How does future packaging look like?

Published 7 June 2018
Listening to consumers opinions is key when identifying future packaging trends – after all, one of the main purpose with the packaging design is to attract them and catch their attention. Think about it – if the packaging does not hold the consumer’s attention, then how will the product ever reach their shopping carts?
In order to find out what they want, we asked consumers in the UK, Germany and China about their expectations and wishes around future packaging. Actually, many of their ideas about packaging in the future simplify the whole packaging concept. The producers have a lot to win listening to end consumers’ opinions. It is not only that the packaging needs to catch the eye but it also has fit people’s lifestyle.

For example, introducing smaller containers is a current trend that both Chinese and UK consumers expect to see reinforced in years to come. The opinion is that many companies are still overpackaging things today, and with that in mind it is no wonder why consumers crave smaller packaging. Smaller containers have several benefits since they are more user-friendly as well as easier to hold, store and carry. It also control consumption amount for each occasion, not to speak of the environmental advantages. Smaller containers also serve the growing number of single households.

Speaking of packaging design, consumers wish for more transparency both regarding packaging and the ingredient lists. The German respondents want more colour variation with friendly colors also for eco products, not only brown. “Although it is an eco product they should also use bright and friendly colours”, said one respondent. German consumers also want more of recyclable and biodegradable material and less of thin plastic, cellophane and aluminum cans. This eco-friendly way of thinking also goes for the Chinese, where all respondents believe eco-friendly packaging will be the trend in the next five years. Since consumers pay more attention to freshness of the foods, they don’t want to buy food in big packages. Instead, they prefer to top up with fresh, smaller containers.

Last but not least – health and freshness will be another important focus area in future. Consumers expect to see more airtight containers for health reasons and also that paper and board will become formable to unforeseen shapes and designs.

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