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Packaging Trends 2020: What does the packaging industry predict for the year ahead?

By 22/01/2020No Comments

What packaging trends in 2020 do our packaging experts consider to be influential…

As we enter the new year, and even the new decade, it is that time of year when the packaging industry gears up to predict the next significant trends that will govern the coming year. Here at Eastpac, we have compiled some of the biggest packaging trends that will dominate and dictate the packaging sector. So, read on to discover the packaging trends that will influence your business practice.

Take a look at 6 of the key packaging trends for the year ahead:

1. Increase in the use of Augmented Reality (AR)

As we enter a new decade, the packaging industry can expect to a focus around smart packaging which mainly involves AR. This continuous innovation has seen the adoption of augmented reality into numerous packaging designs. A study by PwC discussed how “virtual reality and augmented reality could add 362.5 billion to the UK economy, a 2.4% boost to GDP by 2030”. What we can see here is AR within packaging can transform the design of a package into an experience for the consumer. Rather than a box which is more than often recycled, AR integrated packaging allows the customer to use their smartphone to bring the box to life. An example of this is Kellogg’s. Through interactive content, they have effectively helped to educate children in preparation for going back to school.

In the last decade, packaging has come a long way. Although traditional packaging methods are still leading the way, AR packaging is increasingly popular. Ultimately, this is a significant packaging trend for 2020. Users are more engaged and consequently more likely to purchase from you again.

2. Customer Experience = Crucial

What is the sole purpose of packaging? To protect the items during transit for the end user. Unfortunately, over the past few years, e-commerce retailers have shifted their focus from protection, and more to convenience. Numerous studies have shown that retailers use far too much packaging, which tends to harm the overall customer experience.

E-commerce Packaging

This issue became so common that online retail giant Amazon introduces the idea of ‘frustration-free packaging’ in 2008. As a result of this change, the programme has eliminated over 215,000 tons of packaging materials and avoided 360 million shipping boxes. Therefore, it is clear that there is a need for packaging that combines protection as well as convivence for retailers.

Here at Eastpac, we understand the importance of this packaging trend and therefore pleased to offer e-commerce traders our exclusive range – Securapac. Our packaging range Securapac is ideal for transit journeys. Including air packaging bags and cardboard protectors, we can provide numerous supplies to ensure your products remain in perfect condition. Therefore, your business can stay on-trend and pleases customers.

3. Sustainability needs to be the focus of packaging design

This will be a significant packaging trend for 2020. Increasingly, businesses are rethinking the materials they use. One of the biggest reasons for this is the significant use of plastics within the packaging. Consequently, the role of plastic is diminishing.

Sustainable packaging will undoubtedly have a positive impact on a business’s brand image. But, not only that, the right materials and packaging design can reduce usage and waste emission throughout the supply chain, contributing to the overall reduction of carbon emissions. Additionally, by switching to sustainable, lightweight, packaging, e-commerce traders can also save on transportation cost.

But even though these benefits affect the retailer, in recent studies, 29% of consumers stated they were likely to pay more for products with environmentally friendly packaging. Therefore, making an informed decision when it comes to sustainable packaging, that it should be a priority for retailers.

Overall, the most important reason for this packaging trend is that it promotes corporate responsibility in a positive light and will certainly increase brand awareness for the right purposes!

4. To help meet other trends, introduce Corrugated Packaging

Like we have discussed, e-commerce packaging has become more critical due to the rise of online shopping. Therefore, linking back to customer experience, this year, one of the essential packaging trends will be corrugated, rigid materials.

With its stable and sustainable qualities, corrugated packaging will enable retailers to not only offer the customer a positive unboxing experience but also replace plastic alternatives. Numerous packaging experts have stated that 2020 is the year in which we can expect to see a real shift across the packaging spectrum towards corrugated packaging.

5. Minimalism

Like we discussed in our last trends blog, minimalism was a key trend. Well, in 2020, it is a packaging trend which is going to be very influential. Aesthetics will always be vital to the packaging sector, and for 2020 packaging design will continue to be minimalist.

Minimalist packaging design is certainly going to play a crucial role in catching the consumer’s eye – even more so for the ‘Instagram generation’. Customers have a certain level of expectancy when it comes to packaging as a result of seeing aesthetically pleasing images from influencers. Consequently, this year, more brands will be investing in updating their primary packaging to translate brand identity directly to the product.

Therefore, clean packaging, simplistic designs will be another crucial packaging trend for this year. Again, minimalism is all about focusing on product ingredients. Therefore, this trend ties in with the sustainability trend, as consumers believe less complicated packaging is more environmentally friendly than over-engineered packaging.

GAEA - minimalist Packaging

6. Edible Packaging

This may sound like an odd one but hear us out. This packaging trend has slowly been gaining traction over the past few years. But, for 2020, it is expected to continue to develop further with new innovations.

Due to businesses embracing eco-friendly, minimalist packaging, there is going to be a shift towards biodegradable packaging – even edible. Recently, the alcoholic beverage brand Bacardi collaborated with Sorbos to create edible straws to encourage cocktail making. The success of this campaign has shown the interest consumers have with packaging, which removes the need for plastic pollution.

Overall, we can see all these packaging trends demonstrating the increasing popularity of sustainable materials. This year, we can expect to see many trends eliminate the need for plastics materials to be involved. Whether it be minimalist packaging which reduces the number of materials used or stable corrugated board.

However, what is subliminal is all these trends is the focus on the consumer. No longer should packaging be about what is convenient, but rather what will prolong a positive unboxing experience.