Emerging Packaging Trends 2018

Person taking pic of a meal


Trends for Cartons and Sleeves in 2018

10 key market trends that have implications for packaging are outlined in this report from Procarton. The implications of the growing “silver surfer” market, the rise of “smart packaging”, the trend towards experiential shopping are some of the trends reported.

The Annual Pro Carton Trend Report found that consumers have more power than ever before.. They are willing to spend more money on genuine added value. According to Pro Carton General Manager Tony Hitchin, “Pro Carton has compiled the most interesting comments from leading consumer, economy and packaging trend researchers relating to our business”. These trends will be relevant to anyone considering a packaging redesign now and in 2019.

Below we have summarised the article. Read time approx. 6 minutes

One of the most important target groups in the coming years will be made up of Millennials (Millennials are defined as people born between the early 1980’s to the mid-1990’s (They will add an entirely new digital experience and change in lifestyle which will influence the majority of consumers. Conventional advertising will continue to lose in importance. This will be supplanted by the perfect communication, online as well as offline, of interesting, tailor-made offers with fascinating, healthy and sustainable experiences.

1.Marketing: Transparency

The agency Trendwatching says: “A revolution in transparency is just getting started. Today, a business is a glass box. Outsiders can easily see inside. They can see the people, the processes and the values. If something happens inside the box that will be of interest to those outside, eventually it will be seen. That shift is thanks to the radical transparency made possible by a connected world. And it brings with it an equally radical implication: your internal culture is becoming part of your brand.”

2. Marketing: Feminine Styles

Women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs – ‘the new celebrities’. According to a report by the Kauffman Foundation, 40.6 % of all new businesses are started by women. “BFF [Best Friends Forever] marketing” means that brands try to come across as informal and chatty, speaking to you, the consumer as if they were your “best friend”
”As more soothing pastels and soft edges move into the spotlight in 2018, packaging design is trending toward a more feminine overall aesthetic. As a result, we’re likely to see fewer hyper-stimulating, explosive design styles more closely associated with masculinity in the coming years“, writes Pamela Webber in the Packaging Digest.

3. Marketing: Silver Surfer

Business owners are realising how important elderly people are as a market segment (known as “Best Agers” or “Silver Surfers”)– as a new target group. By 2040, roughly a third of all packaging will be bought by the “silver surfers” in Germany. Currently, only a small fraction of cartons, sleeves and other packaging designed adequately for elderly people. The fonts are too small, the contrasts difficult to distinguish, the opening flaps are too small, too much force is required to open packaging making handling difficult etc. Approximately 60 % of seniors commented about opening problems with “products sealed in plastic“ showing that there is a great need for action by the industry.

4. Design: Sustainability

“Making sure your packaging is as recyclable as possible is far more likely to win customers over and shows you’re doing your bit for the planet” says Paul Marsh from the Packaging Experts. Demand for sustainability, clean processing and sustainable sourcing is higher than it has ever been. Richard Parker, Principal Analyst at GlobalData, explains why people don’t always act on that impulse to put something in the recycling bin. “Recycling really needs to be easy and quick. If it isn’t for any reason, then it’s easy for consumers to give it a miss.”

In a previous blog, we reported on research that showed that sustainability (i.e. if the shopper perceives your product or packaging as sustainable) can boost sales. Read it here. https://www.dollard-packaging.ie/sustainability-drives-sales/

5. Design: Embracing E-Commerce

Brands are now beginning to embrace e-commerce shoppers by adapting their packaging designs to better fit the online retail environment. That means: Removing detailed imagery (which becomes illegible at thumbnail size), making the brand logo the main image, introducing more sturdy and compact shapes as well as choosing temperature-resistant packaging materials. Products look different online than they do on a store shelf. When designing packaging to be viewed online, and transit packaging to be opened upon delivery at home, the experience of e-commerce packaging must not disappoint the consumer when compared to shopping in a “bricks and mortar” shop.

6. Design: Smart packaging

Smart packaging uses modern technology (such as sensors, devices, etc.) to allow customers to access more detailed information than is visible on the packaging. Some packaging provides consumers information on a product such as allergens, portion sizing, consumption recommendations, etc via a Cloud. Food traceability and complete transparency has become more important than ever for shoppers.

7. Retail: Experience

“Customers are increasingly expecting retailers to link the online and offline worlds to create a seamless, intuitive customer experience that makes buying products quicker, easier and more enjoyable” asserts The Innovation Group of JWT in its ”Top 100“ study. Consumers still enjoy the thrill of seeing, touching and engaging with a product.
E-commerce brands are leading the way in merging the two in unique ways. Consumers are increasingly looking for new experiences. Vanessa Henry, Shopper Insight Manager IGD Retail says ”The Millennials are more likely to try new products.”

8. Retail: Glocal

“More than ever, marketing global and local combine seamlessly. Trend globalisation is driving mass fragmentation, as consumers can establish networks and discover niche subjects, products and ideas way beyond their borders,” say the experts from JWT Innovation Group.
Despite shoppers being globally minded, the desire to have links to local regions and buy local products will increase over the next year. This will result in retailers selling produce that will only be available for a short period of time, due to seasonality, creating uniqueness and increased shopper desire to get these products when available.

9. Retail: Convenience is King

Within the non-grocery category, becoming good at a selling across all sales channels, (i.e. through a website, social media, in a retail store) is an important priority for businesses. Shops are becoming places to have an enjoyable experience (known as experiential shopping). Basic products that can be purchased with a minimum of prior browsing, such as computer part, printer ink etc will continue to be purchased more online and less in store.

10. Retail: Time is Money

“We see much less use of larger stores for the millennials”, says Henry. Millennials don’t want to spend time in retail stores and are more willing to spend extra to save time.

You can read the full article here