Mintel announces 2018 global packaging trends

Mintel has announced five trends set to impact the global packaging industry in 2018.

Benjamin Punchard, global packaging insights director at Mintel, discusses the major trends set to influence the packaging sector worldwide in 2018, including implications for consumers, brands, and manufacturers.

1) Packaged Planet

Consumers have long considered packaging as often unnecessary, and ultimately as just waste to be disposed of. But that misconception is now changing. A focus on package innovations that extend food freshness, preserve ingredient fortification, and ensure safe delivery is increasingly benefiting consumers. Brands will need to exploit 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.

2) rEpackage

Online shopping is becoming increasingly widespread around the globe. However, while online shopping’s 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.

3) Clean Label 2.0

Today’s consumers are more informed than ever; however, brands are in danger of being rejected if consumers feel overloaded with information, leading 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.

4) Sea Change

Concerns over safe packaging disposal will increasingly affect consumers’ perceptions of different packaging types, and impact shopper purchase decisions. Only by communicating that a brand is working towards a solution will this growing barrier to purchase be overcome. While collecting waste plastic from the sea to recycle into new packaging can raise consumer awareness, it won’t solve the problem. In order to keep plastic out of the sea, a renewed effort towards the circular economy is needed to keep packaging material in use.

5) rEnavigate

Young shoppers are increasingly ‘shopping the periphery’, visiting the fresh and chilled aisles around the store perimeter and turning their backs on processed, ambient, and frozen offerings in the centre of the store. The use of transparent materials, contemporary design, recyclability, or unique shapes can help draw in younger consumers to the store centre, making it as appealing as the increasing perimeter to younger consumers.

Punchard 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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