When executed properly, packaging designs can act as marketing materials too, communicating the brands value to its consumers. To be attractive, packaging should be both functional and visually pleasing. There's no point in buying a fancy water bottle if you can’t open it, right? Hence, when it comes to packaging design, plenty of research and experience is needed to ensure the perfect balance of beauty, functionality and branding.

Let's look at a few examples of compelling FMCG packaging designs in India:

1. Chai Point, a chai and food delivery service and one of India’s largest retail chains, have been path-breaking in the field of innovative packaging with their heat-retaining disposable chai delivery flasks. The flasks are uniquely designed to retain heat for at least 45-60 minutes and are environment-friendly as well, a use and throw model. The company saw the necessity to invent this flask based on customer demand for tea delivery at their offices and the scalability and hygiene that is missing in traditional thermos-based chai deliveries in India.

2. ID Fresh is a well-known Indian fresh food brand selling readymade, preservative-free idly, dosa & vada batters, along with other convenience foods. Providing readymade batter is no easy feat as it is extremely sticky and getting the shape and size right is a messy job. Maintaining consistency is also crucial. This brand came up with a solution by designing a ‘transformer pouch’ with a zip lock and flat bottom, that helps users avoid transferring the contents into another household container and store it as-is in the fridge. They also patented their ‘squeeze-and-fry pack’ design that forms the vada as the batter is squeezed through the spout, with the hole intact!

4. Paperboat, a healthy drinks brand launched in August 2013 in India, quickly becoming a much-adored household name with their beautiful packaging. Paperboat cleverly plays on the nostalgic psychology of the consumer and the design on the packaging successfully echoes this theme using bright colors, graphics, unconventional bold fonts and mischievous content. The packaging itself incorporate Doypacks, the shapes of which are designed to feel like squeezing a fruit. Right from the shape, to the base white color, this brand successfully attracts a consumer’s attention within that crucial 5-minute walk across the Department Store aisle.

5. Tata Tea Fusion, an Indian brand under Tata Global Beverages, came up with an innovative, dual-compartment packaging that could store two different types of teas in one pouch, retaining the freshness of each. For example, the 250g ‘Superior Assam’ and ‘Green Tea Enhancer’ fusion pack comes with a larger portion of the former and a smaller portion of the latter. A Superior Assam and Kenyan Tea Enhancer fusion pack is the other variant.

This packaging design was created so that customers could experiment with tea’s according to their liking without compromising on the quality. Extensive market research which discovered that Assam, Green and Kenyan are the best selections that bring quality and taste together, went into conceptualising this product and the subsequent design

6. Indulekha Bhringa Hair Oil, a brand under Hindustan Unilever Limited (originally under Mosons Group), has shown to be quite innovative with its product packaging. To make it easier for people to apply oil on their hair, this brand introduced a ‘selfie’ bottle in 2014 which incorporated a comb-shaped cap. Not only did this increase the functionality of the packaging, but also reportedly increased sales by at least 30 per cent, leading to the design being patented by the company.

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