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Packaging in Food Delivery: How does it impact your customer’s perception?

By Minal Tayal 1st April 2024

In the age of convenience, food delivery is supreme. But the journey from restaurant kitchen to your hungry hands doesn’t end with the knock on your door. The unboxing experience, that delightful or frustrating moment of revealing your meal, plays a surprising role in how you perceive the entire experience.

Food delivery packaging goes beyond just keeping your food safe. Strategic design can significantly impact customer satisfaction, drive repeat business, and even influence how you taste the food itself. Let’s delve into the psychology behind this crucial touchpoint.

First Impressions Matter: Food Packaging as a Brand Extension

The packaging is the first physical interaction a customer has with your delivered meal. Studies show that strong first impressions are crucial for building brand loyalty. Appealing aesthetics, clear branding elements, and high-quality materials all contribute to a positive perception.

Imagine receiving a steaming bowl of pho in a flimsy cardboard box versus a beautifully designed container with the restaurant’s logo prominently displayed. The latter instantly elevates the perceived value and creates a more memorable experience.


  • 70% of consumers form an impression of a brand based solely on the packaging.
  • 62% of consumers are more likely to repurchase from a brand with premium packaging.

The Power of Perception: Packaging and Taste

Believe it or not, packaging can influence how you taste your food. A 2017 study by Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford, found that the color, weight, and even sound of packaging can alter taste perception. 

For example, food presented in red packaging might be perceived as spicier, while heavier packaging could make the food feel more luxurious.

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Sensory Appeal: Unboxing as an Experience

Food delivery platforms are constantly battling for customer attention. Packaging that goes beyond mere functionality and creates a delightful unboxing experience can be a powerful differentiator.

Consider including thoughtful touches like branded napkins, personalized messages, or even small samples for future orders. These elements elevate the experience from a simple transaction to a memorable moment.

Sustainability Concerns in Packaging in Food Delivery

The environmental impact of packaging in food delivery is a growing concern. However, studies by McKinsey & Company show that a significant portion of consumers are willing to pay a slight premium for sustainable packaging solutions.

Biodegradable containers, reusable boxes with deposit programs, and minimal yet effective insulation methods are all ways to address this issue and win over eco-conscious customers.


  • 61% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
  • 83% of millennials are willing to change their purchasing habits to reduce their environmental impact.

The Takeaway on Packaging Power

Food delivery packaging is more than just a box. It’s a silent brand ambassador, a tool for influencing perception, and a chance to create a lasting impression. By prioritizing functionality, aesthetics, and sustainability, restaurants and delivery platforms can elevate the customer experience, drive repeat business, and ensure their meals arrive not just safely, but also deliciously.


  • Invest in high-quality, well-designed packaging that reflects your brand identity.
  • Consider the psychological impact of color, weight, and materials on taste perception.
  • Create a delightful unboxing experience with thoughtful touches.
  • Embrace sustainable packaging solutions to meet customer expectations and environmental concerns.

By understanding the psychology of food delivery packaging, you can unlock a powerful tool to enhance customer satisfaction and build a thriving delivery business.

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