Consumers are demanding changes and responding to brands in an unprecedented fashion and so these 2020 Packaging Trends are our view on what leading brands and retailers are starting to do to tackle this seismic shift.

With a backdrop of growth in e-commerce, the social pressure for zero packaging, tech advances, FMCG and retailer struggles and the drive towards sustainability this blog summarises what we believe are the top 10 trends.

Over the coming months we’ll share more depth to each one of them.

1) The unboxing experience

A trend that keeps on giving – Whilst first impressions and first touches have always been important to designers, two trends have converged (growth in ecommerce & YouTube views) to make this moment of truth an integral part of the design process.
Amazing examples include anything from Apple closely followed by Samsung in tech and Mr Porter in fashion.

2) Commitment to sustainability

Again sustainability has been on most brand’s agendas for years but there’s some exciting innovations emerging around biodegradable packaging, refill, reuse & refill products and plastic removal. But the most notable trend are brands outspoken commitment to change. Check out Iceland’s #TooCoolForPlastic campaign where they have set out their aim to remove plastic packaging from their own label range completely by 2023.

3) Glass & Metal Revival

Glass and metal are now being considered to offer a real substrate alternative to plastics. With endless possibilities for second life packaging and usage they are currently back on the table.
See how 25 of the worlds leading brands are supporting this transition here

4) Personalisation

Following Coke’s epic name campaign in 2013, more and more brands have been experimenting with personalisation. But now the newness comes from genuine individual personalisation (Marmite, KitKat) rather than mass personalisation (Coke, Toberlone). The team at L’Oreal have taken this one step further with their colour and co brand launch which features both personalised products and packaging. The unboxing looks pretty nice too!

Pizza Hut Second life packaging

6) Minimal design

Consumer’s desire for a simpler life is propelling minimalism back to centre stage. Colour, typography, language are all pared back to deliver an easy to buy solution. The trend is particularly prevalent in food and beauty.

Go To Packaging Trends 2020

7) E-commerce everywhere

According to Mckinsey ecommerce everywhere is the biggest challenge to the packaging industry in the next 10 years. And of course this growth immediately brings up the question of last mile delivery, particularly the growth in crowdshipping eco-systems such as Piggybee.

McKinsey Packaging trends next 10 years

8) Smart packaging

Smart Packaging is packaging with extended functions. Broadly there are two types of smart packaging – active packaging which provides functionality such as moisture control, and intelligent packaging, which incorporates features that indicate status or communicate product changes and other information. Whilst there are a myriad of technologies involved AR is the most engaging – check out for a quick dive into the possibilities.

9) Consistent brand storytelling & heuristics

Using packaging design as one of the ways to tell a brand’s story is nothing new, but with enormous choice overload for consumers and brands emerging from the d2c channel recognisable, distinctive brand heuristics are now a must for successful business.  We’re ahead of this curve – see here: Olympic and  GH Sheldons.

10) Transparency

In response to consumers desire for truth and authenticity, brands are responding by literally being transparent. Mighty rice with a truly authentic story demonstrate this trend fabulously.

Mighty Rice Packaging

If you’d like to hear more about these trends get in touch today, or keep a look out for our forthcoming blogs on some of these mega trends.

By Sue Benson

Managing Director