While some of the packaging trends from 2021 and beyond remain with us, including packaging that speaks to greater inclusivity and equality with regards to social issues, and clever use of personalization, sustainability and interactive packaging are ascendent in most industries.
If your packaging is going to be more effective in 2023, here are three trends to consider adopting.
Growth of Interactive Packaging
In the digital age, simple packaging often doesn’t cut it anymore. Consumers are growing accustomed to connected packaging that relies on QR codes, hashtags, and barcodes to further extend the unboxing experience to the digital realm.
By integrating interactive design elements into your packaging, consumers can further engage with you once they’ve unboxed your product.
For instance, a QR code can take them immediately to a website where they vote on their favorite flavor of potato chips. Or, a hashtag can encourage them to participate in a social media campaign where consumers share pictures of themselves with your products in unusual places around the world.
Interactive packaging is also a way to further educate consumers. QR codes, for example, can connect them directly to a landing page where they can watch videos on how to use your product properly and safely. Or perhaps your connected packaging design can enable them to immediately download an app on their phone.
Have fun with it.
Increasing Emphasis on Sustainability
Consumers want to support eco-friendly brands. And industry leaders are finally responding. Environmental, social, and governance-focused (ESG) initiatives are expected to soar upwards of 84% by 2026, according to a 2022 report from international professional service network PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Adding up to $33.9 trillion, this emphasis on sustainability in business, among other social initiatives from the biggest industry brands, suggests how serious you ought to be about increasing your environmental efforts.
When it comes to packaging, this can mean embracing right-sized packaging principles, employing renewable alternative materials such as hemp, cotton, casein protein, sugarcane bagasse, post-consumer recycled paper, and paperboard derived from sustainably managed forests, localizing supply chains, and reducing your carbon footprint.
Notably, it’s vital you communicate these sustainable aspects of your brand with effective messaging on your packaging. For instance, include visual cues that remind consumers your packaging has been certified by the nonprofits Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI), or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Ultimately, you’re falling behind–ethically and economically–if you’re not prioritizing environmental sustainability in your company. Consumers notice the brands trying to make positive impacts in their communities.
Packaging Trends in Design
It’s also important to consider some of the trends in visual design elements. Here are just a few:
Bold fonts are experiencing a resurgence, as you can see with this brazen design from Good Dye Young (GDY), a hair color brand co-founded by Hayley Williams, lead singer of the Grammy-Award-winning rock band Paramore. GDY chose to run with vibrant colors and bold font, representative of their focus on self-expression, creativity, and inclusion.
Alternatively, some brands are turning to more minimalist designs. While still eye-catching, this folding carton design for Rahua, a hair and beauty company whose products are plant-based, is slick and relatively unencumbered by visual flares or complex graphic designs.
Color blocking is an effective way to ensure your product stands out among the competition when sitting on the retail shelf. Strategic use of color will contrast with your competitors so consumers will be naturally drawn to your product.
Going for the vintage look can be a winning combination, depending on your brand. This can evoke emotions ranging from nostalgia, innocence, or even some gravitas that comes with having a long history. For instance, take a look at this carton design from LilyAna Naturals, a skincare company that sources ingredients locally.
Personalization is another promising and continuing packaging trend in 2023. Variable data printing is a technique that when combined with digital technology enables you to introduce personalized messaging on packaging efficiently. You can employ this on marketing collateral, labels, or folding cartons to creative effect, including region-specific phrases, for instance.
If you have information such as the names of customers acquired through digital interactions with your brand, you might be able to include marketing collateral addressing consumers by their first names–for that extra personal touch.
By all means, you don’t have to revamp your entire packaging line to keep your brand strong in 2023. However, if you can find a few ways to implement interactive packaging, embrace sustainability principles, and integrate just a couple of the design trends, you’re likely to see increased engagement among consumers.
And that means more people enjoying the phenomenal products you create.