Current trends in food packaging are having massive effect in 2019 in the types of food manufactured, the recyclability of the packaging industry as a whole, and perceptions of efficiency. Using marketing and functionality as the two guiding principles of current food packaging trends, here are a glimpse into what’s happening today in the North American industry.
1. Keyword placement
Consumers want to know what they’re buying and a big trend in food packaging presently is to include more information about the ingredients on the front. ‘Fresh’ is the most common keyword used today to highlight attractiveness in a food, although there are countless others such as organic, gluten-free, and more. In addition to having ingredients clearly displayed, food manufacturers and marketers are using these keywords to draw the eye in.
2. Transparency of packaging
A sizeable percentage of people, when buying food, is that they want to see it visibly in the package. Keeping this in mind, a lot of food manufacturers are producing packaging with transparency. Just look around the grocery store the next time you go. You’ll see the majority of foods are visible in their packaging, with the exception of those you know you can count on to taste the same in every consumption – whether that’s a can of Coke or a box of cereal. When it comes to food packaging guidelines, the packaging should be transparent, safely secured, and properly sealed without any leakages.
3. Shareability of the packaging
Believe it or not, social media has had an effect on how some foods are packaged. Shareability through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and on other platforms counts. For this reason, manufacturers are looking at how the product displays on social media and whether it’s eye-catching enough so that if someone were to share it, others would feel a pull to look at it.
4. Environmental sustainability
Perhaps the biggest influence on contemporary food packaging is how eco-friendly it is. So much packaging has no recyclable value and so, many manufacturers are seeking alternatives to switch to. As packaging gets eco-friendly, that means more recyclable materials being used as well as new technologies being deployed.
For as eye-catching as food packaging can be, there’s also a growing base of people in the industry who subscribe to the ‘less is more’ principle. In an effort to emphasize branding over fanciful packaging, a lot of manufacturers are going with simple, minimal designs using elements sparingly to draw attention to a brand logo, product name, or something related.
6. Subtle colors
Color use in food packaging is becoming a lot more subtle with pastels and neutral-toned colors, and colors appropriate to the food being sold. Black-and-white food packaging is also on the rise for how simple, bold, and attractive it can be, although understandably this varies according to the product.
Food packaging is taking on all sorts of shapes and structures, integrating interesting shaping technologies to provide new dimensions to the sort of food product packaging you’d expect to find in the grocery store aisle. If you’re a food packaging manufacturer, things like the impact these unique shapes can have on distribution or storage is also something you need to take into account.
8. Bolder graphics
Big, bold graphics. They worked fifty years ago on food packaging and they work just as well today, as it turns out. Bold type brings concepts to life, sometimes pulling from vintage fonts or fonts from a variety of different cultures. On food packaging, you want something a consumer can spot on the shelf easy and that which is not going to blend in with what’s already in your category.
9. Storytelling designs
Storytelling designs are another way brands are bringing themselves and their food products to life. Images of families, cartoons, and classic iconography are being used to tell the story of prospective consumers buying these sorts of products. After all, if you see someone like yourself enjoying a product on the front of the box, statistically speaking, you’re more likely to buy it.
10. That which protects taste and freshness
Consumers believe food packaging like steel cans, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, refrigerated cartons, and glass bottles affects the taste. The packaging industry today is developing and using packaging which is designed to keep what’s inside fresh, healthy, and unaltered for longer.
11. Expectations of healthier packaging
Healthier foods should equal healthier packaging. Almost all grocery shoppers agree. If the food being sold is natural or organic, there are expectations the packaging will be recyclable and certainly not be plastic. Depending on the audience base one is serving, the food packaging should align with the ingredients used.
12. Less packaging overall
There is a huge movement happening right now in grocery stores and food manufacturing to minimize packaging as a whole. Even if your product is wrapped in recyclable, plant-based materials or renewable materials, according to a recent survey, consumers want less packaging more than they want eco-friendly green packaging. Although some products have to be packaged in a certain way, if there’s opportunity to minimize your packaging, that’s an opportunity to take.