Seasonal packaging examples and ideas for how brands can drive sales

Apr 26, 2023 by Mark Dingley

Properly designed & constructed packaging gives products smooth movement through the supply chain


Seasonal packaging examples and ideas for how brands can drive sales

Seasonal packaging is a great way for brands to grab the attention of shoppers and drive sales.

How many times have you bought a product for Christmas because the festive packaging makes it easy to gift? Or you’ve picked up a bag of lollies for Halloween, simply because the packaging looks spooky?

But it's not just about creating a standout design: brands can also use seasonal packaging to communicate important information about their products and add value for customers. For example, you might include a festive recipe on your packaging, ideas for Easter activities, a special offer or drive customers to seasonal online content.

In this article, we’ll look at the best examples of seasonal packaging in Australia and around the world. From incredible designs to added features and offers, we’ll explore different ways you can create seasonal packaging that is not only functional, but also adds value for the customer and your business.

Creative examples of seasonal packaging

M&Ms Halloween

Mars is brilliant at leveraging the much-loved M&Ms characters and placing them into seasonal situations – and the manufacturer knows that Halloween is a growing sales opportunity in Australia.

The confectionery manufacturer conducted a study and found 43% of Australians plan to celebrate Halloween, with nearly 60% claiming Halloween is growing as a celebration in their residential area.

Tasmania has the highest Halloween participation at 88%, followed by both South Australia and Western Australia at 82% each.

Money spent on confectionery during the Halloween period is $21.89 per celebrator, on average, with one-third spending between $15-30 each year, 28% spending between $30-45, and 24% spending from $5-15.

Takeaway: Know your market. If you can see an opportunity for seasonal sales, think about how you can tap into it with your packaging.

Toblerone Ho Ho Ho!

Toblerone has a creative, cost-effective strategy to bring some holiday excitement to the shelves without worrying about waste products by unsold seasonal packaging.

The manufacturer uses a seasonal sleeve to cover up its normal packaging when it comes to Father’s Day or Christmas, without changing the recognisable shape of its chocolate bar. After all, Toblerone only needs its triangular shape for brand recognition ¬–¬ it’s been around since 1908.

This simple trick increased yearly sales by 400% when first printed in 2006.

Takeaway: The clever packaging sleeve means product wastage is not a worry – it’s only the sleeves that are wasted, not the product. Another approach is to use labelling for short-runs. Seasonal labels are a cost-effective way to add a seasonal edge to your products without changing the whole packaging design. Plus you can benefit from quick turnaround times and high volume prints.

However, be careful not to confuse or repel customers with your seasonal packaging. For example, Coca-Cola once released special edition cans that were white instead of the traditional red, which led many customers to wrongly believe they were buying the diet version of the drink.

Woolworths Reindeer Carrots

How do you turn an everyday vegetable into a must-buy Christmas product? Tap into tradition.

Woolworths made sure carrots were on every parent’s grocery list in the lead up to Christmas. And all it took was a simple change in packaging design to appeal to the age-old Christmas Eve tradition – putting out carrots for Santa’s reindeer.

Woolworths researched night-before-Christmas traditions and found that three-quarters (76%) of Australians leave a treat for Santa and his reindeer in the hope that it will sustain them on their journey around the world. Just one in five (21%) are motivated solely by the hope of getting presents.

Takeaway: Seasonal packaging isn’t just for luxury items and confectionery – think outside the box for fresh produce and you can drive seasonal sales.

Pepsi Super Bowl

Limited editions can create excitement among regular, loyal customers around seasonal periods and holiday events.

This Pepsi Super Bowl packaging is a great example. Sometimes described as an “unofficial national holiday” in the USA, the Super Bowl is a huge opportunity for brands – and not just for those who can afford a coveted ad spot during the game. After all, grocery stores have consistently seen an increase in traffic leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, with the amount of consumer spending surrounding the game hitting US$13.9 billion in 2021.

Half-time show sponsor Pepsi launched its limited edition packaging as part of its Super Bowl LIII campaign, drawing on the buzz around the event. A factor to consider here is to add a sense of luxury, through special finishes on your packs (foil embossing, spot varnishing) or clever structural design that makes the pack stand out.

In 2021, they added an augmented reality (AR) code to their packaging as part of the celebration for Pepsi’s 10th year as the sponsor of the half-time show. When scanned, the code led consumers to a unique website,, where they could enjoy behind-the-scenes videos and an AR selfie-filter on Instagram.

Takeaway: Make your seasonal packaging part of a bigger marketing campaign to engage customers and build brand loyalty.

Lay’s Summer

Seasonal packaging can be just that – seasonal. Lay’s created a collection of special edition packages to celebrate summer. Partnering with French artist Malika Favre, the packaging drew on the graphic artist’s bold minimalist style to bring to life classic moments of summer that consumers could connect with.

Takeaway: Extend the appeal of your seasonal packaging – don’t limit it to a short festive period. For example, rather than focusing on Easter, your packaging can celebrate autumn.

Coca-Cola Lunar New Year

Use seasonal packaging to create something beautiful. Coca-Cola is renowned for creating eye-catching special edition bottles, and the 2019 Lunar New Year bottle was no exception.

Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year and Spring Festival, is the biggest cultural occasion across Asia, and locally is celebrated by some 1.5 million Asian-Australians – a massive potential market for brand. And that’s before we include Asian tourists.

In the two weeks leading up to Spring Festival, the average spend is over $1000 with a good portion spending between $2000 to $5000. For food & beverage brands especially, Lunar New Year can be lucrative as feasting is a major part of the festival.

The Coca-Cola bottle wrap evoked the look of a cloth kimono, often worn to Lunar New Year celebrations, with a soft palette of reds, golds and white. For the Year of the Pig, they even included a pig hiding among all the cherry blossoms.

Not to be outdone, Johnnie Walker Blue Label also launched a Year of the Pig Limited Edition with a striking design. Moving away from the dominant red colour of the Lunar New Year was a bold move but one that worked harmoniously with its branding.

Takeaway: Be inclusive. Australia is a multicultural nation and Spring Festival is a huge opportunity to engage with a growing market. However, always consult a multicultural marketing expert and consult the community to ensure you execute the campaign properly and don’t risk cultural appropriation.

Over to you

Weighing up your seasonal packaging ideas? Or maybe you’re ready to bring your seasonal packaging ideas to life? Find out how Matthews Australasia can help. Our technology can help you create short-run labels, barcodes, QR codes, and more.