‘Although packaging’s primary function is to protect the product, it must also serve as a brand ambassador and marketing tool that attracts consumers’ attention and sells the product,’ said Soha Atallah, WPO VP of Conferences & the Worldstar Awards. ‘It, therefore, needs to communicate product identity and brand recognition and differentiation so that it stands out from competitor offerings.’
Global packaging design trends that have been popular during the past few years include on-the-go-snacking, sustainability, convenience, e-commerce, digital packaging, healthy lifestyle, and fashion or design.
Soha stated that the essence of marketing is understanding consumer needs. ‘It’s important to do market research and segment consumers based on their needs. Packaging design, convenience, satisfaction, positive experience, less frustration and easy-to-handle should play key roles,’ she emphasised.
Drivers behind design diversity
According to Soha, the impact of Covid-19 has shifted packaging trends and consumer demands. The top trends that have come to the fore are sustainability, design with hygiene in mind, and design for e-commerce, ship-ready, and direct-to-consumer models.
Anne Ravalet, head of insights & innovation at Daymon International, agreed that consumer trends impact packaging. The guiding principles for post-Covid-19 packaging development are affordability, inspiration (experiences), health, sustainability, and safety.
‘If a brand decides to take the sustainability route, it’s important that the packaging’s purpose is marked clearly and visibly. Digitalisation has also come to the forefront in certain countries, especially in Europe, to avoid physical contact,’ she added.
Daymon has, however, also examined future consumer trends. It has identified seven megatrends as shifting demographics, B-well (focus on health and wellness), always on (implications of a 24/7 world), one world (community and influence beyond borders), YOUniverse (pride in self-expression), JOYment (surprise and delight), and value matters (balancing price, quality and personal values).
‘Between rising urbanisation, a large ageing population, shrinking households, changing gender dynamics, and a new generation beyond millennials reaching consumption age, the landscape will be more diverse than ever, resulting in buying behaviour changes,’ Anne concluded.