6 Packaging Trends Set to Impact Global Markets in 2016 – Mintel

Mintel has announced six key trends set to impact global packaging markets over the next year, including implications for both consumers and brands. While the emphasis is on retail, there are several trends of interest to the reusable packaging community, such as mobile engagement, clear communication, and of course, reusability itself.

“There’s a parallel path between brands striving to engage consumers on a more personal level and consumers’ expectations for packaging to deliver that experience,” states David Luttenberger, Global Packaging Director at Mintel “Digital print that creates ‘hyper’ personal experiences; clean-label messaging that enhances brand transparency and builds purchasing confidence; eco-responsible packaging that empowers social consciousness; next-gen hybrids that offer functional and environmental benefits alongside great shelf presence; right-sized product packaging that meets consumer needs and shifting use-occasions; and apps that support ‘mobile-engaged’ packaging. These are the key themes we see resonating with consumers in 2016. Brands and manufacturers are innovating packaging to keep global consumers engaged and to develop brand loyalty which is becoming more and more intangible in an age where consumers have more choices than ever across all packaged goods.”


Digital printing is capturing brands’ attention by creating opportunities to engage consumers on a local, personal and even emotional level. In 2016, we will experience the tipping point for digital package printing as brands move beyond using it for limited editions and personalization, and capitalize on its economic and speed-to-market advantages for mainstream package decoration.


With the growing number of on-pack claims competing for shoppers’ attention, consumers are demanding more information about what they are really buying but seeking less on-pack clutter that confuses their purchasing decisions. Looking ahead, the concepts of clean labeling and clear on-pack communication are set to converge.


No longer is flexible packaging (specifically pouches) considered a tradeoff. But at what point will it become non-differentiated? Truly innovative brands are looking to the next generation of rigid/flexible hybrids that offer functional and environmental benefits alongside great shelf presence.


Brands are searching for environmentally responsible packaging options, consumers are putting the onus on brands to do right by doing good by the Earth. The difficulty is that while consumers want it all, they generally aren’t willing to pay more to get it, and even basic recycling is too difficult for many. Despite best efforts, package recycling is well below its potential, and most consumers don’t have a real understanding of what to do with compostable packaging. But what is beginning to resonate are two key initiatives: a focus on alternative package material sources and catering to the 63 percent of US consumers who’ve stated that reusable and repurposable packaging is a key purchasing driver they see as being yet another link in the long and complex green packaging chain. When product price and perceived product quality are equal, consumers will be increasingly turning to these eco- and alternative-use attributes as the deciding purchasing factor. Going forward, brands cannot afford to ignore this “ecologically friendly” purchasing driver as they develop their brand positioning and marketing strategies.


The ability to reach consumers in time-shifting use occasions means brands must offer a greater range of pack sizes. In 2016, brands must deliver packaging that consumers see as right-sized for themselves and shifting use-occasions in order to overcome the growing lack of brand loyalty.


There’s a revolution happening in mobile-engaged packaging tapping near-field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth low-energy (BLE). Moving forward, as brands clamor for innovative ways to engage with shoppers, the mobile environment will become the new front line in the battle to win consumers’ hearts, minds, and wallets.

The full copy of Mintel’s Global Packaging Trends 2016 is available for free download here.

Source: Mintel