As 2016 nears its end, we felt it was time to look at what’s new in the world of packaging, and therefore our predictions for 2017 packaging trends.

Covered here are three trends that show packaging as a reflection of product trends, packaging as a component of brand positioning, and packaging to gain stand out in competitive markets.

#1 Clean label packaging

According to Mintel’s Global Packaging Trends 2016 report more than half (58%) of UK consumers check ingredient information on product packaging and three quarters are concerned about the use of artificial preservatives.

This follows the general trend towards our increasing interest in, and concern about, what we eat. The backlash against additives isn’t new, but its impact on packaging is huge and growing. More and more, food is manufactured using more natural ingredients, so it makes sense for packaging design to not only reflect this, but hero it.

A great example is Nakd bars, which makes a virtue of how few ingredients are in its products:


#2 Premium Basic

The fashion world is moving away from brash bold branding towards a cleaner aesthetic. This simpler approach is reflected in garments and accessories as well as packaging, and the trend has extended into other categories too.

‘Basic’ ranges are not new, but ‘Premium Basic’ is. Rather than plain unattractive packaging being a way to use behavioral economics to drive shoppers towards a more expensive option, ‘basic’ can now take pride of place at the top of the tree.

Aesop is a fantastic example of ‘premium basic’ – the plain packaging not only hints at its botanical expertise, but also gives space for the product itself to take centre stage.


#3 The intricacy of beer

As the craft beer market has boomed, the packaging design of beer has taken a more intricate twist to reflect the more sophisticated recipes.

When our only decision was to choose beer or lager, brands made it easy for us to find our preferred product with more traditional brand-centric designs. But as our taste for the craft varieties has rocketed, packaging design has had to evolve, creating a wonderful opportunity for designers to showcase their talent.

Craft beer design has moved forward into the artistic space, providing tangible product differentiation with more ornate, bright and bold labeling. This hints at the complexity of what’s inside too as brewers take more interesting ingredients and approaches.

As the growing craft beer, lager and even cider market becomes ever more sophisticated, we foresee this approach to packaging design will only continue as brands compete even harder for shelf stand-out.


At the Market Creative we believe great packaging should signpost the brand, persuade the shopper about performance benefits and help them choose between varieties. If your packaging design needs revamping to better engage shoppers, get in touch.


James Kay, Senior Account Manager