As the new year begins to unfold, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the year that lies ahead. While 2016 brought the packaging world a number of innovations, 2017 promises to be even more exciting as we see new and interesting ways for product packaging to interact directly with the consumer, save money, and positively impact the planet. Read on for four packaging trends that Greiner Packaging will be closely monitoring over the coming months.
- Packaging will become increasingly “experiential.” Consumer engagement was a hot topic for marketers in 2016 and the trend will continue into the new year as consumers now expect brands to engage with them across all areas of the brand experience — even packaging. Savvy brands will begin to incorporate campaign-specific mobile marketing (in terms of hashtags or QR codes) on packaging or encourage engagement via stickers, promotions, or games on the inside of the packaging wrap.
- Sustainability isn’t what it used to be. “Going green” has been a major focus of many packaging manufacturers for a while now, and that trend isn’t going away any time soon. Yet, the focus has shifted from being solely mindful of the amount of packaging wasted to a more educated and earth-conscious consumer concerned with what happens to the package after use, as well as the carbon footprint that is created by the production of the packaging to begin with. This means earth-friendly production practices and streamlined supply chain operations that cut down on waste have now evolved from “nice to haves” to essential aspects of packing production — of which consumers will demand.
- Look for advances in barrier technologies. As healthy eating and organic diets remain top of mind, consumer demand for longer product shelf life without added preservatives is increasing. Depending upon the product and its sensitivities — whether it be to moisture, oxygen, or light — it is often vital to provide food packaging protection by incorporating barrier properties during production. Keep an eye out for packaging that utilizes multi-barrier technology (“MBT”), which involves embedding a barrier layer of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) within many layers of plastic, or inert barrier technology (“IBT”), which involves adding a silicone oxide layer to the outside of the plastic cup. Though the ideal type of barrier technology depends upon the specific needs of the product, we expect to see an increased demand for these technologies in the marketplace this year.
- Smaller households mean smaller packaging. The size and make-up of households today is drastically different than it was just a decade ago. Today, we are seeing an increase in singles living alone and families with fewer children, according to Acosta’s Hot Topic Report: The Evolution of Eating. This means, consumers in these smaller households seek products in smaller packages that meet their needs for convenience and waste reduction — like single servings to-go, servings for two, and re-sealable packaging.
Please check back often as we will be updating the Greiner Packaging blog with how these trends play out over the coming months. What packaging trends will you be watching for in 2017?