Packaging is evolving, driven by factors such as the rise of e-commerce, consumer needs and sustainability, to name a few. Covid-19 has also greatly impacted this market, not to mention the importance consumers place on the presentation of the product.
From material to design, style and colors, countless products will soon be in packages that are stronger, more sustainable and “smarter.” According to Vantage Market Research, the global smart packaging market is expected to reach over USD 33B by 2028, a massive leap from USD 13.88B in 2021.
The report indicates that increasing smart packaging, which is used to extend shelf life as well as traceability of food items, is likely to see a positive impact on industry growth in the coming years. Smart packaging is an amalgamation of science, technology and specialized materials that improves functionality by engineering intelligent and active packaging in traditional packages. It also helps to prevent spoilage of food, improve food product nature, such as taste, flavor and aroma, and helps in premium pricing, brand protection and waste reduction.
From returnable or upcycled packaging to antimicrobial packaging, bioplastics and metaverse packaging, Hospitality News Middle East highlights the main trends in packaging this year and what brands need to take into consideration.
Soha Atallah, LibanPack director and WPO vice president
On the go lifestyle and snack packaging
As more people eat and drink on the go, consumers want light packaging that is straightforward to use.
In addition to packaging that is easy to transport and store at home, consumers prefer simple to hold, open, use and reseal packages. For example, zipper bags are easy to open for consumers of all ages.
In the current, environmentally conscious climate, reducing overpackaging has become a necessity. Packaging design should adhere to principles of sustainable packaging, namely the 3Rs: reduce, recycle and reuse.
Digital packaging and e-commerce
As more people are buying consumer products online, what is effective on grocery store shelves may well be too subtle or simply too small to jump out on a smartphone. Furthermore, companies should consider including a scannable code on packaging that can connect consumers to the company’s website or even provide useful information on the product in question, such as recipe ideas.
Consumers today are more concerned about eating healthy and their diet. Packaging design should reflect the fact that the product is natural and healthy by clearly displaying the number of calories or other graphics to support the message communicated to consumers about the product.
Fashionable packaging and limited-edition packaging
Packaging is just like fashion, that’s why you should adapt your packaging to different occasions, such as Christmas, Easter or Valentine’s Day. Companies should consider investing in limited-edition packaging. For instance global brands, such as Coca Cola, Evian and others, often launch limited editions at certain times of the year.
Maya Karanouh, CEO and co-founder of TAG Brands
Change has always been the order of the day, and this have never been truer. The traditional rulebook went out the window as a new window opened, one that is digital and full of possibilities. With consumers spending more time in the virtual world, brands have shifted their attention to a new playing field. What follows are three elements that brands are taking to heart in the hope of meeting their audiences’ needs online and, on rare occasions, in real life.
Disruptive design in packaging and branding
Highly researched packaging today seems overly designed and therefore no longer grabs the same attention brands expect. Today’s consumers want to see a different side to their favorite brands, one that comes across as more natural. The layout doesn’t have to be concise; the lettering of the words used can be sporadic and the overall design can appear to give off a playful vibe. In other words, disruptive packaging now signals to consumers that their brands do not always play by the rules.
With an almost untapped market online and a relentless need for consumers to set themselves apart from others, owning, following or even adopting a brand has now become a powerful instigator to individuality. Futuristic designs have risen to the top of the list, and consumers can’t seem to get enough. Dynamic packaging patterns riddled with crisp hypermodern lines offered by brands online are some of the most sought-after additions, so much so that it is be fair to assume that what the box looks like is as important as what’s in it.
Packaging for a cause
Inclusivity is a trending topic brands are taking to heart. It is a new space that companies are using to push their products to market and, in so doing, adapting their packaging to fit the messaging. In riding the trend, brands themselves are taking back some of the power and championing various causes to fit their mission and vision by altering their packaging. Again, the rules here have changed and so too have the designs, which now alternate to better reflect the cause a brand chooses to promote.
As exciting as all this may seem, change is afoot and brands are no longer waiting to see what evolves. Instead, they are being bolder, more daring and even unusually experimental to remain relevant, both on and off screen.