Why do consumers love transparent labeling?

Clearly, they want to see your product

Photo of prepared food with transparent label

There’s a new food packaging trend that’s everywhere, and yet you probably can’t even see it. Which means it’s working! 

It’s transparent packaging, and it’s benefiting both consumers and companies. Let’s take a look at what’s going on and what it might mean for you.

The general goal is visibility. Customers want to see the product. Companies want to show off the product. Packaging that gets out of the way can serve both audiences. But there’s a lot more to it than that.


  • Confidence
    When a customer can see the product, they have no reason to fret about being misled by a picture. Especially for products like fast food, we’ve all seen plenty of comparisons between the advertised image and what’s actually served up at the counter. There’s no better way to dispel that concern than by opening a window to what you’re selling. When customers can look as closely as they want, they see your product without any filters. This isn’t Instagram, after all.
  • Imagination 
    Once customers can see what you’re selling, then their imagination can take flight. Will they eat your strawberries at a picnic? Or would your soda be perfect to crack open while watching soccer? Or could they throw a dinner party where your crackers make the perfect hors d’oeuvres? You get the picture—and so do they. When people have a concrete image of what you have to offer, it can inspire them to see how they can enjoy it. Once they can see that, they’re much more likely to choose.
  • Options 
    The innovation behind transparent labeling—flexible film packaging—also gives producers the ability to tap into trends like single-serve options or the 100-calorie craze. As a result, and producers have even more ways to market and consumers have more ways to enjoy their favorite foods.
  • Freshness 
    Visibility also allows customers to see what they are buying to determine freshness. There are no moldy stalks, browned leaves, or hidden bruises. It gives them the benefit of unwrapped food items, but with protection. Plus, with increasing options for resealing, they can keep opened packages fresher for even longer.
  • Safety 
    In part, this is the same as freshness. Customers know it’s safe to eat because it’s fresh. But there’s a second layer—literally. Transparent food packaging can be extraordinarily safe because of the materials that go into it. Thanks in large part to flexible film food packaging, it’s now possible to use transparent packaging not just safely, but also affordably. The advances in flexible films mean that you can show your product proudly and be sure that it’s well protected.
  • Allure 
    These flexible film packaging options have another advantage: design. For one, transparent packaging can stand out. A clear window that showcases the product is one thing. But with so many more options for form factors, window shapes, material combinations, and more, transparent food packaging gives you an opportunity to give your product a truly unique appeal. Plus, unlike rigid packaging that requires an additional layer for printing, flexible packaging can be printed on directly, making it even more customizable than ever. Think of it as creating the perfect picture frame around the artwork, which is your product. 

Now, those notions may make sense on their own. But just as you know that package design needs to be done in a way that ensures safety, you can also look to research to see how transparent packaging is proven to have a beneficial effect on consumer behavior. Surveys have found that most shoppers believe it’s important to see a product through its packaging.

If transparency is something you want on a brand level, then it could make sense to do it across products, regardless of whether or not those tend to be the types of foods that most attract customers with their own delicious images.

Food products with clearly labeled ingredients

There’s another way to be transparent: clear labeling.

Not just the material, but the information. And, just as with transparent packaging, there’s research to show how clear labeling can improve sales: almost 40% of consumers would be willing to purchase a brand new product as long as it has clear information. This is especially big in organic and health food categories, where it can help smaller brands even compete with larger, household names.

What does clear labeling look like?

  • Specific
    We’ve all seen “natural flavors” on a label. Even if it’s natural, the vagueness doesn’t inspire confidence. Companies that list out every specific ingredient have an appeal to consumers who are increasingly wanting to know exactly what they’re eating.
  • Concise
    A huge amount of text might seem like it’s providing more information, but it’s just as possible that it’s concealing something. A concise label hides nothing, just informs a consumer.
  • Complete
    The “and more…” can seem like a good thing, suggesting that there’s some sort of additional good stuff. However, this vagueness can also raise questions and make a consumer skeptical about what “more” actually means.


By now, the value of transparent labeling should be clear. If you’re interested in exploring how you can take advantage, talk to the food packaging experts at Veritiv today!