2016: the year of transparency

2016 December 21

2016 has been an exciting year for the packaging industry with innovations influenced by a number of key macro trends and technology-led developments.

Sustainability gets serious

2016 has seen sustainability placed at the very centre of many businesses and brands. A number of high profile Global businesses are leading the way with science based sustainability goals that are fully measurable.  

Brands see the value in reusing packaging

Refilling existing packaging is becoming more than a gimmick with more mainstream and luxury brands offering a refill option within their proposition. 

Going beyond carbon-neutral

Scientists and designers are increasingly looking for solutions that are fit for purpose, affordable and also in harmony with the natural world.  Developments in the world of bio-based polymers are offering us a glimpse of a realistic future in which product packaging draws its inspiration from nature and then returns to nature after its useful life. 

Honest talk 

In 2016 consumers have begun demanding more honest dialogue and clear information on which to compare offers and make purchasing decisions. With so much choice available and so many advertising claims being made, consumers feel bamboozled. 

Sweet truth 

2016 has seen much talk about the dangers of hidden sugar and talk of introducing a sugar tax. Consumers have reacted by demanding more open and honest ingredient labelling and advertising.

Brands with purpose

Brands take on social, ethical and environmental responsibilities but struggle to tell their story in any cohesive way at the point of purchase. These need to be reinforced on pack to create empathy with like-minded consumers and to tell the brand story in a consistent way.   

Right here, right now

2016 has seen a huge shift in expectations around convenience and home delivery based on changes in buying behavior and the continued increase in mobile device use and enabling digital technology.  

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Looking forward to 2017

Retailers will have to continue to focus efforts on delivering their goods safely and in consumer friendly and environmentally friendly packaging as they meet the future challenges of this market whatever it brings (drones?). 

2017 will also see branded consumer packaging evolving as it needs to be optimized for the evolved consumer experience and brand story through all the touchpoints of the e-commerce journey.  

New retail paradigms are opening up opportunities to surprise and delight consumers in completely new ways. In 2017 while brands and retailers are looking for creative ways to attract, engage and convert consumers, packaging designers and consultants will need to be applying their understanding of these macro trends and technological innovations to improve packaging’s ability to fulfil the evolving brand promise.

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