As 2021 comes to an end, consumers are reminiscing about the simpler times and are craving light-heartedness in their everyday products to beat the pandemic gloom.
So, brands must create functional and stylish packaging that conveys these emotions to attract new and old customers, because as Delia Smith says,
That’s why, we’ve compiled a list of 5 packaging and labeling trends that’ll rule in 2022. Here’s what’s included in the article:
1. Vintage Designs
Vintage designs, especially the groovy typefaces and colors of the 60s, are slowly making an entrance in plenty of packaging designs.
This comeback is mostly because the “psychedelic 60s” era reminds the masses of peace, hope, and love, major emotions we’re clinging to as we head deeper into the pandemic.
Be careful of going down the vintage route, though. If you’re in an industry like pharma where vintage packaging goes against the consumer’s expectation, it’s better to stick to modern-looking branding.
Similarly, avoid the vintage imagery if it won’t add an element of nostalgia or positive feelings to your product or industry.
And if you’re still not sure if vintage will work for your brand, ask yourself what you’re trying to communicate with vintage designs and check if any of your competitors are using vintage designs and if it’s working for them.
2. Localized Imagery
Humans are hardwired to draw meanings from imagery, and more than 60 percent of consumers also state that product imagery influences their buying decisions.
So, using localized imagery in your packaging will evoke feelings of home and make your brand relatable to consumers, especially when many of them are unable to return home because of pandemic travel restrictions.
And don’t restrict yourself to only landmarks in your packaging. You can also use local buildings, street signs, lifestyle, weather etc., so consumers can connect with it better.
For example, although the Taj Mahal is India’s historical landmark, locals in Jaipur might relate better to the imagery of the palaces in the city.
The only caveat of using localized imagery is that you’ve got to be sensitive to the meaning of images used in your packaging. For instance, dragons are seen as a symbol of good luck in China, while they’re viewed as a bad omen in other cultures.
3. Smart Packaging
While conventional packaging simply displays product information and stores the product, smart packaging extends this functionality by introducing technology that enables better traceability and improves the product’s shelf-life.
Smart packaging can be broken down into active and intelligent packaging depending on whether it interacts with the product inside or communicates information to the user.
(Active packaging releases compounds that enrich the product inside or eliminate contaminants to improve its shelf life.
On the other hand, Intelligent packaging communicates important information like the shelf-life, temperature, contamination, etc. of the product through indicators, QR codes, etc.)
And although the smart packaging industry is relatively new, it helps build trust with the consumer, optimizes your logistics, reduces waste, and helps improve authentication and traceability.
So, don’t discount the impact of switching to smart packaging, especially if you’re in the pharma or the raw foods space.
4. Sustainable Packaging
As consumers are more conscious of how their purchases affect the environment, they prefer products with eco-friendly packaging. So, switching to sustainable packaging will satisfy consumer demands and help you save storage space and reduce the usage of resources.
This is because shifting to sustainability means you’re being more efficient with packaging, and you end up with more space, thereby reducing your packaging weight by 78% and reducing your freight charges.
Moreover, the raw texture and simplistic design of compostable materials also looks stylish and attracts even those who aren’t environment-conscious.
5. Inclusive Packaging
Inclusive packaging boosts consumer’s confidence and helps boost your brand’s sales and following, although catering to a minority seems counterintuitive.
For example, Rihanna’s brand, Fenty Beauty, garnered many followers, and landed a spot in the Times’ Top 25 Inventions list for inclusive products and packaging.
So, using inclusive packaging is important, especially if you’re in the beauty industry, as it makes your consumers feel important and transmits your values at a glance.
You can also look at more beauty trends that defined the industry in 2021 for more packaging inspiration.
Keeping track of the latest packaging and labeling trends helps you stay relevant, convey your values, attract new consumers, and improve sales. Creative collaboration software can further enhance your design process, fostering innovation and seamless teamwork.
While staying abreast of the latest packaging and labeling trends is important, so is maintaining compliance and sticking to the best artwork management practices.