The way your products are packaged, and therefore perceived, contribute massively to the success of your business. Your packages shape, material, and design are the first thing a potential customer will see amongst a handful of your competitors attempting to draw their eye first.
But packaging, like a form of fashion, has trends that come and go. Trends that are not just about visual design.
There are many packaging trends to look out for in 2023, most of which are included right here. From the selection of sustainable materials, to print design and unboxing experiences, consider these 5 bespoke packaging trends that will keep you ahead of any competition.
1. Sustainable packaging materials
As many of our readers will know, the sustainable packaging trend is going nowhere for a long time to come. Having sustainable packaging is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but considered essential for 2023 and beyond. Not only does this help to promote a positive brand image, but ensures you appeal to the 81% of people who prefer to buy from sustainable sellers.
Companies are using a variety of sustainable materials to help achieve this essential packaging criteria. Recyclable, biodegradable, compostable, and circular packaging solutions are being widely used and will no doubt carry their importance for many years to come.
Not to be confused with ‘recycled packaging’, recyclable packaging refers to products that can be remanufactured into new products after being used. On the other hand, recycled packaging describes a product that has been manufactured using previously recycled materials and doesn’t necessarily mean it’s now recyclable.
Made from renewable raw materials such as starch, soy protein, cellulose and others, biodegradable packaging describes products that will decompose in a natural, environmentally friendly way. This relies on the consumer properly disposing of the packaging to ensure a natural decomposition.
Similar to biodegradable packaging, compostable packaging will also break down naturally. The big difference, though, is that compostable packaging products require specific conditions in order to break down fully.
For more information covering the differences between recyclable, biodegradable and compostable packaging, visit our sustainable packaging comparison.
A “circular economy” is focused on products and materials being used over and over, in a continuous loop, rather than discarded after use. Circular packaging incorporates this principle and integrates seamlessly into sustainable efforts.
Circular materials ensure that businesses and consumers can easily reuse or dispose of the packaging they have received.
Leading on from the sustainable packaging types explored above, sustainability symbols go hand-in-hand with this trend. With most businesses striving to become more environmentally friendly, using symbols to help consumers quickly identify the sustainable aspect of your packaging is a must.
From standard recycling symbols, through to biodegradable and compostable, corrugated and FSC packaging symbols, there are a surprisingly large amount to take advantage of.
Head over to our essential guide on packaging symbols where we explore over 25 different symbols that you can use.
2. Subtle branding
Today, paid advertising is bombarding users with repetitive flashy logos, bold fonts, and bright colours, which is creating advertising fatigue. This leads to a decreased buying desire and brand association.
However, the subtle branding approach on your packaging offers a way to avoid visual redundancy.
Consumers value product features and how it serves their needs more over any pretentious branding. As long as your logo and core messages are clean and clearly visible on the package, you’re already on the right track to a subtle and successful branding campaign.
Take the example from Oase below, a representation of subtle branding. It avoids the use of bright colours, fancy patterns, and any other distracting features. Instead, the packaging complements, rather than detracts, from the product itself.
Img. source: https://hellotax.com/
3. Minimalistic packaging design
Minimalist packaging designs are always in trend. Mainly due to the fact it works so well with the previous trends mentioned. If you’re already opting for a sustainable package that takes advantage of subtle branding, minimalistic packaging design will often come naturally.
This execution avoids any distracting graphic elements, and despite the basic look, tends to standout from other products on a virtual or physical shelf. Essentially, minimalistic packaging gets the job done for all, regardless of the product you’re selling.
4. Immersive unboxing experiences
An unboxing experience is more than just a branded box. By creating an experience around your product that is memorable through design, it’s easy to see why so many companies are focused on perfecting this piece of the puzzle.
Customisation is the main emphasis here. From branded tissue paper to wrap up delicate products, through to branded tape that seals your box. Custom thank you messages and promotions should also be included here. Why not print a QR code on the inside of your packaging box’s lid. The customer can then scan this with their smartphone for a surprise.
It’s the little touches that make your customers feel special. That’s how you turn a one-off purchase into a returning, loyal customer.
5. Return-ready mailers
Returns are a huge part of doing business in ecommerce. The ‘right to return’ is deeply embedded into the culture of online shopping, meaning consumers expect to be able to return items without fuss.
Innovative brands are making returns as straight forward as possible with the introduction of return-ready mailers.
Return-ready mailers are a style of box designed to ease the process of returns for the end consumer. So, if an item is received damaged, faulty, or not suitable for their needs, this packaging solution offers a way to return the product in a resalable condition.
Make use of bespoke packaging trends in 2023 and beyond
In 2023, packaging will continue to be an essential part of a customer’s journey and experience with your brand. To attract new customers (as well as keep current ones interested) it’s important to adapt early and keep up with the industry.
For more information on ways to update your packaging solutions that drive your business growth, contact our packaging experts at Swiftpak today. With over 45 years’ experience, an in-house packaging design team, and a huge range of packaging products, we’re committed to providing the very best.