Consumers are demanding more from their packaging design, from alignment with ethical and social preferences to entertainment and making life easier. Successful brands are responding by leveraging the power of the pack to push the boundaries of innovation and sustainability. If packaging isn’t considered a valuable sales asset, it’s a missed opportunity. The brands making waves are using packaging as advertising space, to save the environment, tell stories, and much more. Here are our top five packaging design trends for 2018.

  1. Plastic, not-so-fantastic

David Attenborough’s second Blue Planet series showed how toxic particles from rubbish enter our water system and marine life, sparking an international plastic revolution. It’s hard to remember the last time there was such a step change in consumer behaviour, in such a short period of time.

People will go out of their way to consume brands that have a sense of purpose and tackle the issues that affect the world and successful brands have responded to the plastic crisis with equal vigour. Among the reduced plastics and paper replacements, there are the real innovators.

Ever heard of edible water balls? Alternative drinks packaging brand, Ooho! set out to “make packaging disappear” by delivering the convenience of plastic bottles while limiting the environmental impact. The sustainable material made entirely of plants and seaweed is edible, biodegradable within 4-6 weeks and cheaper than plastic.

Ooho Water Ball
Ooho Water Ball

  1. Interactive packaging


Brands that find new and entertaining ways to win people’s attention will also win their custom. Packaging offers an effective medium to engage audiences with interactive designs that excite and stand out.

Coca-Cola executes this expertly, designing a range of cans which appear red and white at room temperature. But once chilled, thermochromic inks react to unveil four vibrant pastel colours. Way too cool to put in the recycling bin.

  1. Packaging that gives back

Consumer demand for sustianable packaging has ignited a surge in reusable packaging. Brands are doing their bit to help cut down waste by designing packs that can be kept in the home or used again and again.

Nutella designed a jar that can be reused for food preservation. Holding on to the iconic shape and featuring a retro-feeling embossed logo, it’s a jar you’d be proud to hand out homemade jams in.

  1. Packaging for E-commerce

When the average shopper spends 15 seconds at the supermarket shelf per category, capturing the attention of time-poor and attention-short consumers is no mean feat. Packaging can make the difference between your place in the market as a disrupter or disrupted.

The feminine hygiene products category is crowded, but also staid and dated. Flo disrupted the market with an ice-cream tub-shaped design, emblazoned in vibrant orange and pink. Founder, Tara Chandra has said, “These days you don’t have to put leaves all over your packaging for people to know it’s green.”

The FLO Get Set Pack

  1. Packvertising

Recognising the value of packaging, many brands are using it as their primary advertising channel. With 70% of purchase decisions being made instore, we think they could be on to something. Applying the right colours, fonts, images and messaging can make it just as relevant, enticing and powerful as paid advertising.

Cult skincare brand, The Ordinary, applies this concept across its family of products. Its clean, fuss-free, clinical-looking packaging perfectly reflects the brand values and tagline, “Clinical formulations with integrity”.


The Behaviours Agency are experts in range category and variant planning as well as packaging insight, trend analysis and design. If you’re reconsidering your packaging, get in touch.

By Phil Monks

Deputy Creative Director