, which I consider in this case to be the principal communication or “face” panel. The design is clean and direct, providing strong brand recognition, supported by style information.

While the “face panel” of the package did impress me with its clean, simple and bold style, unfortunately, I immediately disconnected with it when I turned the package on its side, only to find it did not naturally align with the “side panel” of the package as it falls rather haphazardly to secondary panel copy. It would make more sense to have the face panel “tumble” into the side panel copy as brand reinforcement. If this were a carton, we would refer to the sequencing of the package panels as a “tumble” pack (if you hold the carton in your hands and roll it top to bottom in a tumbling motion).

As you can see below, the tops of the packages are randomly positioned over differing panels, offering no strong reinforcement of branding.

Effective packaging is built on the premise of consistency in the presentation of packaging graphic communications. In this case, with an oval lid to the container, the packaging graphics can be oriented in one direction – or can they? Perhaps not if there are constraints or limitations on how labeling is applied to the container. This should all be taken into consideration in the orientation of design.  If you have no control over the placement of elements and where they end up on the package, consider including it in your creative brief as a design mandate.

This is a great example of solid “catch the eye” packaging graphics but it’s also an example of the need to consider design orientation.  In this case, positioning of elements below the lid makes it hard and time-consuming for people to decipher package messaging content –  the result of which could easily direct the consumer to a competitive brand that is much easier to digest.

Make sure your product is accurately labeled, yes, but remember consumers expect packaging to be organized in prioritizing the content, health and safety of their product selections.  Consumers don’t have the time to read packaging that is difficult to figure out in spite of statistics that indicate they are spending more time shopping in-store than before the pandemic. Remember to consider the whole package, not just the components.


If you are planning for your next packaging rollout and 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

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.


Leave a Reply