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Jessie Zettler
Associate Design Director,
Landor Cincinnati

Trends in packaging

November 18, 2013

Trends in packaging are demonstrating slow but steady innovation that keeps customers engaged and excited. Green packaging in particular is coming of age, evolving to add perks well beyond efficiency and waste reduction.

Plant-based choices 

Bioresins and plant-based packaging will continue coming to market in 2014. In addition to simply replacing plastics with these materials, manufacturers are finding innovative uses for biological packaging to give consumers extra product benefits. 

The potato starch and paper container from Veuve Clicquot is not only 100 percent biodegradable and recyclable, it also insulates the bottle, keeping it cool for up to two hours. Many brands have zero-waste options in the works, such as edible rice paper food wrappers and packaging that washes away in water. 

Second life 

Packaging with dual uses resonates with the environmentally conscious and the budget conscious alike by reducing waste and giving the customer two products in one. A Dutch company sells lightbulbs whose packaging can turn into a lampshade. Lu, the French biscuit brand, has introduced a box that becomes a child’s toy when refolded.

Pure and simple

Customers today want to know where their food comes from and what ingredients go into it. To meet this demand, food brands are rolling out packaging that communicates simplicity, purity, and natural origins. Beautifully photographed, fresh-looking ingredients are gracing packages on nearly every grocery shelf. 

Target’s Simply Balanced private label uses a circle graphic paired with appealing food photography on a field of turquoise. Pillsbury’s Simply line is clothed in a white package with no-nonsense typography and product imagery. 

Natural hues and unbleached papers combined with pops of vibrant color are being used to show flavor variety, as with Triscuit’s bright accents reminiscent of colors used in fashion and home décor. 

Beauty to go 

In 2014 we’ll see on-the-go packaging move into the beauty category. Sample sizes not only fit perfectly in a travel bag or purse, but are a great inducement to try a new luxury item. 

Sephora is taking advantage of the latter opportunity by including trial-size products with purchases. Offering samples at checkout is a smart targeting move—with freebies given only to those who have already shown an interest in high-end beauty. 

Celebrity co-branding

More and more brands are adding cachet to their lines through the name recognition of artists and designers. Target is well known for partnering with major fashion designers including Phillip Lim, Alexander McQueen, and Jason Wu. Sephora recently collaborated with Pantone and Disney; Jarden Consumer Solutions (parent to Oster and Sunbeam brands) enlisted French Bull to design a line of small appliances. Commemorative Andy Warhol designs have appeared on Perrier, Nars, and Campbell’s soup packaging this year.

 

 

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