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Consumers are demanding innovative and sustainable packaging solutions, and are becoming more discerning in what they expect from brands, according to an article in Packaging News. They also identify a trend for brighter colours, optimistic patterns, and playful illustrations, after interviewing some leading industry designers.

The experts also predict that in store, there will be a focus on eliminating unnecessary packaging, in line with concerns around sustainability and climate change. However, the huge rise in online shopping over the past 12 months has led to an increased demand for packaging materials.

Innovative brands will be exploring different methods of packaging to overcome these challenges. To avoid the ‘off the shelf’ uniformity of shopping for online products, the authors expect to see a rise in optimised Direct to Consumer packs, which make the purchasing experience more memorable and personal.

E-commerce has created a new focus on packaging design, as the product not only has to look good on the shelf, but also in a website thumbnail. There is also more emphasis on the tactile experience of handling the materials, and the overall first impression the aesthetics make on the consumer.

Retailers are becoming more conscious that a sleek and attractively packaged product can be photographed or filmed and shared and liked on social media, providing word-of-mouth marketing and promotion for the business. Therefore, a product must be packaged to a ‘shop-front’ standard even if it is only sold online.

Annette Clayton, global account manager, Fedrigoni, comments: From a materials point of view, textured packaging will play an essential role in replicating the sensorial brand experience from the home.”

“Brands will also invest in more personalised packaging, whether that be through customisable colour schemes, textures or materials, all part of that ‘Instagrammable’ effect that today’s brands rely on.”

Clayton stresses the need for striking a balance between aesthetic appeal and sustainable credibility. A move away from single-use packaging, towards recyclable and sustainable materials, is predicted.

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