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Packaging Design Trends to Watch

Packaging is part of the first impression your customers have with your food product, so it’s critical that you make it a good one. Aligning your packaging with your brand values, while also pushing the envelope of innovation can create a truly memorable customer experience that leads to sales growth.

To gain that critical edge and keep a competitive advantage, we offer this look at some of the latest packaging trends for 2023.


The Growth of Interactive Packaging

In the digital age, simple packaging often doesn’t cut it anymore. Consumers are growing accustomed to connected packaging that relies on QR codes, hashtags, and other elements to extend the unboxing experience to the digital realm. By integrating these interactive design elements into your packaging, consumers can further engage with you once they’ve opened your product.

For instance, a QR code can take them immediately to a website where they vote on their favorite flavor of potato chips or frosted sugar cookies. Or, a hashtag can encourage them to take part in a social media campaign where consumers share pictures of themselves while interacting with your products.

Interactive packaging is also a way to further educate consumers. QR codes, for example, can connect them directly to a landing page where they can watch videos on how to use your products, see recipes, or learn other ways to use it.

An Increasing Emphasis on Sustainability

Consumers want to support eco-friendly brands. And industry leaders are finally responding. Environmental, social, and governance focused (ESG) initiatives are expected to soar upwards of 84% by 2026, according to a 2022 report from international professional service network PricewaterhouseCoopers.

This emphasis on sustainability in business extends deeply into product packaging. Therefore, marketers must consider how they can use plastic-free packaging and biodegradable packaging options to attract their target customers, all while ensuring the packaging continues to be functional and ensure the customer experience is intact.

But of equal importance is how you communicate these sustainable aspects of your brand with effective messaging on your packaging. For instance, include visual cues that remind consumers your packaging has been certified by the nonprofit organizations such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI).

Eco-conscious consumers want to support brands that align with their own values and are willing to pay a premium to do so.

Transparent Packaging

Another trend this year is food packaging made of transparent materials. As consumers become concerned with the ingredients being used in food products and the process by which they’re made, the desire for more transparency from companies has increased.

This means allowing customers to eat with their eyes by seeing the food they are buying as well as informing your customers of ingredients and benefits. Revealing what’s inside the packaging allows your brand to lead with honesty. Misleading customers or misrepresenting your product with inaccurate food images on the packaging can harm your relationship with those who buy your product.

Remove the guesswork for customers by showing them exactly what they will receive with transparent and forthcoming information that communicates your product’s value versus opaque packaging.

The Trend Towards Minimalist Packaging

Minimalism is still a huge trend in food packaging design. Some of the packaging industry has drifted away from extravagant and cluttered designs and have embraced simplicity with a clear labeling and packaging approach to their designs.

Minimalism and simplicity in the packaging design is here to stay. As they say, less is always more. Additionally, it helps highlight the product’s value and doesn’t overpower customers with graphics.

Consumers are already overwhelmed and numb to extravagant and colorful packaging, and that’s why giving them a minimalist look can be a breath of fresh air. Keeping the design simple and minimal not only makes the packaging look clean, elegant, and simple, but it’s also refreshing to the eyes. And as a bonus, it usually reduces the cost of the packaging manufacturing process.

To Wrap Things Up…

We just covered a lot of ground in terms of what’s happening in packaging design, especially as it relates to food products. If you're asking yourself, "How do I get it all done?" Contact us for a no-obligation consultation to discover the ways we help brands like yours create dynamic packaging, both from a design and imagery perspective!


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