As we enter the New Year, It’s important to understand the innovations that are expected to drive the packaging market for the next 12 months. In these unpredictable times, it can be difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing trends, however, there are a few topics we believe will withstand the changing global landscape. Our team has compiled a list of the five top packaging trends we believe will be relevant in 2022.
Despite the disruption created by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers’ commitment to sustainability has not waned. According to a 2021 study by Deloitte 43% of consumers value brands that are producing sustainable packaging and adopting circular practices. This figure remains unchanged from 2020. With sustainable packaging at the forefront of shoppers’ minds, it’s important to consider implementing strategies to make your packaging and supply chain more environmentally friendly. This could include removing or swapping unnecessary layers of plastic from your current packaging spec or switching to 100% recyclable packaging options. As packaging materials and waste collection processes continuously improve, demand from customers, retailers and regulators increases, making the switch to sustainable packaging an invaluable investment in the next 12 months.
Hygiene and Safety Features
Consumer awareness of hygiene has increased dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to persist for a while. Products that are regularly handled during transportation and touched by shoppers as they browse supermarket aisles are expected to have more protective individual outer packaging. Hygiene concerns can also be addressed by opting for a packaging supplier that manufactures in compliance with global food safety standards such as BRCGS. Packaging design plays a major role when implementing hygiene and safety features, especially for the food and beverage market. Flexible packaging is diverse in nature. Bespoke laminate blends can affect the viability of bacteria and viruses while opting for tamper‑proof fitments and closures can ensure protection against potential contamination.
There is more to packaging than simply protecting the product inside. The aesthetic quality of a product can have just as much impact on a brand as sustainability or safety. By implementing unique packaging designs for your products, you are more likely to catch the eyes of shoppers passing by. Consumers nowadays are often bombarded with a lot of on-pack information and product claims. Opting for simple and easy information on key product qualities and package functionality is a no-nonsense strategy that leads to higher levels of engagement and preferable overall brand perception. Transparent packaging or product windows are also favourable for consumers as they provide a clear view of the product attributes. Windows can be cleverly incorporated into packaging designs so as not to disrupt the on-pack messaging.
Smart packaging is the luxury packaging of the future. Using technology to enhance what may be considered ordinary packaging turns a regular product into an experience. NFC’s, AR and QR codes can be used to connect customers to on-pack campaigns, special offers, games, and other interactive experiences that are exclusive to smart devices. Brands can also serialize QR codes to provide product traceability, validate product authenticity and collect demographic data for market research. Another stream of smart packaging is the area of hyper customisation and variable data that can be used to create thousands of completely unique packaging SKUs in one single job. This technology can be easily implemented into your packaging designs to create a unique experience for your consumers that will set your brand apart.
Flexible packaging is flexible in both its form and its uses, as it comes in many different varieties for a range of product types. Typically, flexible packaging is made from polymers, foils or paper, however, the technology behind environmentally-friendly forms of flexible packaging is continuously developing. Flexible packaging is a less costly and more environmentally friendly packaging option that is quickly outgrowing its rigid counterparts. The flexible packaging market is forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 4.5% over the next five years. Flexible packaging is most popular for its sustainability, convenience and innovative print technology. The use of digital print removes the upfront cost associated with printing plates and cylinders, allowing for more flexibility in design. Digital print is an excellent choice for seasonal packaging as well as on-pack promotions, market testing and new product launches.
If your brand is looking to invest in quality packaging, our team will guide you through the entire process, providing recommendations on increased sustainability, helping to improve efficiencies and adding expert and award-winning value to your end product.