Ikea’s New Food Packaging Says it All

July 03, 2012

Ikea's new food packaging redesign brings new meaning to the saying, a picture's worth a thousand words.

Want to re-brand your product? Head to Stockholm. That’s unsurprisingly what Ikea did. Ikea tapped Stockholm Design Lab (LINK ) to refresh the packaging design of its private label gourmet food line – and supermarkets should take note. The design is simple – they call it a “a stripped-down look”, which contains lots of white space, a dearth of text, and big 2-dimensional icons that visualize the contents at a glance, according to Fast Company. The Ikea product line includes pasta, cheese, candy, condiments, alcohol, crackers, canned fish, and other Swedish delicacies.

The line was first introduced in 2006, and there was a challenge. Ikea insisted that the design firm maintain the products’ Swedish-language headings. But for a retailer with locations in 41 countries, the design challenge was clear – a simple picture to tell the story. According to Stockholm Design Lab, there were “high demands on the design to be self-explanatory and inspirational at the same time.” Take a look at the “Skarpsill” package; a cute fish on the can with its nose doubling as the stay-tab, it is abundantly clear what is inside the package.

It is a lesson to be learned by all package designers, store designers and more; especially as we continue to see the increase in non-English speaking shoppers here in the US. The simple design idea to use very straightforward images can be a great way to revamp and makeover in-store signage in the produce section, bakery, deli, fish counter and more.