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How your customers make decisions?

In our research, we discovered that labels can have a powerful impact on how a food or drink product is perceived and received.

Labels can strongly influence the path of decision-making and can even bring about an unconscious judgement. As humans we are not aware we are doing this. Behavioural science research proves time and time again that how something is presented is very important in positively influencing consumer perception and decision-making. But how exactly does a humble label influence the decision of a consumer? What goes on in our minds?

The limits of the unconscious mind

Did you know that 11 million sensory neurons are firing around the brain every second, but only 40 of these travel through conscious pathways? Humans are ‘cognitive misers’. In other words, we have very limited brain space – not to mention motivation, energy and time.

The psychological considerations of labelling

When it comes to labelling your tasty creations, there are three important psychological factors to be aware of:


Humans have limited attention spans, but certain things that the brain deems to be important do get through quickly and forcefully. Your own name or aspects of danger, for example, can push their way right to the front of your awareness, even in loud and hectic surroundings.

Emotion trumps reason

The non-conscious, emotional part of the brain is more automatic and influential than the conscious, rational part. In other words, emotion trumps reason. We tend to buy with our hearts and then justify our decision with our heads.


To help us make decisions, we rely on rules of thumb or shortcuts known as heuristics. For example, when a shelf is untidy and stock is low, we can reasonably deduce that the product is popular and therefore probably good and well worth a try.

What does this mean for your food or drink business?

This overall understanding of the psychology of human decision-making helps us to build the steps of a consumer’s journey. We now know that your labels need to:

  • Catch a consumer’s limited attention span
  • Engage them emotionally
  • And ‘nudge’ them towards a specific behaviour using mental shortcuts
olive oil bottle

4 steps to a successful label design

The right label for the job

It is important to take time to select the right Avery WePrint label for your food or drink products. Consider the options available like waterproof, transparent, glossy or matt as well as different shapes and sizes. There is so much more to a label than a plain white rectangle, especially when labelling bottles, jars, boxes, plastics and other food and drink packaging.

Grab their attention

A successful label will be eye-catching and will draw the consumer’s interest in potentially sampling your products. There are seven key things you need to consider when designing your labels: positioning, contrast, surprise, visuals, simplicity, and appealing to the primal part of the brain.

Engage and persuade

Our study confirmed that once you’ve attracted the consumer’s attention, it is important to then engage their brain in a meaningful way. Rousing curiosity, priming expectation, helping in the decision-making, showing emotion and displaying information can all result in a customer trying or purchasing your products.

Producing behaviour

If the first three stages are successful, your label will produce a behavioural response like a confirmed purchase, brand loyalty, or even the readiness to pay more for food and drink.

Choosing the right label for the job

Simply adding a label is the first step to getting your product or package seen as it increases the likelihood of it getting noticed. Think about the right Avery WePrint label for the task as well as making sure it looks great on the item you are sticking it on to. have labels small enough to stick on small food items, right through to A0 sized labels for walls. There are also labels for a variety of surfaces, including glass, card, plastic, and paper.

Grab attention

Making your label eye-catching is the next step. There are so many small food and drink businesses out there so your product labels need to cut through all the noise and grab a consumer’s attention by highlighting what the brain deems important. We found there are seven ways a label can grab attention:

Engage and persuade

This is the stage where the consumer will make their all-important decision on which food or drink item to buy. Labels are more effective if they encourage some kind of processing, thought or deliberation from your customers. The more the brain is engaged and attention is invested, the more likely the positive outcome. You’ve made them stop, now try and make them think. And there are five key ways in which to do just that:

Producing behaviour

Finally, once a label has caught a consumer’s attention, and then engaged and persuaded them, desired behaviours such as purchases, increased spend and recommendation are likely to follow. And all because of a well-considered, well-designed and well-placed label.

Follow our simple steps to create the perfect label

Design the perfect label for your food and drink products

The elements featured on this label were tested in our experiments and were found to be very effective at bringing heightened engagement. They increased the probability of loving the parcel by 264% and perceiving the parcel’s contents as high quality by a massive 564%. Imagine the impact of using some of these principles for your own food and drink products.

how to design a label

If you apply science to your label design it can lead to repeat purchase of food and drink products and improved customer loyalty. Our research has revealed the importance of thinking more about every label you design to ensure your products attract attention and encourage someone to taste or purchase.

Create designs like these for your food or drink products

We think it’s better to see existing designs in action to help you fully understand what this scientific study has taught us. You can then apply them to your own branding more effectively. All the designs below have been created using the Avery WePrint software to show how you can make eye-catching and persuasive product and packaging labels for your food and drink products.

Add emotion to labels

Use product signifiers

Think about the images you choose

Our research highlighted the importance of including images and icons in your label designs. Emotional images, such as hearts or faces, proved most successful. When a label included an emotive image, people spent 13% longer looking at the item.

Convey quality in your labels

When labels included an image which related to the product, the label performed better in our experiments. For example, strawberries on jam labels or milk on a cheese product

Handwriting fonts

Bold shapes and colour

Strong branding

Show product quality in your labels

Handwriting fonts proved most successful in our scientific study. A label displaying a handwritten font can improve the potential for word-of-mouth recommendation by 46%. The importance of borders and bold colours was also one of the key findings from the research. On this oil label the design suggests a high-quality product with its strong branding and good use of colour and images which relate to the product. Rational information about the oil itself is displayed clearly to help the consumer make a purchase decision.

Just a few more things until your a label professional

Design your own labels in minutes with Avery WePrint

Now that you understand some of the main principles of successful label design, it is time to start creating your new labels. With Avery WePrint, you simply design your labels using our easy-to-use software and then we will print them for you.

This method of uploading is the most versitiel as we accept some of the most common file types for images, you don't need to have saved your image in a spcial format. You can take a picture on your phone and then uplaod it to here, it's that simple.

If you need some design inspiration you can select one of our label templates to get you started and edit it with your own text and imagery, we have professional designs to choose from ranging from honey to business card layout.

If you already have a high quality PDF of your sticker or label you can upload it with this dedicated PDF Uploader. This will ensure the highest quality product for you. Don't forget to add 2mm Bleed to your image if it has a background colour or image.

Once you have ordered your labels they will be with you within 3 to 5 days. If you are in a hurry, you can choose Express 48 Hour Label Production and receive them within 2 to 3 days.

how to create a label design

When sending out your food or drink products

When you send out food and drink to your customers you will want to make sure it has a big impact the moment it lands. In our research experiments, we measured the impact of using multiple labels on a parcel in comparison to parcels without labels. We found an average uplift on the parcels with multiple labels of 129% for brand love and 116% for parcel content quality. Using multiple labels also increased the likeliness of word of mouth promotion by 135% and purchase intent by 113%.

Special Messaging

This method of uploading is the most versitiel as we accept some of the most common file types for images, you don't need to have saved your image in a spcial format. You can take a picture on your phone and then uplaod it to here, it's that simple.


Deciding to use a label is always better then no label at all.


Size Does Matter.
Make the labell as large as reasonably possible, and make the key label elements large too.


Use images or icons in your labels and be very visual. Think carefully about the picture you use as labels displaying images that are clearly linked to your product or packaging will perform much better.


It pays to place the labels in the centre of your irem and to place the most important information in the centre of the label. Be careful not to crowd this area of the label with too much information.


Think of ways you can make your labels suprising and different.


Keep everything sinple.
Make sure the design is fluent and degestible.


Provide all the rational information consumers need to make a decision, particulary when it comes to price.


Grab attention through stimuli that naturally makes humans stop and look.
Emotional words like 'love' or 'pride' or images of faces, babies and animals all play to our primal instincts.