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Print shop worker checking quality of imprint and controlling printing process. Packaging design trends.

Driven by consumer demand for packaged, processed food and beverages, changing lifestyles, more disposable income, desire for sustainable packaging, and other factors, the flexible packaging global market is expected to grow from $248.9 Billion this year to $315.7 Billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 4.8%. This demand will impact packaging design trends we expect to see in the coming year, as will consumer desires and the economy. With a growing market, getting packaging noticed by giving consumers what they want will be critical for competitiveness. Let’s explore some of the top packaging design trends for 2023 and learn how you can incorporate them into your brand.

Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging will continue to be trending in 2023. Participating in a circular economy will have an impact on the planet and can provide brand loyalty and increased sales. A 2022 PDI Technologies survey shows that more consumers this year (66%) are willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly product. It is safe to assume this growth will continue into next year as concerns about recent climate changes are driving the upward trend.

But communicating your commitment to sustainability is critical as consumers find it confusing to know what companies and products share their sustainability values. Two-thirds of respondents (79% for Gen Z and Millennials) use product labels or third-party certifications on product packaging to determine if a product is environmentally friendly. So look for more environmental claims in 2023.

But beware of greenwashing. Make sure you back up your sustainability claims. Consumers are skeptical and savvy. Being called out on social media for greenwashing or, worse, finding yourself in a lawsuit can damage your brand.
While 74% of brand owners have set sustainability goals for 2025, they have only achieved 40% percent of the goals, so we expect to see them picking up the pace of increasing sustainable packaging to meet those goals.

Multifunctional and Innovative

In line with sustainable packaging, innovative multifunctional packaging will be trending. In the US, nearly 40% of food goes uneaten at the cost of $162 Billion. As food costs continue to rise, consumers will be looking for packaging that is convenient and keeps food fresh longer. Increased use of resealable packaging offers convenience and reduces food waste.

Packaging that can dispense food without exposing it to the atmosphere or requiring additional utensils, such as the spout pouch, will become more popular. Astute Analytica reports the global spout pouch market will grow at a CAGR of 7.3% from 2022 to 2030. Spout pouches are used in health and beauty, pharmaceutical, and other markets. Additional benefits of spout pouches are that they take up less space, are lighter in weight, and provide a cost-effective alternative to rigid plastics, glass, or metal.

We will continue to see growth in microwavable packaging as consumers are looking for simple and portable packaging items. The demand for microwavable bags and pouches is being driven by changing lifestyles, rising disposable incomes, and urbanization in developing countries. The microwave packaging market is predicted to expand at a CAGR of 7.8% from 2022 to 2023.

Impactful Colors

Color choice has an impact on customer buying habits. People are visual creatures, and colors can evoke an emotional response – both positive and negative. These emotional responses can be personal or specific to certain demographics or geographic regions, so understanding your customer is critical.

Brand owners are spending more on packaging, and changes in graphics and printing, especially in household and pet products, are the top spending categories. We expect to see evolving graphics and colors on packaging as brands realign with changing customer desires.

One of the most impactful color trends we will see in the upcoming year is from Pantone®. Pantone® has named VIVA Magenta color of the year for 2023. The color of the year is chosen by a global team that reflects color influences seen across global cultures. The color is bold and fearless while promoting joy and celebration. Expect to see this color popping up on a multitude of products in the coming year. Pantone’s “magentaverse” color palette compliments the magenta with muted natural tones, such as pale khaki and gate gray.

If your product is a healthy food, you may want to stick with the more muted colors as your primary colors. Research has shown that color saturation influences whether consumers believe a food product is healthy. People tend to see packaging with bright, vibrant colors as containing food that is less healthy than those in packaging with muted colors.

E-commerce Friendly

The boom of e-commerce isn’t going away. This is particularly true for millennial shoppers – 80% report shopping primarily online, which is up significantly from their pre-pandemic shopping habits. The pandemic also propelled the growth of e-commerce grocery stores. By 2023 it is estimated there will be nearly 150 million digital grocery shoppers supporting $160 Billion in expected sales, according to drop shipping app company Orberlo.

Given this e-commerce shopping data, we expect to see many brands switch to flexible packaging as it is lightweight (costs less to ship) and isn’t as fragile as glass or rigid plastic. A product gets handled and mishandled often between the packaging facility and the consumer’s home. A packaging design that reduces weight and provides robust product protection will give brands a competitive advantage.

Plastic Packaging Technologies is Here for You

At Plastic Packaging Technologies, we specialize in providing superior quality and advanced technical knowledge to help create powerful packaging solutions. With a wide range of product packaging solutions, PPT can help take your product and business to the next level.

Our custom packaging solutions include various formats, vivid colors, materials (including sustainable), and options to suit all your packaging needs. For more efficient filling, easier transportation, product differentiation, and improved customer experience, we offer innovative, value-added features.

Whether you intend to follow a trend or go off in your own direction, we are ready to provide you with innovative packaging solutions with functional value-added features that will impress your customers.

Contact us to bring your flexible packaging design trend ideas to reality.

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