What will Packaging Look Like in 5 Years Time?

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What will packaging look like in 5 to 10 years’ time?

In this article, we look at a post on the packaginginnovation.com website that summarises a report by Smithers Pira on the predicted changes in packaging between now and 2027.

About Smithers Pira.

Smithers Pira offers market reports and consultancy to the packaging, paper and print industry supply chains. They have facilities in the UK and the US. (Their market reports provide an independent and specialist view of emerging markets, technologies and factors which will affect the packaging, paper and print industries. Each report contains a five-year market forecast, including an analysis of customers and suppliers to each market.)


The report forecasts that connectivity will be integrated into all packaging in the future. This is already happening in the form of SmartLabels and FiliGrade labels. Smart Labels on packaging allow consumers to scan a QR code on the label which gives them access to an extensive amount of information about that particular product and also information about comparable products. The type of information that a consumer can access includes price, calories, origin etc.

FiliGrade labels have an invisible watermark incorporated into their design, which works as an anti-counterfeiting measure and a channel for the consumer to look up extra information about the product in question (e.g. a detailed list of ingredients, special promotions, recipes, events etc). All the consumer has to do is to scan the label with their smartphone.

2024 imagePremium packaging

This is expected to be a trend in the future, especially in the case of luxury or high-end products. Premium packaging is essential to convey the message to the consumer that the product inside this packaging is a luxury product. You can read more here about experiments which tested the effect of luxury packaging versus regular packaging on consumer’s behaviour.

Meeting Sustainability Targets and Incorporating the latest generation of eco-friendly packaging materials.

This is already a huge trend and we have many blogs on our website about all aspects of sustainability in packaging. You can check out these articles here.

Designing packaging with e-commerce in mind.

This is a trend that will continue to grow as more and more businesses begin to sell online. You can read an article about e-commerce for food businesses here.

Adjusting transit packaging to dimension weighting to avoid shipping charge corrections.

Shipping costs used to be calculated on the basis of gross weight in kg or pounds. However, by charging only by weight, large but lightweight, low-density packages became unprofitable for freight carriers due to the amount of space they take up in the truck/aircraft/ship in proportion to their actual weight. The concept of dimensional weight has been adopted by the transportation industry worldwide as a uniform means of establishing a minimum charge for the cubic space a package occupies. Packaging designers will continue to find better ways to minimise shipping charge corrections through innovative packaging.

Customizing packaging

Customizing packaging, often co-created with individual consumers will grow as a trend. Richard Lazazzera, of the e-commerce software company, Shopify.com has the following comment on customised packaging: “Connecting with shoppers through a personal, genuine note or card can make all the difference—handwritten messages show customers you care, and that there are real people powering your brand.”

Retail-ready packaging

As retail stores continue to deal with the competition of online shopping, designing retail-ready packaging with optimal in-store locations in mind will continue to be an important design trend.

 ‘Localizing’ brand packaging, specially designed for global transition market opportunities. Despite globalisation, consumers still show a preference for products that they perceive to have a local connection.

Addling anti-counterfeiting features.

As globalisation and online shopping increases, so does the number of counterfeit products and counterfeit packaging. To combat this, brands and packaging manufacturers are working on traceability systems to stay ahead of the counterfeiting game. You can read more about innovations in anti-counterfeiting packaging here.

10 things the best innovative packaging designs have in common