Packaging Trends 2017

Last year we made a host of predictions about the packaging trends that would shape 2016 and these, on the whole, turned out to be accurate. So, what of 2017? What does this year have in store for the packaging industry? Our experts Neil Percy and Ryszard Ryske take a look.

Last year we predicted that lightweight/right-weight packaging would gain prevalence for a number of reasons. Not only does it help sure up a brand’s environmental credentials, it can lead to reduced material costs and wastage.

This trend will continue in 2017, particularly in the food and beverages sector, as brands seek to provide reliable, on-the-go packaging. Portion size is also a driver in the race towards smaller packets, and in home and beauty markets, affordability will apply pressure for downsizing.

Sustainability and eco-friendliness are not confined just to packaging. It is a global issue that affects companies, brands and individuals the world over. But the packaging industry must play its part, and consumers are ensuring that it is. 2017 will bring greater pressure to reduce environmental impact and carbon footprint.

Some companies are already making great strides in this area – Coca-Cola, for example, introduced bioplastics into their production processes a few years ago, and rival PepsiCo is currently trialling the idea of edible packaging.

Lego is looking for more eco-friendly material for their bricks. You can bet more brands will be following suit in 2017.

Tie-ups between packaging and online content are hardly new, but their use will accelerate in 2017. Our own SmartPicture is already being used to drive online engagement from printed packaging and marketing material, and other technologies are successfully doing this also.

Sectors likely to adopt this most comprehensively include pharma, food, FMCG and security as these often have large amounts of information to impart, which is not always possible on a single piece of packaging or label.

However, we predict healthcare more widely will be an enthusiastic adopter of this technology, as smart technology enables doctors to monitor patients’ intake of medication and use of medical devices.

As the proliferation of smart technology pervades every corner of our lives, the link between packaging and the online world will develop in ways that even we would struggle to predict!

Everyone remembers Coca Cola’s Share a Coke campaign, which saw names printed on bottles of the fizzy drink and sold across global markets. It drove a 2 per cent increase in worldwide sales.

Personalisation is set to continue unabated in 2017 as advances in digital printing technology make it easier, cheaper and quicker to achieve. Personalised gifts, merchandise featuring personalised pets, personalised children’s books, you name it, it will be personalised! High street retailers, bespoke specialists, online shops and mainstream brands have all embraced it. Personalisation, and the places it can be applied, is limited only by the minds of brand owners!

Those are our predicts for 2017. Care to share any of your own? If so, leave us a comment below.

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