Annual OTC Package Design Gallery: Part 1

Each year, Healthcare Packaging evaluates an array of over-the-counter product packaging designs, assessing the pros and cons from a user perspective.

This year’s gallery featured many calming and minimalist aesthetics, signifying a consumer looking for relief at home and work—outside of the clinical setting.

Trends on the shelves

  • While perhaps not pandemic-related (with formulation, package design and commercialization often taking years), there was a notable increase in stress-fighting, anti-anxiety, and calming products, even for children.
  • Blues, greens, and serene imagery were featured more prominently than last year.
  • The minimalist trend continued with whitespace on labels and cartons, and casual, quippy copy directed at consumer.
  • Larger mainstream brands used nature-inspired images and touted few ingredients or “what’s absent” from the product.
  • More recyclable packaging and instructions featured.

Garden of Life Kids Stress ReliefKids Stress Relief


  • A shrink sleeve makes the most of the real estate, offering founder’s story, icons for expected effects, and symbols for gluten-free, recyclability, renewable energy use, and more
  • Calming sea and cloud images; suggested use lets parents know daily dosage
  • Square jar stands out on shelf; wide mouth child-resistant (CR) lid was easy to open


  • The sleeve was a bit curved on the bottom of two panels, which caused copy to distort slightly but it remained legible
  • Customers would presumably need to remove the sleeve before recycling

Olly Goodbye Stress Gummies

Screen Shot 2021 06 04 At 2 18 51 Pm


  • Bright standup recloseable pouch features serene blue and turquoise hues
  • Servings per package are clear; touts “Jet Set Friendly” size
  • Matte pouch with spot gloss/foil on front and back gives high-end look; notches for easy opening
  • Usage, warnings, and symbols on back are spaced well


  • Disposal instructions not specified

La Mend Inc. The Good Patch

Screen Shot 2021 06 04 At 2 25 19 Pm


  • Matte baby blue recloseable pouch with dreamy icons and whitespace (which is easier when Drug Facts are not required)
  • Back panel is well-organized with lines separating ingredients, directions, warnings, a link to a “surprise,” and more         


  • Disposal instructions not specified

Noho Health Inc. care/of Immunity

4 Noho Care Of APros

  • Matte outer carton in soothing green; matches matte rectangular easy grip bottle
  • This is part of a colorful care/of product family for various needs; enclosed leaflet showcases product combinations
  • Glossy lettering and imagery are printed on bottle; instructions are small but contrast well against simple background
  • Minimal abstract graphics allow for conversational, explanatory copy without a “busy” feel


  • Carton says “please recycle me” on bottom, but consumers may not know how to recycle the bottle (#7) depending on local infrastructure
  • More aesthetically minded consumers may notice that the white lid stands out against the coordinated pastel bottle and carton

Wyld Cannabis Infused Peach Gummies

Screen Shot 2021 06 04 At 2 24 26 PmPros

  • Eye-catching hexagonal carton with triangular top; THC symbol and potency are prominent
  • Batch-specific info is printed directly on carton and on jar; bright orange inner carton with warning copy; jar label also features botanical imagery
  • Opaque polypropylene CR pop-top jar features tamper-evident sticker and opening instructions on lid; jar opened smoothly and features serving info


  • It may be difficult to see the tiny recycling symbol on bottom of jar
  • Edible-specific instructions are useful and stand out in silver, but could potentially be missed on bottom of carton
  • The carton shape is certainly eye-catching, but it's good to note that anything that isn't flat on top becomes harder to stack in shipping cases. 

Check out Parts 2 and 3

Part 2: Cold and sleep medicine, and infant care

Part 3: Topicals, skin care, and personal care 

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