Nov 12 Celloglas News, Industry Insight

What’s coming up in packaging?

It’s the retail industry’s busiest period. The finishing touches are being added to what will hopefully be standout campaigns and extraordinary packaging to clinch festive shoppers’ attention. This year, things are a little different however. As brands attempt to keep up with the phenomenal growth of ecommerce, as well as facilitate the big push on improving packaging’s performance and move towards more sustainable strategies, there may be challenges ahead – but there are even bigger opportunities.

Here, we consider what’s next for packaging and outline the upcoming trends that most brands will already have one eye on.

Embracing the digital shift in sales and purchasing
Many brands were well-prepared for the pandemic and its effects on purchasing – they already had an online presence and shopping space. For others, it’d be a wise move to make that change sooner rather than later. And of course, this then has an impact on product packaging, as it goes without saying that a customer’s interaction with a product’s packaging will have less influence on the purchasing decision. In the coming months, packaging will continue to adapt to this shift. Packaging and print must meet the demands of product protection in distribution and delivery – and, once with the customer, should look to add value at the time of use. That could mean something as simple as ease of opening, or it could be that it’s readily recyclable or designed for convenience ie storage or quick disposal.

There’s also a need to, quite literally, think outside the box where packaging is concerned. Move away from the simple ‘brown box’ of secondary packaging and really consider the unboxing experience – at this time, this is a key opportunity to set brands apart from competitors and really elevate the customer experience. Tailor this specifically for the intended market and audience and consider how the experience will make them feel. Mirri is our luxury material designed for an impressive packaging experience.

Get the finishing and decoration right with inventive materials and brands will long stay in the minds of their customers, leading to untold opportunities in terms of repeat purchases, reviews, user-generated content on social media… It all adds to the onward marketing of the product.

Messaging is now more important than ever
A compelling brand story is crucial – communicating it well, even more so. Consumers require authenticity and are looking to make real connections. Telling your brand story through product packaging can work a long way toward this, especially when, with online transactions, this is the only real physical interaction customers have with a brand. Packaging design and quality should reinforce brand values and even evoke emotion, as brands seek to continue that connection with customers. High-end beauty brand? Hint at the luxurious nature of the product within via packaging featuring metallic foils, UV gloss coating or unique special effect finishes.

Sustainability in packaging will pick up pace
In 2019, a YouGOV Custom survey found half of Brits feel guilty about the amount of plastic they use, while more than three quarters (82%) are actively trying to reduce the amount they throw away. This bodes well for the packaging industry’s push to move to a circular economy and work in line with government targets to reduce single-use plastic by at least 50% by 2025. Meanwhile, the UK Plastics Pact was introduced to bring together businesses from across the plastics value chain to work together to cut out plastic waste and create a greener future. Moving away from a linear plastics economy – one in which we take, make and dispose if it – and ensuring packaging can be reused, recycled and composted is crucial. Consumer sentiment means the industry has a good shot at making change.

Our brand ethics are built on providing brands with innovative but sustainable ways to get noticed. Cellogreen and Mirri Eco are just two of our greener print and packaging finishes.  What’s more, Celloglas is certified Zero Foil 2 Landfill by the British Printing Federation (BPIF) and Prismm Environmental. That means none of our foil waste goes to landfill. Under the scheme, which is open to businesses nationwide, Prismm processes foil waste with no restrictions on quantities.

Maximalism: Going heavy on the detail
Moving alongside minimalism rather than outpacing it, maximalism and heavily detailed packaging will continue to trend. Brands looking to make a big impact will favour maximalism – being remembered is crucial. Intense, rich colours, striking pattern and detailed design will play to consumers’ need for a high-end experience – more so this year because the usual shopping experience has been turned on its head. Luxurious, opulent finishes say plenty about the quality of the product and the personality of the brand, as well as leave the customer with an experience like no other.

Appeasing hygiene concerns
Consumer concerns regarding hygiene and food safety should be an important consideration for the packaging industry. Food packaging is the packaging industry’s largest area of activity so companies must look into ways to alleviate these concerns. Celloglas is BRC packaging-certified – this is a world-recognised accreditation that endorses product safety, integrity, legality and quality in the food manufacturing, processing and packaging industry. Finishes can be used on food packaging manufactured in our BRC-accredited sites.

In the current climate, some people may have concerns about the safety of packaging and cross-contamination but the truth is print and packaging can help reduce the spread of bacteria. Our innovative Cellomed coatings and laminates prevent the build-up of bacteria on print and packaging. This silver-based finish provides life-long antimicrobial protection, making it ideal for the food and hospitality industries, as well settings likes schools, hospitals and transport hubs. Silver particles within Cellomed are ready to attack and destroy bacteria as soon as they land on a print’s surface – leaving businesses and brands assured they’re doing their bit to protect the nation.

Over the next year, brands keeping a finger on the pulse of packaging trends will find it’s a wise move. So much is changing, and so quickly, but some ‘trends’ simply aren’t budging.  For example, the ones that sustainably work towards a circular economy where plastic is concerned (it’s industry-wide), and those that place customer experience at the heart of it all.