The cookie market is alive and well, from established supermarket brands to upstart home kitchen competitors seeking a big break. Product quality is always priority number one, with fresh and tasty ingredients leading the way.
However, product packaging is a huge difference maker from a retail standpoint, and customers notice unique, original package concepts when making selections in stores and online.
If your cookie brand is struggling to stand out from the crowd, a new approach to packaging might be the competitive edge you’ve been looking for — but where do you start?
In this article, we’re exploring the key factors that make for excellent cookie packaging and offer a range of formats that will benefit all aspects of your business plan. With these tips, your cookie company will be able to thrive in an increasingly crowded marketplace for years to come.
What Are Some Considerations for Cookie Packaging?
Every cookie brand has a unique vision, whether old-fashioned recipes, healthy alternatives, or a reinvention of classic cookie concepts. But no matter what you have planned for your cookie brand, the following five elements will be crucial to your packaging strategy.
1. Protection for Shipping and Storage
One thing is inevitable in the cookie industry: people want their cookies intact when opening a new package. Even minor cracking or crumbling can make the difference between customer satisfaction and poor reviews online. Hence, packaging is your first line of defense when protecting the structure of every cookie you produce.
While shipping and handling come into play, packaging is 100% in your control, meaning you should use formats and materials that are tough enough to withstand turbulent supply chain journeys.
When customers and retailers can trust your brand to deliver complete, intact cookies every time, they remember. This goes a long way to set your company apart and ensures repeat business for the foreseeable future.
2. Preserving Freshness and Shelf Life
What’s worse than a stale batch of cookies? Even with quality ingredients and a flawless baking process, cookies must be preserved with substantial package barriers to ensure they stay fresh throughout the shipping and storage process, all the way to the home environment.
This is especially true for brands that don’t want to rely on preservatives and other synthetic ingredients that sacrifice product health and quality for extended shelf life. Product preservation is vital to any packaging plan for a truly natural approach to cookie production.
3. Unique and Memorable Branding
A stroll down the cookie aisle at the store reveals the stiff competition in the cookie space right now. From top-shelf gourmet products to mass-produced favorites, customers have many choices.
Cookie brands are now tasked with presenting their products in new and inventive ways, and packaging can make a powerful first impression when done correctly.
Distinctive branding and messaging can encourage shoppers to get hands-on with the products before dropping them into the cart. As a result, package printing must be high quality and stand out with colors, logos, and eye-catching designs.
4. Distinctive Packaging Formats
If branding is step one in sparking customer interest, packaging formats are the next step in setting a cookie product apart on the shelf.
Shoppers are attracted to fresh and novel packaging formats because they offer something new in user experience, adding to the enjoyment of snacking and sharing with family and friends.
Therefore, brands should be aware of the power of fun and original packaging formats, even if this means diverging from the beaten path of cookie packaging. Brands that blaze new trails with packaging will be rewarded for this risk if the formats are functional, intuitive, and add to the experience overall.
This is easier said than done, but with so many new packaging formats available, there are plenty of ways to succeed.
5. Efficiency, Sustainability, and Impact
As cookie lovers become more environmentally aware, they’re looking to support brands that offer tasty treats with an eco-friendly angle. This can be accomplished by sourcing sustainable ingredients and using fair business practices, but greener packaging is also a significant benefit for shoppers and retailers.
This may translate to using fewer packaging materials overall or ensuring that these materials are recyclable or reusable. Customers are often willing to remain loyal to brands committed to sustainability, and packaging is a front-facing way to make a statement.
Even if your brand has not checked every box for sustainable business, eco-friendly packaging sets a good precedent for customers to latch onto from the start.
What Are the Best Types of Cookie Packaging?
There’s more to cookie packaging than meets the eye — it can significantly boost your business when done right. With that in mind, let’s explore the best types of cookie packaging one by one, outlining the pros and cons of each.
A box of cookies is hard to resist, offering an easy entry point and a trustworthy appearance. Paperboard is still number one in the world of packaging for a reason, with a reasonably strong exterior and decent barrier properties.
However, the downsides of paperboard have become more apparent, with moisture weaknesses and the potential for denting and damage during shipping. Plus, cookies will likely need to be individually wrapped or require another layer of thin plastic for protection.
Trays of cookies are built for sharing or indulging on your own with a tall glass of milk. These formats are quite protective by keeping cookies organized predictably. They can be wrapped in a tough, opaque plastic seal for additional barriers and preservation.
But because this is the go-to packaging format for many of the biggest cookie brands, smaller companies may want to skip them to avoid the copycat reputation.
Flexible Kraft Bags
Kraft bags offer the rustic appeal of paperboard with the more updated conveniences of flexible, resealable bags. The materials are durable and highly protective while presenting an organic appearance that stands out on the shelves.
The best kraft bags are also highly customizable, with a full range of printing and labeling options that help your brand rise above the rest.
Versatile Mylar Pouches
Mylar has come a long way and now offers some of the best barrier protections in the world of packaging. The material is designed for optimal temperature regulation, moisture prevention, and oxygen protection, and its opacity blocks out almost all light.
While Mylar might have been infeasible to package cookies decades ago, brands now use it for all kinds of food and snack products. Consider Mylar pouches and bags to give your cookie products a premium sheen with all the technical benefits of this great material.
Lightweight Plastic Sleeves
Plastic sleeves made of cellophane or low-density polyethylene are an industry favorite for a minimal approach to cookie packaging. The format might not be the strongest or best for preservation, but the appeal of this format is hard to deny with a homemade look and feel.
Brands might love the transparent and immediate appearance of basic plastic sleeves, but this format isn’t always viable when scaling a cookie business to the max.
Resilient Tin Cylinders
Cylinders are a fun and unique cookie format, allowing customers to tip the tin and stack cookies easily. Plus, modern materials like plastic, steel, and silicone formulations are highly protective and help prevent damage to cookies during shipping.
On the other hand, these tins aren’t always convenient from a customer standpoint, even if the structure is intriguing. Tipping the tin over can result in crumbs spilling out, and it might be hard to match the exact shape of each cookie to the format.
Classic Glass Jars
Is it reasonable to package cookies in glass jars? It might be acceptable for some premium products, but many customers could see this format as excessive.
Cylindrical tins offer many of the same physical protections, while flex packs usually have comparable (or better) barrier properties.
There are likely better options if you want a strong and sustainable structure to package cookies.
Cookie Packaging Suppliers Make the Difference
Today’s cookie companies have plenty of choices for packaging, and new formats and materials are frequently appearing in the lineup. Most importantly, brand owners want to streamline packaging with reliable supplies for their high-level operations.
In other words, your packaging supplier is vital to your success when bringing your cookie products to market, so team up with industry leaders like Dymapak to do things the right way.
Dymapak works with food brands from every corner of the industry, helping protect your best-selling products and making them shine on the shelves. Get started today, and let’s strategize the perfect packaging for your next cookie product launch or rebrand.