6 emerging packaging design trends for 2019

by | Aug 30, 2018 | Branding with impact

Here are 6 emerging packaging design trends for 2019 that are already beginning to taking shape.

What’s jumping off the shelf? What will consumers want tomorrow?

Walk through the supermarket aisle’s, what’s jumping out to you at the moment? Regular consumers would say that it may be:

  • A familiar logo
  • Bright colours
  • Catchy words
  • Patterns
  • Simple shapes

So how do professional packaging designers pin-point design trends and know which ones to follow?

Do you recall when consumers wanted to see packs that spruiked, “light,” “fat-free” and “natural.” Today’s consumer search for other cues…Fresh, artesian, ethically produced, organic, locally produced, no artificial colours or flavours are all call out’s currently having impact with consumers on shelf.

Package design trends emerge from things the consumer wants to see.

So what does appeal to today’s consumer? Here’s 6 emerging packaging design trends for 2019 and beyond.

Emerging packaging design # 1: Pack Transparency: 

One of the 6 emerging packaging design trends for 2019 is transparent food packaging. This is one of the latest food packaging trends that is becoming more and more popular with consumers. It’s becoming important to consumers to view the actual product they’re buying. Yes, the consumer is increasingly looking for labels that transcend a simple ingredient list.

Todays consumers are keen to really know “whats really inside.” They want to know things like the source of the ingredients, all the channels that have touched the product along it’s journey to the shelf. What did it take to get from the farm to the store.

Did you know that around 30% of consumers actually gauge a product’s freshness by looking at the product itself rather than simply by the products Use By Date?

According to Mintel’s Food Packaging Trends Report, transparent food packaging should ideally be made from recyclable packaging material. Glass jars and bottles, and PET bottles and even plastic see-through cans.

From a pack design point of view, effective design can still influence consumers’ initial perception using colour psychology to emphasise a product’s freshness. Packaging design cal also bring attention to the fact that a particular product doesn’t contain, sugar, additives unnatural preservatives etc.

Emerging packaging design trend # 2: Experience

The second of the 6 emerging packaging design trends was alluded to at At the Adobe Sydney annual Symposium in August. The President and CEO of Adobe Shantanu Narayen’s keynote address spoke about what it takes for brands and businesses to build a great experience. he said, “People Buy Experiences, Not Just Products.”

Narayen went on to explain that the biggest challenge facing all business’s today is that the consumer is no longer just buying products. “Products used to be the basis of differentiation, but not anymore.” Read more HERE.

This trend is being exploited increasingly by packaging designers looking at the entire shopping experience as well as the unboxing experience once the product lands at home. Do you remember how exited you were when you bought your first car?

This is the ‘un-boxing” feeling that effective packaging has the power to create in the targeted consumer.

Great packaging design considers and builds anticipation into the unboxing process. 

With the ever expanding influence of “influencers (See emerging trend #4 requires, packaging design will need to take into consideration all of the “micro-interactions” which allow the influencer to share and promote their own sense of discovery when un-boxing for their tribe.

Emerging packaging design trend # 3: Green is good- sustainable is better 

This emerging trend ties in with the first trend, “Transparency”. This emerging trend focusses on “No more waste packaging!”. The 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle packaging is becoming more and more important to todays consumer and will continue to be an important driver of change and a major consideration for packaging designers.

Think efficiency. We can expect to see even more innovation in sustainability as manufactures focus on maximising resource efficiency by reducing the amount of packaging used. Example: decreasing the thickness of packaging walls.

Think eco-packaging. Think food products packed in an edible wrapper. Imagine your frozen meal packed in an entirely organic pouch that completely dissolves without leaving a trace when heated.

Think second life packaging. Consider post-consumer recycled materials in packaging designs. Todays packaging designers and brand marketers need to consider and create packaging that is fully recyclable.

How can the product pack be kept in the consumers’ home and used for something else? How can the product pack be multi-functional?

As more and more consumers become more “green conscious” they’ll be more willing and amenable to those for products provided by companies committed to making a positive social and environmental impact.

This means that manufacturers and brand marketers will have no choice but to take notice.

Emerging packaging design trend #4: Influencer packaging

As a result of the growing trend of influencer marketing, experience-driven packaging that focuses beyond the worthiness of the product and also how the pack can be reused and repurposed all adds additional marketing message impact.

When it comes to considering the “influencer marketing component”, the packaging designer must take into consideration the pack materials, finishes and textures. All of which are essential to the whole unboxing experience.

The designer needs to understand how the pack will present on screen.

What the influencer communicates with regards the brand, the visual design and the packs message must all be designed to connect with a influencers audience in a impactful share-worthy experience.

The product packaging design needs to also heighten the sense anticipation of both the influencer as well as all of his/her followers.

In his great article on “Influencer Packaging Design” Creative Director writes “a well-designed influencer seeding package can make the difference between thousands of viewers watching an unboxing post or your target market skipping over you to watch the latest Avengers trailer.”

Emerging packaging design trend #5:  PRODUCTION

As the focus on sustainability continues to push the development of environmentally responsible packaging and practices, so today’s packaging designers need to know a whole lot more than simply how to create pretty pictures or how to disrupt the shelf with a unique design concepts.

Designers also need to have a greater understanding of the mechanical processes, production techniques and material sciences all of which allow brand marketers to to make more effective decisions. They need to have an understanding of colour paper stocks and print colour mixing and the manufacturing process and all that’s involved creating environmentally responsible packaging.

Brand marketers need to be able to rely on their design team to create a seamless transition from design concepts all the way through mass production.

From concept development, renders, best practices, latest production and print techniques as well as material research and development.

Because of the multiple retail channels available to the consumer today pack designers need to understand how to deliver effective designs that cut across fulfilment, eCommerce, sales to the retailer all the way through to the consumer’s final unveiling and shareable experience.

Emerging packaging design trend #6: Owning the customer

eCommerce has allowed manufacturers the ability to intercept the retailer and actually own the customer. . Great packaging design looks at how the manufacturer can create loyalty and consumer ownership.

By way of an example: An up market sleeping back manufacture slips a “Visit us on line for your free camp light valued at $39″. The consumer comes online, entering their email address and with careful marketing, that consumer can now be owned by the manufacturer as opposed to the retailer.

What can your packs include that will allow both consumers and influencers to step outside of the retailers shadow?

For six more emerging packaging design trends for 2019 see the next article in this 2 part series.