Millions of packages are delivered every day.
Creating a packaging design experience is more important than ever.
Packaging isn’t just about good aesthetic or graphic design. A strong, effective packaging serves several purposes: it protects and preserves products, connects with consumer values and it’s a key element in brand design, positioning and differentiation.
Whether it is in the world of e-commerce or traditional retail, packaging has grown and evolved.
The packaging industry has adapted to various trends worldwide, as e-commerce continues to be a consumer preference, technology advances and sustainability continues to be a priority.
So what are the new trends in packaging what will serve brands like yours to compete more effectively?
1. Sustainability: The #1 Priority
One of the strongest trends we continue to see is a strong consumer desire for packaging that is aligned with contributing to a more environmentally-friendly future.
Whether it’s through limiting the use of single-use plastic or choosing brands that are ecologically conscious, consumer behaviour and product choices have changed drastically and you need to pay attention.
When designing for packaging solutions, it is crucial to keep sustainability in mind.
Leading brands are focusing on sustainability and plastic replacement in their packaging strategy, and so should you.
Some of the ways these new trends in sustainable packaging may be expressed:
− Higher quality products and durable packaging.
− Biodegradable and compostable materials. Companies looking to replace single-use plastic with eco-friendly alternatives such as biodegradable plastic, corn starch, paper, cardboard, fibre-based materials and plant-based alternatives, among others.
− Designing for reusability and recycling. This huge shift in consumer behaviour has pushed many companies to design their products and packaging with the purpose of giving them a second chance at life.
− A perfectly imperfect look. Using raw materials, earthy textures and a natural look reminds consumers of where the materials come from and demonstrate how companies are being more conscientious with their choices.
− Use of logos to show off environmental properties of the product and packaging.
Sustainability in packaging design will only grow to be more important in the following years.
If you want to connect with your customers values, switching to eco-friendly packaging may be a smart way to keep your brand image strong and relevant with the current times.
2. Interactive Packaging & QR Codes
Many businesses are engaging customers through modern digital technologies (such as augmented reality and smartphone scanning) and using QR coding to track shipments and store information of the traceability, location, and condition of the package.
Through these and other forms of digital tech, brands now have an opportunity to engage their customers and direct them to links with helpful information and tips on how to best use their products.
Give your consumer added value that will help build trust with your brand, while cutting down on packaging materials. A double win.
3. Minimalist Design & Transparency
More businesses are stepping away from plastic and multi-material packaging solutions and creating mono-material packaging instead.
Most packaging usually consists of several components, and most of them like plastic, laminate and other composite material are not recyclable. Trying a mono-material approach is a good opportunity to add value and originality to your products.
Businesses are choosing minimalistic brand designs. A strong, well curated image speaks directly to customers who are used to seeing aesthetically-pleasing images in the Instagram era, and who expect nothing less from the brands they buy from.
4. Edible Packaging
Edible packaging has been slowly gaining traction, especially in the food industry, in businesses both large and small.
Whether it is edible straws, like Bacardi and Sorbos have partnered to create, Loliware’s edible cup or Bakey’s edible cutlery made from rice, wheat, and sorghum, these eco-friendly alternatives have come to stay.
This new approach to packaging tackles both plastic consumption and environmentally-minded consumers’ increasing demands on sustainable packaging.
5. Packaging as an Art Form
Finally, using art in packaging is no longer an exclusive domain of the fashion or fragrance industry.
Those markets may have understood the value of well-designed, high-quality packaging first, but now thinking of packaging as an art form has become an essential part of the brand experience.
Transforming high end packaging design into a masterpiece —through illustration, strong visuals, effective storytelling techniques and art direction— adds value to your product and makes it much more captivating.
As the packaging industry evolves, it will focus on helping brands meet consumer demands for both sustainable standards and mass consumption.
Need Help Designing your Packaging?
Whether you would like to make your packaging more sustainable or explore interactive packaging solutions, at Noland we can help create the ideal packaging solution for your needs.