This year, demand for packaging will continue to increase in the same way take-away orders and deliveries did.
But the supply of packaging is unable to keep up with the competition from restaurants, schools, healthcare facilities and supermarkets. And to top it all off, the coronavirus crisis calls for improved packaging, safety and hygiene.
The packaging industry is reacting with new designs, new materials and other innovations, many of which will continue in the future. This is what 2021 has in store for us!
1. Protective packaging
Thanks to the flattening measures, 2020 saw a sharp increase in e-commerce orders. Take-away meals are more numerous than ever before. And the grocery delivery is booming.
By 2021, companies should give priority to e-commerce packaging that is robust enough to withstand prolonged transport and that covers as much of the physical product as possible.
2. Eco-responsible packaging
Sustainable packaging will once again become a priority. In 2020, operators had to procure all possible types of packaging to meet demand, and single-use plastic containers were widely available. With the spread of the coronavirus, recycling has also plummeted, leading to what some environmentalists are calling a "plastic tsunami". But environmentally conscious consumers and operators are keen to return to more sustainable solutions.
Manufacturers are responding with new packaging materials and designs. As demand and production volume for environmentally friendly and compostable take-away packaging increase, prices are also expected to fall in 2021.
3. Personalized packaging
E-commerce and food delivery have become vital resources for keeping people connected and society functioning. Packaging graphics allow companies to communicate about their product or brand and help customers to experience that product or brand - even if they are protecting themselves at home.
The natural next step in enhancing the customer experience is to create custom packaging for a unique unpacking experience that helps people feel like they are receiving royal treatment.
By 2021, tactics such as including customers' names in the packaging design and selecting images or messages targeted to the interests of a specific customer will be a powerful way to build rapport and customer loyalty.
4. Reusable Food Packaging
Reusable containers could become widespread. Some restaurants have recently switched to stainless steel cans and bowls with silicone lids for all take-away orders. Customers must return the containers to the restaurant themselves, or keep them as a saving for later :)
Reusable packaging will reach two hotspots in 2021:
- The need for more sustainable solutions and sanitation.
- Running the containers through a very powerful dishwasher seems to be effective enough to kill coronaviruses.
5. Clear typography
Nowadays, customers want to get in and out of shops quickly.
The less time people spend inside shops with other customers, the more likely they are to avoid exposure to Covid-19. So in 2021, packaging design is on a trajectory to make shopping quick and easy.
Graphic design is an important element of design and can help solve this challenge and facilitate brand recognition.
Clear typography is far easier to read from a distance, especially when combined with complementary colour palettes and other design elements that help make it easy to read. This, combined with bright colours, allows the packaging design to catch the buyers’ attention, and to be identified as an item they need, and then be purchased.