Current market needs are evolving, and the packaging pros are innovating to meet consumer demands.
Consumers today are more interested in packaging that reflects their values, but still looks enticing. The top five trends in packaging today:
Increasingly important to consumers: environmentally friendly products…and that includes the packaging those products come in. The Plant Based Products Council (PBPC) annual consumer research program revealed that consumers are more favorable toward companies that are involved in sustainable initiatives. Looking at packaging, the data shows that more than 70% of consumers said they consciously think about products and packaging made from plant-based materials when they are shopping. That’s up from 65% in 2021 and rebounding to pre-pandemic numbers. Ranking their top drivers, consumers pointed to recyclability, biodegradability, sustainability, and composability
“The majority of consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy,” says Brett Featherston, Global Vice President of Sales for PBPC member Evanesce. “They expect businesses to offer sustainable alternatives to products that are well-known to be harmful to the environment—and in many cases are willing to pay more for that sustainable product.”
Sustainability is one of the biggest trends impacting the packaging industry, agrees Moira Stein, Insights and Strategy for Berlin Packaging. “Consumer demand, retailer requirements, and government regulations are all driving the growth of eco-friendly packaging solutions. We’re seeing a rise in refill and reuse models, alternative materials like post-consumer recycled and ocean-bound plastic, light-weighting, eliminating unnecessary packaging components, and more. Berlin Packaging takes a holistic approach to sustainability with a range of services, including market insights, lifecycle analyses, stock options, custom solutions, and communication strategies. Our customer-focused teams combine deep subject matter expertise with practical commercial experience to build circular strategies that will strengthen brands and grow their bottom line.”
Another trend in packaging is practicality due to shifts in how products travel from manufacturer to consumer. “Products may be handled up to three times more than packaging sold through traditional retail and therefore need to be able to withstand rigorous conditions and rough treatment,” explains Stein. “Partnering with suppliers, like Berlin Packaging, with a responsive quality service division and APASS (Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network) certification can help resolve problems, prevent waste, and reduce costs.”
“The rapid growth of e-commerce—including web-based retail, B2C and D2C, subscription programs, and online marketplaces—is impacting packaging,” says Stein. “E-commerce packaging has its unique design and logistical considerations. Beyond shipping and handling, e-commerce has shifted the role of a package’s brand design. Graphics need to perform well not only on shelf, but they must stand out on a computer monitor, tablet screen, or phone. Berlin’s Studio One Eleven Design and Innovation division creates impactful solutions with e-commerce in mind.”
“Customized packaging can reach people in a more personalized way,” shares Stein. “Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ is a great example. Sales grew by 19% in the first year of that campaign. Personalization can add value and relevance, and the rise of digital printing has made personalized packaging more feasible…Consumers increasingly expect brands to tailor products, experiences, and content to their specific needs and interests. According to a recent GlobalData study, 60% of consumers are influenced by how well a product or service is tailored to their needs and personality.”
“Consumers want products that save them time and effort, and convenient package design benefits and attributes can look different from category to category,” says Stein. “For sauces, dressings, and condiments, it can include inverted bottles that make it easy to dispense product. In the spices and seasonings category, it can include ergonomic shapes and closures that allow for one-hand pouring, like Morton’s Sea Salt and Sea Salt Rubs, both designed by Studio One Eleven. When it comes to snacks, it can include individual sizes and pre-portioned servings that provide on-the-go convenience and improved portion control. Consumers are becoming more price sensitive, and providing convenience benefits can create an enhanced user experience and important point-of-difference that drives sales.” WF
Getting the Wording Right to Sell–Safely
Of course, the words on the packaging also have to sell…and stay compliant while doing so. For the latest in regulatory compliance in top trending markets, don’t miss the Naturally Informed educational sessions featuring regulatory expert Asa Waldstein of Supplement Advisory Group. At the virtual event Stress & Mental Wellness: Mastering the Market, held virtually in September, Waldstein offered key insights to help brands avoid warning letters while still communicating benefits. Scan the code or visit www.NaturallyInformed.net to view the session on demand, at no cost.