3 Brands with Iconic Holiday Packaging Designs

Holiday packaging is the perfect opportunity to engage with customers and create a memorable experience for them. With the holiday season upon us, we thought we would reflect on some brands with iconic seasonal packaging.

However, before we jump straight into these brands, there are various factors to consider when it comes to this specific type of packaging:


The brands we mention in this article are large scale, so something to keep in mind is the size of your business. Do you have funds to allocate to special packaging? By specifying a budget, you can immediately determine the types of packaging that will be available to you.


How many units do you expect to sell using this seasonal packaging? Typically, holiday packaging is used from the end of October until the end of December of any given year. Will you sell enough units to cover the costs of this special packaging? Depending on the type of packaging you want to use, the cost per unit could be anywhere from $0.10 to $6.00. It’s important to know how many you expect to sell so that you can order a realistic quantity.

Colour Scheme

A great deal of companies are engaging in seasonal packaging, so it’s important to make sure your products stand out. How can you do that? The majority of customers are going with some variation of green and red, or even black and gold. Many designs tend to be flashy, but maybe you should consider going minimalistic. Try to think out of the box with your packaging design, or ask us to help!


You shouldn’t be doing holiday packaging just because everyone else is doing it. We’ve all grown up with that mentality haven’t we? What you should be doing is waiting for inspiration to hit. Throughout the year, keep an eye out for any sort of inspiration – you never know where it’ll come from! Depending on the product you are selling, the design could be anything from wacky and silly to professional and luxurious.


If you plan on doing this packaging every year, will you keep the same design? Or will you switch things up as the years go by? This could influence the quantity of units you purchase, as well as help to leave a lasting impression on customers. This last point actually leads us to our first example…


Is there really any other brand we could have started with? When discussing iconic seasonal packaging, this is always a favourite. What’s really special about Starbucks is how inclusive they are. To the occasional Starbucks patron, it’s just a decorated cup for the season. But take a closer look and you’ll see just how much effort is behind the design.

Each year, Starbucks staff make an extra effort to create a festive environment, donning the red apron and rolling out the holiday cups filled with seasonal drinks. Not only that, but the designs on the cups can also be found on other products – take a look at the take-home coffee packages available for purchase at stores. Designs are fully incorporated into that year’s theme, and there is no better representation of holiday cheer than the package you receive from Starbucks.

The designers at Starbucks change the holiday cup design each year, accounting for festive activities, coffee representation, popular themes during that given year, and other attributes. Only a few years ago, Starbucks was in hot water after their release of the 2015 holiday cup. The unblemished red cup came under fire as traditionalists argued that it didn’t properly represent the season. This is the perfect example of staying consistent. Customers have come to expect a certain level of design from this company and will speak out if packaging does not meet that!

Coca Cola

A close second in the iconic packaging game is none other than Coca Cola.

Coke’s holiday packaging is especially memorable because of its direct interaction with consumers. Their main aim is to encourage customers to get into the festive spirit with images of Father Christmas and polar bears, along with other seasonal characters. Most notably, Coke also has their Coca Cola Christmas Truck and tv advertisements, which are often hailed as the start of the festive season.

During this holiday period, Coca Cola takes advantage of the vintage packaging trend by bring out their classic glass bottles, and often upgrade the packaging labels. They have even created a special perforated label for their bottles with instructions on how to change that label into a bow.

Coca Cola doesn’t change which packaging products they use, but do change the accessory artwork. This allows them to save costs as they can use the same base year round, with the exception of their cans which they print on directly. The association of the polar bears and Christmas figures allow consumers to instantly associate those products with the festive season.

Godiva Chocolate

Our last example of iconic holiday packaging is Godiva. Their packaging is luxurious to begin with, so how can they make it even more memorable?

The purpose of Godiva’s packaging is to exude opulence and be a gift in itself – no extra wrapping necessary when giving this to someone else! And they’re not wrong – the classic gold box with a red satin bow wrapped around is a look that people often try to achieve when wrapping gifts.

For the holidays, Godiva takes their holiday packaging to another level of gifting – some stay in their gold boxes, while other products look more like a traditionally wrapped gift. They play on the classic theme of their packaging, maintaining the box structure and ribbon accessory, but adjust colours and patterns to coincide with the holiday season.

Specifically made for this time of year is the ornament box – rigid boxes shaped like stars and orbs that can be reused. The chocolates themselves are also wrapped in different foil colours such as red, green and gold.

By keeping some of the features of their packaging the same, their products are able to remain similar to their consumers, but elicit a festive feeling from them as well.

No matter what your brand sells, consistency and inclusion are key attributes. Whatever you do, do it regularly and incorporate the holiday design into other aspects. Graphics on your website, storefront displays, and advertising are just some examples.

Also when creating seasonal packaging, it’s best to start sooner rather than later. Contact us today to get a jump on next year’s packaging – it’s our favourite project!

Gabrielle Ho
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