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Product Design
Published: 6 Oct 2016

Key Takeaways: Packaging Innovations 2016

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Domilovo Eggs and Melies were both awarded in the Dieline Awards 2016 for their ornately old-fashioned packaging

Packaging Innovations London 2016 took place from September 14-15 at Olympia in London. Centring on innovative, creative and luxury packaging, it showcased solutions from more than 170 suppliers across a variety of sectors. Stylus picked up on three packaging trends at the event:

  • Collectible Nostalgia: Packaging that taps into nostalgia through vintage prints, materials and colours was a key direction at the show. Keynote speaker Ann Dunne, head of food technology at luxury British department store Harrods, spoke about the evolution of vintage-look packaging. She believes that an authentic crafty appeal can be achieved by applying artisan techniques such as hand carving and litho printing.

    Another keynote speaker, packaging specialist Neil Farmer, expressed his view that limited and bespoke editions will continue to be key drivers. Editions tying into special occasions – like British heritage brands Twinings and Lyle’s Golden Syrup, who both created limited edition tins for the Queen's 90th birthday this year – add a collectible value. See Contextual Packaging Trends 2016 for more on how packaging is tapping into consumers’ emotions and sentimentality.
  • Blending Interiors: Packaging can stand out by being less disposable and more akin to interior homeware. Mexican nutritional company Vivana and Indian tea brand Teabox both boast subtle and modern branding that sits well in the kitchen. Dunne says the key is to combine aesthetics with preservation properties, offering increased shelf life with visual appeal. According to Dunne, food packaging for products such as vinegar and jam is becoming more compact as brands take cues from the beauty industry, pursuing a refined look that allows packaging to be on display rather than hidden away. Driving this development are consumers’ evolving needs for convenience and clutter-free living. See Packaging Futures 16/17: Luxury, for more on how tactility and graphics are enabling packaging to blend into interiors.
  • Honest Sustainability: Clean, light and unadorned packaging speaks to the informed consumer. Natural aesthetics, recyclable materials and a smaller carbon footprint appeal to this environmentally conscious customer, who seeks transparency from brands. Taking a less-is-more approach, brands are stripping down packaging solutions to their most basic elements by reducing materials and simplifying graphics – bringing visual ease to food and drink categories.

    Farmer added that food preservation and extended shelf life continue to drive the packaging market and challenge manufacturers to develop innovative new solutions. See Packaging Futures: Sustainability and Evolved Packaging Aesthetics for more on how clear labelling and updated modern graphics offer new approaches to transparency. Dunne believes that the entire packaging industry is working towards environmental friendliness, and as luxury brands such as Harrods aim to reduce waste, others will undoubtedly follow suit.
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