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Brief Published: 11 Apr 2019

Lush’s Digital Packaging Reduces Waste


After Lush debuted a tech-powered packaging concept at its pop-up in Milan, the brand plans to implement this digitally led, eco-conscious approach around the world. Will this new retail strategy influence brands to reduce their in-store packaging?

British naturals brand Lush exhibited its digital concept shop with packaging-free products at this year’s SXSW 2019. It was their first-ever appearance at the Austin-based show, and it gave Lush an opportunity to highlight their pledge to develop and incorporate technology into waste reduction initiatives.

The pop-up showcased 54 new bath bombs without labels or packaging. Instead, the Lush Labs app uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to reveal product details. By scanning the bath bomb, customers can find out the name, ingredients and price of a product. It also shows how bath bombs will look once submerged in water, which, the brand claims, will help save water resources by removing the need for in-store demonstrations.

In the US, 67% of millennials now research online first and buy in store later (AdAge, 2018). Lush aims to appeal to this cohort by giving customers access to online reviews when they scan products using the app in stores. This feature forms part of the brand's long-term strategy to blend the online and offline shopping experience seamlessly. For more on this approach see, Omni-Commerce Gets Personal.

To read how other brands are diversifying digital packaging strategies to support customers in meaningful ways, see Packaging Innovations 2019. Also, keep an eye out for our latest Spotlight Trend Packaging Futures 19/20: Catering to Convenience publishing on April 30.