Benjamin Punchard, global packaging insights director at Mintel, discusses some of the major trends set to influence the packaging sector worldwide in 2018, including implications for consumers, brands, and manufacturers.
As more and more consumers embrace online shopping, packaging will play a pivotal role in brands’ and consumers’ ecommerce experiences.
Online shopping is becoming increasingly widespread around the globe and is near ubiquitous in some markets.
However, while online shopping’s key advantage is convenience, consumers expect more from their favoured brands.
When designing packaging to be viewed online, and transit packaging to be opened upon delivery in the home, the experience of ecommerce packaging must reflect consumer expectations from shopping with that brand in-store.
Clean Label 2.0
Aiming for packaging designs that enlighten consumers’ purchase decisions, brands will reject approaches that offer too much or too little as they can leave shoppers more confused than informed.
Today’s consumers are more informed than ever; however, brands are in real danger of being rejected if consumers feel overloaded with information, leading to the questioning of provenance, authenticity and transparency.
The ‘essentialist’ design principle bridges the divide between not enough and just enough of what’s essential for consumers to make an enlightened and confident purchasing decision.
Brands must bring the next generation of clean label to packaging design to provide a moment of calm and clarity for shoppers in an increasingly hectic retail environment.
Plastic packaging adrift in the world’s oceans will become the catalyst driving brands to rethink packaging in a context consumers can understand and act upon.
Concerns over safe packaging disposal will increasingly colour consumers’ perceptions of different packaging types, and impact shopper purchase decisions.
Only by communicating that a brand is working towards a solution will this growing barrier to purchase be overcome.
While collecting waste plastic from the sea to recycle into new packaging can raise consumer awareness, it won’t solve the problem.
In order to keep plastic out of the sea, a renewed effort towards the circular economy is needed to keep packaging material in use.
“Our packaging trends for 2018 reflect the most current and forward-looking consumer attitudes, actions and purchasing behaviours in both global and local markets,” says Punchard.
“Such trends as those we see emerging in ecommerce packaging have stories that are just now being written.
“Others, such as the attack on plastics, are well into their third or even fourth chapters, but with no clear ending in sight.
“It is those backstories and future-forward implications that position Mintel’s 2018 Packaging Trends as essential to retailer, brand and package converter strategies during the coming year and beyond.”