5 Packaging Trends of 2020

An article on the industrialpackaging.com website reported on the 5 key trends they expect to see emerge or continue to grow in 2020. Below we have summarised the article.

2020 image

  • The Sustainability Trend in Packaging

The sustainability trend continues to grow as more Gen Z  and Millennials join the workforce. New aspects of sustainability have developed such as zero waste packaging and LOOP

What is Zero Waste Packaging?

According to the Zero Waste International Alliance: “Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”


Loopstore.com is a new online company from which you can order your name-brand products, such as Tide detergent, Crest mouthwash, Häagen Dazs ice cream or Pantene shampoo/conditioner in a reusable container. When finished with the product, instead of recycling it yourself, you ship the empty container back, where it gets cleaned, sanitized and reused for the next customer.

LOOP is available in New York City and Paris and will soon roll out in other cities such as London, where it will be introduced later this year, and Toronto and Tokyo, where it will roll out next year.

  • Smart packaging and gamification. 

Traditional packaging will see more digital technology integrated into it. Gamification will be used to increase consumer engagement with the product and the packaging.

What is Gamification?

The bunchball.com website defines gamification as follows: “Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists – a website, an enterprise application, an online community – and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty. Gamification takes the data-driven techniques that game designers use to engage players and applies them to non-game experiences to motivate actions that add value to your business”

The article gives two examples of how this has been used in packaging. In one example, the Pac-Man game has been used to inspire a packaging design that allows the packaging to be played with after the product is removed.

pacman packaging

Photo Credit: trendhunter.com

Unboxing videos are still growing in popularity which is another reason to add something extra to the packaging in order that it may inspire the consumer to share an unboxing video on social media. Unboxing videos create great exposure for a brand.

  • Vintage packaging

Consumers are drawn to packaging designs that hark back to simpler times. This means that many packaging designs include vintage aesthetics and colour. Vintage packaging conveys an image of beauty, quality or craftsmanship that more modern packaging designs often lack. As vintage may often involve a more elaborate or luxurious design, it will be a challenge for brands to use a vintage packaging design while still creating packaging that is sustainable and easy to recycle.

  • Minimalist Packaging

Minimalist packaging refers not only to the amount of waste but also to the design of the packaging. Minimalist packaging design is straightforward and easy to digest with high contrast designs that clearly and simply state the contents of the package.

The popularity of minimalist packaging designs is thought to be due to consumer’s desire for sustainability and their desire to avoid information overload.

Is the minimalist packaging trend in direct contradiction in the rise of vintage packaging?

Successful brands will find a way to manage to have both a minimalist yet vintage packaging design

  • Evolution in e-Commerce Packaging

E-commerce packaging continues to evolve as brands try to find the right balance between sustainability and packaging that still protects, preserves and presents their product in the best possible way. The e-commerce giant Amazon has been leading their way in this with their frustration-free packaging program and other programs to find the optimum combination of packaging that is sustainable but also high quality, branded and attractive packaging. 

You can read the full article here.