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Packaging trends in the pharma & supplements sectors

Packaging trends in the pharma & supplements sectors

One might think that after the extremely strong emergence of modern pharmaceutical products and supplements in recent years, we should be oversaturated in this regard by now. But if you look at the latest developments, it seems like it was just the beginning. The FMCG or OTC sector within the pharma and supplements industry continues to boom. In this article, we take a look at the latest brand and design trends.

Introduction to the design trends for supplements

Classic OTC products are characterized by the fact that they visually imitate traditional medicines. For example, the products of Doppelherz and Co. still visually resemble the typical packaging of pharmacy products. With newer supplements, we are seeing steps in a wide variety of design directions. The approaches and looks are very varied. We would like to outline this diversity in a little more detail below with the help of a few examples.

Trend 1: Classic design interpreted in a modern way

A clear trend is the modern interpretation of classic designs of pharmaceutical products and supplements. Some brands still implement their packaging in a largely traditional way, but in an emphatically minimalist, contemporary manner – and above all, always with a special, almost “secret” philosophy in the background, which is intended to open up a whole new, exciting world of health promotion for us. Two good examples of this are the Orthomol and Athletic Greens brands.



“Orthomol. Ready. For life.” With this slogan, the German family-owned company addresses everyone who wants to “get healthy, stay healthy, perform well, get the best possible care,” “no matter what life brings at the moment.” The brand offers micronutrient combinations based on orthomolecular nutritional medicine.

By way of explanation, two-time Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling, who was a major influence on orthomolecular medicine, defined this direction in the journal Science in 1968 as follows:

“Orthomolecular medicine is the maintenance of good health and the treatment of disease by altering the concentration of substances normally present in the body and responsible for health.”

Orthomol’s packaging is clearly presented in “pharmacy style”, but with strikingly modern elements. In this context, for example, the clear, uncluttered typography and the color, which varies depending on the product, should be mentioned. The latter makes it easier for the customer to distinguish. Examples:

– “pro 6” = purple
– “immune” = orange
– “sport” = gray


Athletic Greens

Athletic Greens stands for “fundamental nutrition made easier.” The products of the trendy US brand contain 75 vitamins, minerals, botanicals, bacterial cultures and other ingredients from real foods in a spoon.

When designing the packaging, the designers of the Athletic Greens brand took their cue from the company’s minimalist product philosophy. Interestingly, the original predominant brand color was blue. But the creative minds responsible for the branding ultimately concluded that a brand with the word “Green” in its name should then indeed feature green as its primary color.

They decided on a modern green with a blue tint that looks soulful, healthy and clean. The typography appears modern-sporty, while the layouts are classic and timeless – inspired by old advertising layouts. Headlines in Times Now font, a revival of Times New Roman, aptly reflect the design combination of classic and modern that runs throughout.

Simple yet modern stamps and badges round off the packaging design. They convey the feeling of trustworthiness that is elementary in this product area. Another characteristic feature of the branding are the lifestyle photographs with a cinematic flair. They capture all kinds of active people in a moving way. In this way, Athletic Greens suggests that its products help everyone improve their performance.


Trend 2: Unabashedly modern packaging designs

Be it Phyto Nectars, Nymble, Olly, Source, Awkn, Wild Dose, Wile or Perla Helsa: each of these brands comes with an individual approach to supplementation, each of which targets specific life problems, aspects and groups of people. The brands and packaging are correspondingly diverse. But they all have one thing in common: the appearance has little or nothing to do with the classic packaging of pharmaceutical products from the pharmacy. It is thoroughly modern, as various design elements make clear:

– contemporary graphics
– bright colors
– playful fonts
– creative minimalism

The entire presentation of these brands looks absolutely up to date and appealing in the way that Instagram and, in general, social media users appreciate, because the products are primarily marketed through these channels. You can see a certain coolness factor in the packaging, a look that says, “We’re just fun to consume. We improve your life, your well-being.” The emphatically positive, optimistic design conveys joy. The difference to classic supplements in the staid pharmacy look is clear to see.


Basically, the supplements of this trend type are characterized by a distinctive branding and a strong positioning. In terms of content, they focus on solving “modern” health problems or, in some cases, even on over-improving the physical and mental state. With their “secret” philosophies, ideas and tips, as well as literally peculiar ingredients, they each bring us something unprecedented in the form. No wonder that this makes us curious and we are attracted.

Trend 3: New Old Medicine

Another trend in the supplements industry is the so-called New Old Medicine. This is about rediscovering traditional recipes, rediscovering lost knowledge from older generations and applying it in a new way. The result of this movement, which is supposed to lead us back to the origin in a certain way, are commonly products inspired by nature or – as it is suggested to us – originated from nature.

The brands and products suggest us to know our true nature, to bring our organism back to its natural balance and thus to improve our life. Looking at the designs of these products, we sometimes come across traditional elements from the past, which are supposed to evoke appropriate associations, or nature-related motifs. Representatives of New Old Medicine are Wooden Spoon Herbs, Alice, Hrbis and The Herbtender.



Trend 4: Cannabis

Not new, but still growing is the trend cannabis. The popularity of hemp products is steadily increasing, although in some countries of the world the products are still viewed very critically and are the subject of heated debate. Representatives of the trend are for example the brands Mesobis, Bloom and Cannabotech.



Conclusion: Supplements, sport and performance

Finally, it should be mentioned that sport plays a major role in the various trends in the FMCG/OTC pharma and supplements sector, as can be seen particularly well in Athletic Greens. Healthy lifestyle and performance are more in demand than ever. Often, a famous personality is the face behind the campaigns, otherwise, of course, social media influencers also take over this part.

About Berndt+Partner Creality
As a global agency for brand and packaging design and innovation for food, non-food and OTC products in the fast moving consumer goods sector, we present the latest trends, news and insights from the packaging industry. Our interdisciplinary team with an experience of more than 1,000 projects in over 20 years keeps you up to date.
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