What do consumers expect from packaging in the future?

Published 30 March 2017
Stora Enso’s consumer study gives insights on what consumers believe and want regarding packaging in the future. Here is what we found out.

First, we take a look at the consumers in the United Kingdom. It is obvious to us that they overall expect to see trends reinforced in years to come. They want to see that the functionality of the packaging is increased and they are expecting to see all packaging become more functional, especially re-sealable. They also think that it is likely that we will see more vacuumed sealed packaging for health and safety reasons. Another thing they think is coming, is paper learning from plastic and becoming foldable and moulded.

When we move on to Germany, the consumers have the following ideas about packaging in the future. The first one is to simplify the whole packaging concept, but what do they mean by that? Simply put, they want more of:

  • Recyclable, biodegradable material
  • Edible packaging
  • Packaging that vanishes completely short time after use
  • Stores where you have to bring your own packaging or only get paper bags/cornets or everything is wrapped in paper
  • Functional, re-sealable packaging
  • Friendly colours also for bio products

And they want less of:

  • Thin plastic/cellophane, aluminium cans
  • Double/triple packaging

In China, consumers think that eco-friendly packaging will be the trend in the next five years.

All the respondents believe that future packaging will be more environmental and user friendly in the future. Since consumers in China pay more attention to freshness of the foods, they do not want to buy food in big packages and prefer to top up with fresh, smaller packages. What they would prefer even more than small packages are packages that are more user friendly, easier to hold, store and carry, as well as control consumption amount for each occasion. A fun note is that some consumers believe the packaging design will be more creative, containing Disney themes, movies, or cartoon characters.

So, it is clear to see that the environment as well as the functionality are the biggest concerns, and wishes, from the consumers. Lets meet their demands!