The year 2022 is right around the corner. And with it, comes new possibilities. But, what does the world of packaging have in store for food and consumer brands? That’s what we look at.

Here are the top 7 packaging trends to watch out for in the upcoming year.

Let’s take a look…

1. Transparent & Clear Labelling

Transparent packaging is a major trend on the rise right now. Some elements inherent to clear food packaging include transparent plastic pouches with a window cut-out to let the consumers see the exact product inside.

The whole sneak-peek feature is a great way to entice the customers. It’s quite interactive. And, the fact that they can view the actual product without unpacking allows for even better inspection. It aids thoughtful buying decisions.

There’s also a better chance the consumer will grab your product off the shelf and place it into the shopping cart. Flexible food packaging bags are another form of transparent packaging. Think of poly bags and other bagging items.

Polybags are transparent bags ideal for shipping all kinds of products. It’s made of polyethylene; a common plastic formulation. Magazine, bedding items, pillows, mailers, clothes, etc. are all packaged in clear, transparent poly bags. Other common items that rely on flexible bagging solutions would be baked goods, rolls, bread, and edibles.

2. Pandemic Prepared Certification For Supply Chain

It was only a matter of time that the COVID19 pandemic affected the packaging industry. With new variants on the rise across the countries, companies are having to reevaluate their priorities and see what is the need of the hour.

It goes without saying that packaging has the power to significantly bring down the risk of virus spreading by sub-standard packaging. And so, we now welcome pandemic prepared certification. The certification comes from AIB international and gives the storage facilities a way to battle the virus, the pandemic, and other viruses that might pose problems in the future.

As of right now, no business can afford to not be pandemic-ready. And, if going the extra mile in terms of bettering the packaging is the key, then it’s a small price to pay.

3. Gradient Colouring

Vivid gradience captivates consumers and designers alike. For designers, they offer a unique avenue and a larger variety to come up with a design that looks organic, natural, and elegant. Designers accomplish that by using placeholders and shades that parleys into something reenergizing and unique.

There’s an extensive depth to gradients. Other than that, they look outstanding in digital formatting as well. Take Instagram for example. They switched from their previous Instax logo to the one in line with gradient coloring. Several major prominent brands are also following the suit. They are embracing the gradient design with open arms.

Incorporating stimulating and bright color combinations is big right now.

4. Minimalistic Design

Sometimes less is more. And, that’s where minimal design wins. Minimalist packaging relies on using the least amount of typography, space, ink, and material. Since shopping can be an overwhelming experience as the customer is bombarded with attention-grabbing, forms, aesthetics, and pulsating colors; a package with minimal design can seem like a respite and a fair choice.

Interestingly enough, the use of monotone/flat color and simple design can make a package stand out from the sea of heavily-textured and multi-colored alternatives on a market aisle or online inventory.

By restoring to the principle of simplicity, brands could heavily cut down on the using multiple materials, expensive printing technology, heavy textures, and ‘in you face’ marketing gimmicks.

5. Tamper-Proof, Protective Packaging

COVID-19 and the pandemic made everyone take their health and safety more seriously. It was only a matter of time before the businesses became more serious about it too. To that end, tamper-evident packaging and protective packaging are on the rise. They are becoming popular especially across consumer goods and food manufacturing companies.

While ensuring the container and product safety, this kind of packaging also lets the user see if the product has been tampered with or compromised during transit. Seal bands, blister packs, flexible pouches, and lidding films are the common protective packaging materials.

6. Technology-Enabled Solutions

Smart packaging is enabled by technology-enabled solutions which essentially entails embedding the technology right on the package. This goal is to aid the customer with ease and convenience of securely accessing information.

Think about printed QR codes, NFC chips, and smart labels which are more common with food packaging. A smartphone is all that you need to know more about the product, where it came from, date of manufacturing, etc.

Smart packaging also allows tracking of other crucial parameters like the product temperature, pH value, fermentation level to ensure freshness, health standard compliances, flavor, quality, and from where the product was sourced. Take Maggi Healthy Soups as an example. The Nestle brand uses the patented ‘granulation technology’ to ensure the freshness of key ingredients.

Technology-enabled packaging solutions can also render a cosmetic appeal to the product. For example, Budweiser used LED light embedded beer cups during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The cups glowed more as one cheered for their team.

Tostitos, the famous tortilla-chip brand, came with an alcohol sensor and NFC chips at the 2017 Super Bowl. It allowed drunk spectators to call an Uber.

7. Vintage Packaging

There’s a nostalgic value to anything vintage. It transports people into happier moments; a time when things were simpler. Simply speaking, ‘vintage’ can refer to anything (design, place, or idea) which signals the time gone by. It could be a combination of an era or just one era.

Vintage packaging can be appealing not only to boomers but Gen X and Gen Y as well. People are discovering a fondness for older and simpler times; even though they haven’t necessarily lived in those. To that end, look at the packaging for Jack Daniels Whiskey, Parle-G biscuit, and Van Leeuwen ice creams.

The colorful graphics, solid matte finish, pastel colors, and letterpress fonts were all ubiquitous to the 50s and 60s. It might be a good idea to incorporate them into your design.

Final Thoughts

Since its early days, packaging has come a long way. And the onset of the pandemic nudged things in an entirely different direction. If brands and companies need to stay afloat, they need to get on board with the latest trends in packaging.

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