New Year New Packaging, right?
The start of the new year brings new resolutions, new trends and in our industry, new packaging, obviously! But what are the upcoming trends this year? How are companies approaching their designs this year? Are there any massive changes from last year? We’re here to spill the beans on the latest packaging trends for 2020.
First up: sustainability. We’ve talked about sustainability a lot in the past, but that’s because it’s important and is at the forefront of many consumers’ minds, and therefore a huge trend for another year. In 2019 we saw the rise of prominent climate change activists like Greta Thunberg, the Swedish school girl on a mission to save the planet, and the rise of the climate crisis. With this, we have also seen many more brands using sustainability as one of their core values and marketing techniques, thus this is also reflected in packaging.
Sustainability, however, is a big word with a lot of potential solutions attached to it. So, we decided to break it down to some sub trends and ideas:
Starting with Post Consumer Resins (PCR). PCRs are here, and here to stay! PCRs are little bits that come from product packaging (i.e. shampoo bottles) that have been recycled. The use of PCR can really reduce the carbon footprint of packaging, which in turn makes the packaging sustainable. However, they aren’t perfect because the use of PCRs often make it hard to match brand colours, so often brands opt to match their branding more successfully instead. With new technologies, recycled materials like PCRs are thought to become more and more successful, so watch out 2020.
Other materials that are also expected to be trendy for sustainable packaging in 2020 include corrugated cardboard packaging. A common misconception with corrugated packaging is that you can’t brand it and customise it in the same way as other materials. We can prove you wrong with this! Our team of experienced packaging designers can change your mind about corrugated packaging – get in touch with us for more information. In the meantime, trust us that more and more brands will start using this as a material of choice thanks to its low environmental impact.
Reduce the amount of packaging
It doesn’t just have to be the materials you use but the way you use them. Choosing to give your customers refillable options or reducing the amount of packaging to the absolute minimum can also drastically decrease the carbon footprint of your product. It’s worth thinking about if you use a particularly challenging material that can’t be easily replaced.
Now, it’s not just sustainable materials that will be popular in 2020 packaging trends, but natural and pastel colours are also coming back. Yes, we’re talking baby pinks and baby blues and the odd lilac. These pastels colours along with natural colours will make up a large proportion of colour branding decisions in 2020. It’s not the first time pastel colours have been popular so it will be interesting to see how this one develops this year.
Also now that’s it’s 2020, we can expect to see some sort of ‘smart’ packaging making an appearance. How can you incorporate AI into packaging you ask? Essentially, technology now might be able to either help the product in some way i.e. remove moisture from it, or detect if the product is damaged in any way. Whilst this won’t be mainstream for a while, we can expect to hear about some interesting solutions this year.
A story to tell…
Whilst all these sustainable and tech-y options are all really interesting trends and definitely something to be on the lookout for in 2020, one of the biggest and most challenging trends (yes, really) is packaging that tells a story. This sounds simple, but when you really think about it, how can packaging tell a story? It requires a lot of creativity and thinking outside the box (pardon the pun). With today’s craze of unboxing and the rise in subscriptions, people expect more than ever of ecommerce. They want to feel like the package the open is special, like a present to themselves. And, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: make your customers feel happy and they will return! We love that packaging has the ability to do this.
So, this year it’s all about sustainability, stories, and smart packaging – exciting or what?!
If you need some help with your packaging or fulfilment, we’re here to help. We offer a comprehensive range of services including packaging design, contract packaging, and warehousing. Find out more here.