2018 is right around the corner, and as the leaves begin to change color, retail brands and consumer goods manufacturers, Packaging Designers and Engineers are gearing up for what changes are to come, and what changes they can bring in their respective packaging worlds in the coming year.
From PMMI to InterPack, the talk for 2018 packaging trends is a broad brush covering sustainability; from going light and flexible, to healthier foods and clean labelling with packaging that keeps items fresher and safer for longer periods of time. Creative design isn’t to be neglected next year while incorporating sustainability and customisation.
Light and Flexible Packaging
The flexible packaging market is growing across the globe due to the many benefits and flexibility it provides including recyclability and lightweight protection for all types of packaged goods.
Charles D. Yuska, President and CEO of PMMI, recently stated that the increased focus on sustainability is driving more demand for energy-efficient filling and closing machines that support flexible packaging materials.
Clean Labelling and Healthy Foods
An interesting statistic that Mr. Yuska also mentioned:
“37% of U.S. consumers find it important to understand ingredients on food labels while 91% believe that products with recognisable ingredients are healthier, and the rise in demand for organic food has fueled a more than 10% growth in this sector.”
Food manufacturers must act accordingly to meet the evolving customer needs and create foods with recognisable ingredients.
This means the preservatives that are unrecognisable and generally extend shelf life should be replaced with packaging materials and technologies that can counter the removal of these preserving ingredients.
An example of new technology like this would be using High Pressure Processing (HPP) which extends shelf life for fresher, safer foods.
In Addition to clean labelling, 2018 is the current set year for the transition to new FDA nutritional labelling regulations for foods. Understanding the FDA regulations for food labelling requirements is an absolute must. Know what nutritional content for the ingredients in your food product, the serving size, expiration dates and the placement requirements for your package.
The FDA began updating the nutrition labelling guidelines for the first time in 20 years, and if your product is already on the market, it is in your best interest to plan on aligning your nutrition labelling with the updated rules soon. Make sure you are clear on what is required to be on your packaging and labelling before you go to market with new foods. If you aren’t confident in compliance, finding a food labelling consultant is never a bad idea. Though the FDA has pushed back the new labelling requirement deadlines a few times already (and it looks like it may be doing so again), it is better to heir on the side of caution and be prepared.
Creative Package Designs
With the growing demand for customisation as the online sales of consumer goods increases, the need for creative packaging is increasing as well.
Using customised shapes for packaging to complement a flavor or product use is a great way to leave a lasting impression on your consumers in the coming year.
Another way to get creative is to utilise a re-usable package for your products. Provide customer delight with a package that can be utilised differently once its contents is finished.
Often when you think creative, something busy or intricate may come to mind, but extreme minimalism can also be a huge winner for your products.
Look into your target consumer profiles to determine the best way to make an impact on your products growth and demand in 2018, but don’t neglect getting creative in your approach.
An article published by Strategy& provided a unique insight into the consumers of today. The article states that consumers in both the US and the UK can be split into two categories: survivalists and selectionists.
Survivalists include the growing number of retirees and millennials that are burdened with college debt. The article describes this segment of the populations mindsets when making purchases as looking for value while cutting back on spending. The survivalists will be found shopping at value outlets like Costco, Aldi’s, and online outlets offering lower prices and more convenience.
On the other side of the fence, the selectionists are not worried about spending more for quality. This segment of the population is not worried about price and will be looking for a ‘quality’ or premium-priced items at namesake stores.
No matter where your target market lies, its important to know who they are, and to make sure packaging speak to them while remaining economical.