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Mintel reveals packaging trends in 2018


Date Published:12/13/2017 12:12:28 PM

Five trends based on consumer attitudes, actions, and purchasing behaviours will make a major impact on the global packaging sector 

MINTEL has identified these trends that will influence the global packaging sector in 2018:

• Packaging will play a pivotal role in reducing global food and product waste.

• Online brands will reinvigorate their packaging to boost the e-commerce experience.

• Brands who adopt clear and shorter package messaging.

• Brands will be called to keep marine conservation at the forefront of packaging development and to anchor the circular economy for future generations.

• Contemporary packaging formats will aim to attract young shoppers.

Packaged Planet: The throwaway culture of today will evolve into one that understands and embraces the role of packaging as a primary means to reduce global food and product waste.

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.

Mintel says consumers want packaging that extends shelf life, freshness, and ensure safe delivery

(Photo: Mintel)

rEpackage: As more and more consumers embrace online shopping, packaging will play a pivotal role in brands' and consumers' e-commerce experiences.

Online shopping is now widespread but while its key advantage is convenience, consumers expect more from their favoured brands. When designing packaging to be viewed online, and transit packaging to be opened upon delivery in the home, the experience of e-commerce packaging must reflect consumer expectations from shopping with that brand in-store.

Clean Label 2.0: Aiming for packaging designs that enlighten consumers’ purchase decisions, brands will reject approaches that offer too much or too little as they can leave shoppers more confused than informed.

Today’s consumers are more informed  but are they too informed? Too much information can lead to the questioning of provenance, authenticity, and transparency. The ‘essentialist’ design principle bridges the divide between not enough and just enough of what's essential for consumers to make an enlightened and confident purchasing decision. Brands must bring the next generation of clean label to packaging design to provide a moment of calm and clarity for shoppers in an increasingly hectic retail environment.

Sea Change: Plastic packaging floating in oceans will become the catalyst driving brands to rethink packaging in a context consumers can understand and act upon.

Consumers are also concerned about how packaging is safely disposed of; it will increasingly colour consumers' perceptions of different packaging types, and impact shopper purchase decisions. By communicating that a brand is working towards a solution will this growing barrier to purchase be overcome. 

rEnavigate: Brands will consider contemporary packaging formats to help reinvigorate the centre-of-store aisles less visited by younger consumers.

Young shoppers are said to be ‘shopping the periphery’, visiting the fresh and chilled aisles, and going less to the areas of processed, ambient, and frozen products. To woo them, transparent materials, contemporary design, recyclability, or unique shapes can help draw in younger consumers to the store centre.

David Luttenberger, Global Packaging Director at Mintel, said: “Our packaging trends for 2018 reflect the most current and forward-looking consumer attitudes, actions, and purchasing behaviours in both global and local markets. Such trends as those we see emerging in e-commerce packaging have stories that are just now being written. Others, such as the attack on plastics, are well into their third or even fourth chapters, but with no clear ending in sight. It is those backstories and future-forward implications that position Mintel’s 2018 Packaging Trends as essential to retailer, brand, and package converter strategies during the coming year and beyond.”


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