Part 1: 2019 Annual Package Design Gallery

Healthcare Packaging evaluates an array of over-the-counter product packaging designs, assessing the pros and cons from a user perspective. For the first time, a CBD product is featured as an OTC product, along with hello Oral Care, Theraflu Power Pods and more.

Curaleaf Transdermal Patches with CBD
Curaleaf Transdermal Patches with CBD

Curaleaf Transdermal Patches with CBD

For the first time, a cannabidiol (CBD) product is featured in our Annual Packaging Design Gallery. A select set of CBD products officially became over the counter this spring at a few major chains in certain states.



  • Minimal graphics; quantity is easy to see on a leaf-like shape but the package is free of marijuana imagery

  • Directions are simple, noting onset time, duration and dosage both on carton and individual pouches

  • Thin envelope-style carton (less than 1 cm deep) and pouches are right-sized for the product and easy to transport

  • The metallic blue primary pouches have easy-tear notches on both sides, wide enough for fingers to grip


  • Recommended application areas are helpful but are written in paragraph form where a bulleted format may be easier for the user to read

  • Post-use skin cleaning instructions would be beneficial

  • The directions are concise because they are simple and fit well in the space, perhaps because these products don’t face the same Drug Facts labeling requirements as many OTC products



hello Oral Care



  • Minimal graphics allow for conversational, explanatory copy without a “busy” feel

  • Color-coordinated products guide users to various needs; the tube itself is a sleek matte black

  • Matte paperboard carton features prominent displays regarding animal testing, sourcing and manufacturing

  • To avoid surprises, copy prepares the user that the toothpaste is an uncommon color (black)


  • Though there are FSC and Soy Ink symbols, the paperboard does not appear to have a recycling symbol, which can be helpful to prompt busy users


GSK Consumer Healthcare Theraflu Power Pods



  • The carton features comforting beverage graphics and a statement of compatibility with certain single-serve brewing machines

  • Abbreviated instructions with icons appear on the panel, with an easy-to-read list of icons/symptoms on the side

  • Each pod is safely packed in a bright purple pouch with liver warnings, instructions and a dotted line for cutting with scissors


  • Warnings above the drug facts are printed in caps, and there is a clear statement that each product is packed in a tamper evident pouch, but placement of the copy makes it a bit hard to read


  • While very convenient for those fighting colds, consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact from single-use pods, particularly when wrapped individually


CVS Health Ear Cleaners



  • The front panel features one cleaner in a blister and while this may make it harder to fit in cases for shipment, it’s helpful to see the product shape and size

  • The quantity is clearly marked (9 in box and 1 on card) and simple bullets on front cover the main benefits

  • Package allows for hanging or shelf placement; all space is used; the back has a flap that opens to reveal two information panels

  • “Please recycle” is on the side of the box and “open here” is helpful on back flap

  • Carton contains a detailed illustration of the ear anatomy and usage location (stop line)

  • “Did you know?” section offers helpful tips on other related activities for symptom prevention


  • Warnings are in paragraph form and a bit hard to read; the inner copy panels may benefit from symbols


  • The “stop line” for treatment is shown on the illustration in black, but perhaps a stop sign or red line might be beneficial


Natrol LLC Wellbelly Probiotics + Enzymes


  • The lightweight paperboard tube features attractive graphics and metallic accents

  • Product claims are easy to read on the shelf


  • The tube houses a bottle of 30 capsules; the entire system, while very lightweight, is a lot of packaging/volume for the product size


  • The product states that it does not contain a number of allergens such as shellfish and tree nuts; though it clearly states “No,” the writing is at the bottom and a bit difficult to see in black text




This is a two-part series. Click here for Part 2.

Learn more about consumer-friendly packaging solutions and machinery at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and the co-located Healthcare Packaging EXPO, September 23-25.

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