We are almost halfway through the year and the packaging world is full of exciting innovations and new designs. Here is a round-up of the key trends we have spotted so far…
Minimalistic – reflecting transparency and traceability – less is more. Slick, simple packaging communicates a clear message.
Soft colour gradients – breaking up empty spaces subtly. This is particularly seen in the craft alcohol sector. Pastel coloured soft gradients are becoming more prominent too.
Vintage inspired – many products want to reflect history or provenance, and an easy way to achieve this is with vintage style packaging, which adds instant heritage.
The Global Packaging Trends 2019 report from Mintel highlighted the top trends influencing the packaging world right now. Technology and sustainability are clearly crucial factors.
Interactive elements that incorporate technology is a prominent trend. The latest technology goes beyond QR codes, and now encompasses ‘snapcodes’ for Snapchat, and even Near Field Communication (NFC), which use chips within the packaging to communicate with consumer smartphones.
For example, whiskey brand Johnny Walker released a smart bottle with printed sensor tags. NFC enabled smartphones can connect to the bottle, and be sent targeted messages. The bottle knows where it is in the supply chain, and whether or not it’s been opened. This means whilst it’s still in the shop it can send promotional offers to the consumer, and when it has been opened, it can send cocktail recipes straight to the smartphone.
These interactive elements help brands to connect with their customers on another platform. It is revolutionary for businesses, as it allows them to collect data and measure just how successful a campaign is. The customer can enjoy the added value of an online experience, which can also offer discounts.
Consumer awareness of sustainable packaging has brought this issue to the fore. Customers want improved clarity on which parts of the packaging can be recycled. If brands also use recycled materials to make new packaging, then this can be a key area to promote, which takes advantage of consumer awareness and turns it into a marketing tool.
Boxing it up
With e-commerce sales going from strength to strength, companies are thinking more about how their product is delivered. What kind of box to use, keeping up with consumer demand, how to make it interesting and impactful, and considering distribution efficiency. It is an opportunity to send a marketing message straight to the consumer.
The demand for plastic-free has never been stronger. With shops now offering packaging free re-fill options, it’s definitely time for the packaging industry to act. Whether it is finding plastic-free options, using recycled plastic in packaging, or clearly explaining the benefits of plastic packaging for a particular product, it’s an issue and trend not to ignore if your brand wants to remain relevant.
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