There are many places where you can source great packaging ideas, but nowhere is more packed with inspiration than your local supermarket.
Once the functional outer packaging layers have been unpacked and the strapping roll unpicked, this is where the big brands demonstrate the latest trends in packaging today. Smaller brands can find some tips before using the ideas to create their own unique crowd-pulling, competition-busting twist.
So what is going on down at shop-floor level right now? What packaging concerns should you have right now that goes beyond what size of boxes you need and what strapping roll to use? These are the trends that came out of this year’s Packaging Innovations Show and are now trickling down to consumer level. They are the sort of ideas that should be influencing your latest packaging designs.
Food and drink packaging of today (and tomorrow) is focusing more and more on ease of use and convenience. Packaging is being downsized and openings improved to make ‘on the go’ use easier. Think of Robinsons’ Squash’d drinks and the latest McCoy’s crisp packets that open on the longest side. It all began with ring-pull cans many years ago but now extends much further. Consumers today will not tolerate being squirted with milk every time they open a carton or having to carry a lunch box the size of a suitcase to accommodate their drinks and snacks.
Taking this idea further, the latest packaging has convenience at its heart, whether it’s designed to be opened and used at home, in the office or out and about. It’s strange that it’s taken so long for manufacturers to grasp the fact that consumers don’t want to be messing around with fiddly and time-consuming packaging. This does not just extend to primary packaging either. Brand loyalty can begin from something as simple as secondary packaging that doesn’t require an engineering degree or a toolbox simply to get inside. Even secondary packaging is a reflection of your brand and a well-thought-out and convenient outer packet will give the impression of a company focused on innovation and the needs of its customers.
Pull of the Professionals
Another major trend in packaging right now is the use of words and phrases that attract consumers to the professional aspect of the product. In the case of food and drink packaging, there is an abundance of items endorsed by celebrity chefs.