Label & Packaging Trends for 2018


With the New Year comes new trends in packaging including recently released consumer trends from Mintel and Packaging Strategies that will impact the packaging industry in 2018. We are going to take a look at some of the prominent ones and how Consumer Product Goods Companies can take advantage of these trends through innovative labeling and packaging solutions.

  • Sustainable packaging: extending shelf life and safe packaging disposal
  • Transparency and clean labels build brand trust: in an increasingly hectic retail environment
  • Commerce offers opportunities: to create a seamless brand experiences
  • Continued consumer demand for convenience: ongoing focus of packaging innovations
  • Packaging that connects with consumers: leveraging personalization and interactive features
  • The color ultra violet: Pantone’s color of the Year appeals to a desire for originality
  • Contemporary packaging formats: renavigating consumers to the store center

Sustainable Packaging
Per Mintel, consumers have long considered packaging as often unnecessary, and ultimately as just waste to be disposed of. But that misconception is now changing. A focus on package innovations that extend food freshness, preserve ingredient fortification, and ensure safe delivery is increasingly benefiting consumers. Brands will need to act fast by exploiting on-pack communication tools to educate consumers to the benefits packaging can bring, from extending shelf life of food to providing efficient and safe access to essential products in developed and underserved regions of the world.

Consumers will also increasingly make purchasing decisions based on safe packaging disposal. Brands need to communicate that they are working to be part of the solution to this issue in order to capture consumer attention. This can be accomplished through the use of sustainable label products as well as by communicating and educating consumers on the disposal of a product’s packaging.

Transparency and clean labels build brand trust
There is a growing demand for transparency in the products consumers purchase. Many are health conscious and are opting for healthy products with recognizable or natural ingredients. Clean labeling and transparency allow consumers to be informed about the ingredients in their products.

Mintel states that today’s consumers are more informed than ever; however, brands are in real danger of being rejected if consumers feel overloaded with information, leading to the questioning of provenance, authenticity, and transparency. There is an opportunity for brands to bring the next generation of clean labeling to packaging design to provide a moment of calm and clarity for shoppers in an increasingly hectic retail environment.

eCommerce offers opportunities
According to a Mintel survey, over one-third of those surveyed purchased groceries online in the past year and most plan to repeat this behavior. A ‘Future of Food Retailing’ report predicts that e-commerce food and consumables are expected to grow 23.1% each year through 2020.

With the rise of online shopping, there have been challenges. This has opened the door to opportunities to utilize packaging for product protection during shipping, right-sizing the packaging and making sure that it provides a seamless brand experience for the consumer. The advantage of online shopping may be convenient, but this also means that consumers have even higher expectations from the brands they know and love.

Continued consumer demand for convenience
Today’s consumers value convenience. According to a market study by Technavio, the global on-the-go packaging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.67%  through 2020. This trend is driven by a rise in disposable income and the busy lifestyle of today’s consumers. Packaging must be able to attract the attention of a time-pressed shopper.

Products that address these wants and are presented in attractive packaging will play a significant role in grabbing the consumer’s attention. Per Packaging Strategies, that is why many packaging innovations have and will continue to focus on convenience factors, such as smaller, single-use, reclosable, microwavable, easy-pour and easy-open packaging.

Packaging that connects with consumers
Many consumers want to be engaged and prefer interaction with the products they purchase. Packaging that reflects the product’s origin through use of textures, colors, and various enhancements will resonate with consumers. To some, it may create a feeling of nostalgia. To others, the unique packaging may simply intrigue a shopper. Leveraging digital label printing allows brands to offer more personalized and varied packaging. This has proven to be a successful way for established as well as new brands to stand out from the crowd and make their branding messaging relevant.

The integration of interactive features will also continue to be leveraged as CPGs look to engage shoppers. This can be accomplished by telling a product’s story or providing additional product information. Whether it be a QR code or near field communication that takes the consumer to a website or incorporates augmented reality (AR), labels and packaging will continue to offer innovative options for interacting with consumers.

The color ultraviolet
The Pantone color of the year announcement is often a greatly anticipated event each year. The new color sets the tone and defines each year. Pantone recently released their color of the year for 2018: Ultra Violet. This color is mystical and alluring, yet calm and reflective at the same time. Purple is considered to be the color of royals, and this can speak volumes when creating packaging with this trending color.

According to Pantone, as packaging design becomes more sophisticated, Ultra Violet offers complexity and nuance that appeals to our desire for originality in all that we touch. Similarly, in graphic design, Ultra Violet resonates with this dynamic medium through its multi-dimensional feeling. Shades of Ultra Violet are increasingly used in packaging and graphic design by forward-looking brands in the CPG, luxury, and beauty worlds as well as by personalities and artists seeking to stand out.

Contemporary packaging formats
Along with increased online shopping, younger consumers are increasingly shopping the store perimeter, but the use of contemporary packing formats will help to renavigate them. Mintel states that the use of transparent materials, contemporary design, recyclability, or unique shapes can help draw in younger consumers to the store center, making it as appealing as the burgeoning perimeter to younger consumers.

Fort Dearborn Company has a variety of labeling and packaging solutions to help your brand take advantage of these trends. Whether you need innovative enhancements to grab consumer attention or the latest in sustainable packaging, convenience, or integrate interactive functionality, contact us today to get started.

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