Passion for Packaging Innovation

無糖珈琲 DyDo Black Coffee 190 ml

無糖珈琲 Black Coffee by DyDo is an interesting example of a can design. It is designed to look like a coffee barrel.

Its mission is to convey wholesomeness, through association with its source, a coffee barrel, which arguably, is itself a package.

Package Design 101

We are sometimes entertained by approaches taken by brand owners, packers, and co-packers when it comes to sensory appeal aspects. We often see association errors.

Companies go through significant undertakings without necessarily doing due diligence on the consumer front.

Sensory Appeal

Sensory appeal works through all five senses. In the packaging industry, all five senses are often employed, but hardly all together at the same time.

  • Sight: Visual appeal is the key. Graphics designs and shapes are the main tools. Also, proper usage of glossy vs. matte finishes have great value. Sight is the easiest among the five senses to address from a packaging point-of-view. As a result, it is the one sense most frequently appealed to.
  • Touch: A huge variety of textures can be found on packages. Addressing the sense of touch is often not as easy as it is with the visual appeal factors. Due to its importance with consumers, touch is the second most addressed sense in packaging.
  • Hearing: Many people prefer cans because of its loud crack, despite it being a poor usability package. Tamper devices also often employ auditory and tactile feedback.
  • Smell: Scratch-n-smell package products have been around for ages. Olfactory is an important sensory appeal factor, but is often costly to implement on packages.
  • Taste: While the package itself may not address the sense of taste, the products packed often do.


In order for sensory appeal to work with consumers, it needs to facilitate strong association and link to the packed product itself.

A barrel is associated with the shipment and storage of bulk products. Consumers are often one step removed from a barrel, unless the product is being sold out of a barrel, which is unusual. Given that, there is little association between the shape of this package, and the coffee product that is packed.

Then why do it? Because when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In psychology books, this is often referred to as availability bias.

Brand owners resort to easy approaches like this without doing due diligence, hoping that it will increase the chances of standing out at the point-of-purchase (POP). Unfortunately, the packaging industry is not immune to design by the seat-of-the-pants.

Fortunately, consumer insights like these are easy to find and are easy to test with the proper methods, tools, and processes.

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