Packaging Trends of 2019

Reduce, reuse, recycle: current packaging trends
  • Minimalism
  • Personalised packaging
  • Sustainable: recyclable and reusable
  • Vintage inspired packaging
  • Flat illustration

Packaging trends change regularly, and we like to keep up to date with the industry and what’s going on. Like all industries, the packaging industry evolves fast, and it can be hard to keep up to date. In this article we take a look at the most popular packaging trends of 2019.

Reduce, reuse, recycle: the current packaging trends. Less is more for most consumers at the moment and packaging trends are listening to this and adapting. Consumers no longer want loads of unnecessary packaging due to environmental concerns and often want the aesthetics of their product to fit with their cute Instagram feed (OK maybe just millennials for this one). But, in general, people are understanding that there is less and less need for excessive packaging and a more minimalist approach is being taken in the industry.  


So, with reduce, reuse, recycle in mind, first up is minimalism. This trend comes back round every now and again but it’s very popular at the moment. The idea that less is more is reflected in the design of many new and upcoming brands. Consumers don’t need all the noise and distractions but rather a clear, sleek design if preferred.

One of our favourite examples of this is MAST chocolate bars. Their minimalist design is beautiful. They have used a very simple design for the covers of their bars and different marble-effect colours are used for each flavour.

mast chocolate minimalist packaging

It seems that this minimalist packaging trend is particularly popular in the food industry as another great, but different, example of minimalist packaging is the Waitrose Cooks range. This range was designed by Lewis Moberly, who also design packaging for brands such as Moet. It puts a focus on the ingredients and uses not much more than bold text. It is very effective and has been very successful for Waitrose.

cooks ingredients


Marketing campaigns play a big role in packaging design trends. In the marketing world right now, personalisation is getting bigger and bigger, and as a direct consequence packaging is too becoming more and more personalised. In the world of social media and YouTubers, unboxing videos are becoming a huge thing and therefore the ‘experience’ of the packaging is a very popular concept. With this comes an element of personalisation. Marketing tools such as email marketing etc. make it is relatively easy to make messages personalised, but with packaging this is somewhat more challenging.

One of the most well-known personalised packaging was the Coca Cola name bottles. People were buying Coca Cola bottles with their names on all over the shop. The brand increased its sales for the first time in ten years with this campaign. Obviously, this campaign was a few years ago now, but with the ever-increasing rise in ecommerce, the trends has reached more and more brands. In fact, Personalisation is becoming such a big trend that 66% of brands (who took part in this study) said that they are currently implementing some sort of personalisation into their packaging, or have plans to.

coca cola

Which one of our themes does this trend fit in? Well, most packaging is single use, once it’s served its purpose it goes in the bin. Personalised packaging, on the other hand, is much more likely to be reused. If the product comes in a pretty little box with your name it in, you are much, much more likely to repurpose the packaging.


The next big trend, probably the biggest right now, is sustainable packaging. People are becoming more and more aware of the impact that packaging, particularly single-use plastic, has on the environment, and so sustainable packaging is becoming increasingly important.

Brands are under increasing pressure from their consumers to work out new and innovative ways to create their packaging without adding to the damage on the environment. Brands, who’s whole USP is based on sustainability, are popping up all over the place and succeeding!

Brands are thinking of ways to make reusable packaging, recyclable packaging, and biodegradable packaging and shouting about it in their marketing too. You can read more about sustainable packaging and what some big brands are doing about it in our sustainable packaging blog.

Vintage inspired packaging

judes ice cream packaging design

Another part of the reuse trend is the vintage inspired packaging. Brands are going vintage and using packaging styles inspired by previous generations and taking it back. One of our favourite examples of this is Jude’s ice cream. The packaging almost resembles a stripey beach deck chair from the 1950's and brings back a feeling of nostalgia.

If you want to explore some more vintage inspired packaging, this agency are dedicated to creating vintage designs for brands.

Flat illustration

As well as vintage inspired designs, flat illustration has got really big now too. The origins of this packaging design go back to Swiss Style which first came about in the 1920s and become a foundation of graphic design during the 20th century. The idea of flat illustration is that the design is simple with an overall minimalist approach. The shapes appear simplified and certain colours stand out which often makes the text more readable.

tenzo tea packaging design

It’s called a ‘flat illustration’ because the three-dimensional effect is taken away which creates this clear design. The whole flat illustration trend is almost a branch of the minimalist trend, making packaging sleek and clear.

One of our favourite examples of flat illustration is Tenzo tea’s matcha range. The style really lends itself to the brand.

Packaging trends are exciting and interesting for the industry and listening to what consumers want is a great way of improving your customer relationships. Think about the three elements reduce, reuse, recycle if you’re stuck on our next packaging design. Or talk to one of our experts and we can help you out.

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