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Why labels in Japanese supermarkets change color, and what pictures can be seen on them


Japanese labels on products are works of art.

The business card of Japan is not only sake, modern electronics and sumo. In this unique country there is also a real cult of food packaging. Labels on jars, boxes, and, especially, wrappers here attach great importance.

In a box of sweets, each little sweetness, as a rule, is further wrapped in a separate “envelope”, with paper wrapping often used elements of origami. The pictures on the products are very colorful interesting and original. And recently there has been a tendency to make out food packaging in accordance with the seasons.


The cherry blossom season is a wonderful theme for packaging design.

The fact is that in the country of the rising sun there are no seasons like ours, but there are seasons and six of them. The climate in this country is specific, not very comfortable, the weather is changeable. But in the time of heavy rains, typhoons, snowfall, nature is unusually beautiful! The names of the seasons were given by the Japanese in accordance with their weather conditions and the events taking place at that moment. 

For example, the spring is the sakura blooming season, June is the rainy season, the period from October to mid-December is usually called the season of red leaves and so on. Since Japan is stretched from the south to the north, the change of seasons in the country is not simultaneous and in different regions can differ with a shift of a couple of weeks. But the names of the seasons are still the same throughout the country.


Seasonal jars of beer.

In the spring, when sakura blossoms, supermarket shelves are filled with sachets of juice, boxes of sweets and even beer cans with a picture of delicate white and pink flowers.


The drink is interesting not only externally: it has the taste of sakura.

At the end of summer, when there is unbearable heat and ripen watermelons, you can refresh yourself with Coca-Cola with watermelon on the label.


Seasonal watermelon Coke.

In late autumn, shop windows turn red from maple leaves, which in Japan are called “Momiji.”


Fruits and maple leaves on a jar.

In addition to seasonality, the people of the country of the rising sun try to use in the design of packages and the symbols of prefectures. Therefore, traveling inside the country, they often buy as souvenirs products with the image of this or that corner of Japan.


Candy with recognizable symbols of the island of Hokkaido.

For example, on the island of Hokkaido (it is the same administrative unit), candies and other goods with the image of this prefecture are sold. The island has very memorable outlines, and they have become the visiting card of Hokkaido. Its image any Japanese immediately recognizes on the label, as we learn the Italian “boot”. 

Bring a close souvenir with the prefectural symbols – in the order of things, like in our country, for example, bring a famous carrot from Tula. Apartments of the Japanese are regularly filled with such gifts from relatives and friends and, frankly, the owners do not always have time to eat all the numerous souvenir products before the expiry date.

Sometimes, as a prefectural business card on packages, caricature images of local politicians are used, in which they emphasize their origin or some recognizable features of appearance or character. And recently in the country you can hear more and more talk about the fact that it would be nice to officially allow the prefectural symbols and car plates to be applied.


In autumn, from maple leaves, everything is red even in shops.

At first glance, all this may seem like a strange fad of oriental people. But if you think about it, such an attentive and reverent attitude to changes in the weather, to the peculiarities of your native nature and everything that happens in the country fits very well into Japanese philosophy, according to which a person is inseparably connected with nature and the place in which he lives. And, in the end, buying a bottle of juice or a package of milk with such a bright, interesting packaging is much more interesting than with bored and boring images of famous brands!


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