Canadian Packaging

A Healthier Take On Snack Packaging

A monthly look at some of the hits and misses in the packaging world from the viewpoint of Joe Public, Canadian Packaging magazine’s revolving columnists. From the September 2017 issue.


October 16, 2017
by Megan Moffat

As September rolls around to usher in yet another season of change, maintaining a healthy lifestyle routine becomes a testing challenge to one’s self-discipline. Be it trying to bike to work more often, getting the kids to school on time or, in my case, resisting the temptation of morning muffins and late-night snacks, staying on the righteous path just feels more tasking than it does in the summer months. For those who crave snacks to boost their personal comfort levels, separating things that are good for you from empty calories, and served up in convenient consumer-friendly packaging, can be tricky. Happily, some leading snack producers seem to be warming up to the idea of using their packaging to help consumers make healthier snack-food choices.

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For smoothie aficionados, the Welch’s Fruit & Veggie Blends brand of frozen foods and vegetables is a treat on many levels, including the colorful and supremely functional stand-up pouch packaging outfitted with a sturdy, reliable and resealable closure to ensure extended product freshness and avoid accidental spillage. Featuring stunning product photography depicting a healthy heap of blueberries, grapes, raspberries, kale and purple corn garnishing a glass of a freshly-blended burgundy smoothie inside, the 600-gram bags of the brand’s Purple Disco flavor project instant “life of the party appeal” with the vivid purple-pink burst of colors. The bubble-shaped nutritional claims of 2+ servings of fruits and vegetables make it a highly appealing prospect for the nutritionally-minded consumers, without being preachy about it. Best of all, the back of the bag features several easy-to-make recipes that lets consumers enjoy the product as a wholesome breakfast, a sweet-and-salty snack, or just as a decadent guilt-free snack at different times of the day. Just like disco, this product virtually had me dancing in the aisles after adding it to the shopping cart.

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For those looking for something more substantial than a beverage, U.K.-based Rude Health has all the angles covered with a growing range of cereal mixes specially prepared to help you “Eat right, stay brilliant,” as the brand’s motto proclaims on its website. With no artificial flavors, added salts or sweeteners, the Rude Health cereal mix is not shy in the least about targeting the on-the-go, social media-savvy consumers with enticing ingredient graphics on the front panel of the gabletop paperbox used to pack the cereals, aptly enriched with interesting tidbits of information on the back panel explaining the product’s origins and the inspiration behind it. Which is perfect for the MUESLI No Flamin’ Raisins mix of rolled oats and flakes combined with a tasty infusion of apricots, apples, brazil nuts and dates—with a peekaboo window cutout on the sky-blue front panel allowing the shopper to get a good look at the wholesome bits of goodness inside. It’s hard not to crack a smile looking at the cheeky, die-cut graphic of lipstick-covered lips wrapped around a set of gleaming white teeth, captured in some kind of a spontaneous rant, on to take a healthy bite of an apricot in front of it.

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One of the hardest things to pack for yourself from scratch is a nourishing, simple and protein-loaded snack for an afternoon pick-me-up. While throwing a banana into the lunch bag is a good last resort, it does get a little long in the tooth when doing it on a daily basis, and there is always the risk of bruising or crushing it by accident by the time you get around to eating it. So I was absolutely delighted to come across the Maple Leaf Natural Selections Protinis packs, which combine nutrition and convenience without all the hassle of preparation. The light, slender 49-gram plastic containers—filled with perfect-sized portions of shaved turkey, cheese, and chia-seed crackers—easily fit into the tiniest of bags to provide a convenient and nutritious pick-me-up when you need it the most. Offered in two-pack paperboard sleeves decorated with eye-catching product depiction, the foil-lidded containers also have special dividers inserted inside to keep the three different foods separated from each other until opening to prevent them from blending into a crumbly mess.

Megan Moffat is a freelance writer living in Toronto.