Weekly Thought-Starter #022: Packaging Futures

Date:Monday, April 29, 2019
Author:Charlie Gilbert

Busy lifestyles and evolving shopping habits – not to mention consumers’ demands for sustainable solutions – are throwing up countless challenges for packaging design.

Tackling this increasingly testing landscape will involve a mixture of short-term wins, like food and beverage brands adding Braille ingredient descriptions, and long-term goals, like digital packaging tangibly improving the environment.

“A demand for sustainable packaging is the number one challenge brands are confronted with today,” says Dewi Pinatih, our Product Design senior editor. “Although testing, there’s a big incentive to do better, since 72% of global consumers are willing to pay more for products with packaging that offers sustainable benefits.”

This is why sustainability forms the overarching theme in Packaging Futures 19/20, our new Spotlight Trend. Its three core reports map out what the future looks like for digital, convenience, luxury and human-centric packaging – and how you can capitalise on it.

In Catering to Convenience, we explore the Internet of Packaging – and how digital technology and advanced functional packaging design are improving on-the-go consumption. Costa Coffee’s contactless-payment-powered reusable coffee cup is one stand out example; it acts like a prepaid account and allows users to pay for their coffee without having to reach for their wallet or phone.

The Human-Centric Approach, meanwhile, uncovers the intuitive packaging concepts folding around consumer needs, behaviours and rituals. Aside from guilt-free packaging solutions, consumers want packaging to have secondary functions, support the natural environment as they decompose and leave no trace.

Saatchi & Saatchi’s Bee Saving Paper, which could be used for coffee-cup sleeves, tote bags or picnic bags, is one such example. The biodegradable material, which is made with glucose and honey plant seeds, is consumed by bees to replenish their energy levels.

Then, in Engineering Engaging Moments, we (quite literally) unpack how the ways we shop are shifting the parameters of packaging. Non-alcoholic beverage Kin Euphorics, for instance, uses ASMR-inducing renders and CGI animations suited to capture people’s attention online.

“Consumers increasingly judge brands on their sustainability credentials, both on social media and with their wallets – meaning it’s never been more important to get it right,” Dewi explains. “Our reports show how to marry this prerequisite with packaging that satisfies contemporary consumer needs.”

Don’t miss Dewi take to the stage at Decoded Future, where she’ll be presenting Naked Goods: The Future of Packaging.

< Back to all posts