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As we continue to push forward into 2018, let’s take look at what trends we can expect within the packaging industry.

According to packagingworld.com the five trends we can look forward to are,
  1. Packaging will play a pivotal role in reducing global food and product waste.
  2. Online brands will reinvigorate their packaging in order to enhance the e-commerce experience.
  3. Brands that adopt clear and succinct package messaging will be rewarded as consumers prefer brands that embrace minimalism.
  4. Brands will be called to keep marine conservation at the forefront of packaging development and to anchor the circular economy for future generations.
  5. Contemporary packaging formats will see the center-of-store take center stage.
Let’s take some time to expand on the above trends that we will see in 2018.

Think Outside the BoxPackaging will play a pivotal role in reducing global food and product waste. With a continued emphasis on recycling and repurposing throughout other industries, packaging will have no choice but to follow suit. In 2018 we will see packaging take on the challenge and push for products that have multiple uses, extend freshness and preserve ingredients of food products, as well as the assurance of safe delivery to end users. Packaging will no longer be an afterthought and will help communicate key features to end users. We will also see an added emphasis on packaging that can, “educate consumers to the benefits packaging can bring, from extending shelf life of food to providing efficient and safe access to essential products” according to David Luttenberger.

Online brands will reinvigorate their packaging in order to enhance the e-commerce experience. As we see a shift from shopping in brick and mortar stores to online shopping, packaging will need to be a key ingredient in consumer experience. Brands will no longer need to “stand out on the shelf”, but they will need to think about the perception a consumer has about a product when they see in on a doorstep or in a mail box. Consumers will now see “unboxing” as part of the user experience which puts pressure on brands to put more time and effort into that aspect of their packaging.

Brands that adopt clear and succinct package messaging will be rewarded as consumers prefer brands that embrace minimalism. Living in the information era puts a little added pressure on brands as consumers are able to find information about a certain product with ease. Chances are, a consumer already has some sort of knowledge or perception about your product before they even see the packaging. With this, your packaging should not overwhelm or underwhelm the consumer with information. Finding this happy medium can be difficult, but it can be the difference between a repeat customer and a one-time user. Product packaging should be clean and contain just enough information to reaffirm customer perception.

Brands will be called to keep marine conservation at the forefront of packaging development and to anchor the circular economy for future generations. Again, as we continue to emphasize recyclability, marine conservation will be at the forefront. Luttenberger says, “safe packaging disposal will increasingly color consumers’ perceptions of different packaging types and impact shopper purchase decisions.” Brands will be responsible for ensuring their customers know they are working toward a more marine friendly packaging construction. Brands can create awareness by reusing wasted plastic found in the sea and other bodies of water. This effort will raise consumer awareness, but will not completely solve the problem.

Contemporary packaging formats will see the center-of-store take center stage. As newer generations continue to become more health conscious, brands that live on shelves in the center of the grocery store will need to find ways to stand out. Younger generations tend to spend more time shopping on outer aisles containing fresh and chilled produce and less time weaving through the center of the store with processed and frozen foods. What does this mean for those brands? Luttenberger thinks, “The use of transparent materials, contemporary designs, recyclability, or unique shapes can help draw in younger consumers to the store center, making it as appealing as the burgeoning perimeter to younger consumers.”

This article contains some dialogue originally found on https://www.packworld.com/article/trends-and-issues/food-safety/five-packaging-trends-2018

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