From flexible packaging, connected packages, minimal design, and—of course—a heavy dose of sustainability, we’ve compiled the ten best packaging reports of 2019. Read on to learn more about this year’s reports and below the list, we’ve compiled this year’s five overarching themes, so you can easily digest overarching areas and themes that will impact new product innovation, process improvement, go-to-market strategy, and packaging design.
By Pantone, Esko, and X-rite
Brands that customize their packaging can capture a large chunk of the market—22% of shoppers say they’re highly likely to purchase a customized product.
Products can be customized by region, by localizing within a region, and by personalizing to consumers within that region. Brands that customize “can truly better adapt to consumer’s desires for tailored products and packaging,” the report says.
More products are becoming flexible, PMMI reports. For example, sauces, soups, and processed meats—all once predominantly canned—are now packaged in pouches. Similarly, more manufacturers are packaging products in flexible packaging for on-the-go consumption and the ability to reseal the product.
The leading packaging design trend of 2019 is minimalism, according to 99designs. By cutting back, brands can highlight functionality, use simple patterns, and communicate their essential message to consumers.
By Packaging Digest
As more people shop online, package designs will change, according to Packaging Digest. Packages will become more personalized, but they’ll also have to become more eye-catching and, at times, gimmicky.
E-commerce will also change packaging size. Too much packaging? Consumers may say the brand is environmentally unfriendly. Too little packaging? The brand is cheap and the products appear easily damaged. Brands must strike a balance.
By: The Dieline
As in most years, brands are trying to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Dieline says packaging will soon have endless opportunities for sustainability: wetland weed, mushroom, gourds, lobster shells, as well as fruit and vegetable peels will all be options for packaging.
As consumer interest in connected devices increases, so too will the growth of connected packaging. Brands can connect virtually with consumers—they can aim their smartphone at a product label and be taken into augmented reality, or perhaps scan a QR code to see information on where and how the product was made—thereby creating both a marketing opportunity and an ability to create more of a connected packaging experience.
“In the home, such connections can increase brand engagement, increase product use and add an experiential element to product interactions,” Mintel says.
Brands that design recyclable products are future-proofing their business, according to Thinkstep. The website’s trend report suggests brands make their packages easier to recycle by keeping the infrastructure in mind—what can be recycled easily where the product is being sold? Will the package be clean and easily separated?
Millennials are now driving the global luxury packaging market, which will bring in more than $19 billion by 2021, according to Technavio. This means more demand for aesthetic, functional, and convenient packaging—especially for brands that sell items such as soap, face cream, and shampoo.
“Who doesn’t get a little thrill by a sneak peek of what’s in the box?” Crowdsping asks. Transparent packaging was popular for years but fell out of favor in the early 2000s because it was expensive to produce. Now, consumers want to see what’s in the box before they buy a product. Transparent packaging gives brands a level of trust they may not otherwise have.
By: Adobe Create Magazine
In an era of swiping and apps, brands are using packaging to give consumers something they can feel. Myro, for example, is a direct-to-consumer deodorant brand that puts refillable sticks into a bright holder, which is contoured with vertical panels.
Top five trends for 2019
- Sustainability: Nielsen reported in 2015 that 72% of Millennials would spend more money on brands committed to a positive environmental impact. It’s not a surprise KFC has created an edible wrapper made of rice paper, nor is it a surprise Carlsberg now uses “snap packs,” which essentially glue cans of beer together in lieu of plastic six-pack rings. Expect sustainability to continue to be a packaging trend in years to come.
- Flexibility: Flexible packaging now accounts for 19% of packaging materials in the U.S. This trend relates to the sustainability trend, as more environmentally friendly plastics are used in flexible packaging.
- Minimalism: Stroll through any aisle of a shop and you’ll notice packages with big words, solid colors, and a lot of white space. Minimalism is easier on the eyes, but it’s also easier on the environment. As Packaging Digest points out, minimalism cuts production costs and is linked with a reduction of materials.
- Packaging for e-commerce: There are more online shoppers than ever, and e-commerce is poised for continued growth. Brands that want to sell their products online will need to ensure their products stand out to consumers in online marketplaces.
- High-tech packaging: Now, 77 % of Americans own smartphones. While on-package technology—such as augmented reality and near field communications—is still rare, it won’t be for long. Smart brands will target smartphones with their packaging. By using technology, brands can make their packaging more interactive and informative for consumers.
Be sure to download our 2019 Packaging Trends e-book to read our thoughts on the biggest trends this year.