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Product Packaging Design Trends: 2018 Forecast

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As 2018 begins, many in the packaging industry are wondering what retail packaging trends are set to be popular this year, and equally, what trends we’ll be saying goodbye to in 2018.

There’s a multitude of innovative new packaging designs that are sure to become household names sooner rather than later, and the product packaging they’re replacing is just as numerous. But when it comes to staying ahead of the curve, what should we be watching for?

Sustainability has been a hot topic in the packaging world for a number of years now, and in 2018 it will be more significant than ever, as consumer attitudes toward retail packaging continue to drive up the value of a brands’ sustainability and environmental impact. We’re sure to see more package designs that utilize innovative, eco-friendly materials and a less-is-more approach to material use. Cheap materials are quickly being replaced by biodegradable materials like paper, hemp, starch and cellulose; along with more easily up-cycled materials like glass and bamboo.

In the past we’ve seen that recreating the familiar has been a strong trend in packaging design. However, as more inventive designs enter the landscape, the more traditional, expected, product packaging seems to be taking a back seat.

Instead, we’re seeing designers take bigger creative risks with innovative and unusual packaging solutions, pushing the limits and taking product packaging design into uncharted waters.

The idea of “familiar design” is losing its place in the packaging world, and instead, in 2018, it’s the unfamiliar and unexpected that’s defining package design.

It’s the typical, the customary, the stagnant packaging solutions, unwilling to innovate, that will be pushed out of the limelight in 2018. Their more inventive, forward-thinking competitors will leave behind companies that are reluctant to stand out from the crowd.

As we move deeper into the future of packaging and an increasingly global, demanding marketplace, consumers are demanding new approaches to retail packaging that are both convenient and ecologically friendly. Brands looking to stay ahead of the trends will need to be willing to step away from the status quo and toward a new approach if they are going to survive in this rapidly changing landscape.

An experienced packaging partner that understands the changing market and can help you make big changes to stay relevant in 2018 is not just a good idea, it’s a requirement.

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(Top Image Source: Behance)

Topics: Custom Printed Flexible Packaging

Bridget O'Donnell

Written by Bridget O'Donnell

What LEGO’s Sustainable Packaging Teaches Us About Overseas Innovation

Since 1949, children across the globe have fawned over tiny, plastic, interlocking bricks.

LEGOs are a not only a classic toy but a staple in many households. Many kids beg their parents to take them to the majestic LEGOLAND, an amusement park where all their wishes and dreams could come true.

Why Nestlé, Unilever & PepsiCo are Banning Oxo-degradable Plastic Packaging

Originally marketed as an eco-friendly packaging material, new evidence regarding the potentially negative impact of oxo-degradable plastics has led a number of companies and governments to restrict their use.

More than 150 companies and global organizations, including Nestlé, Unilever and PepsiCo, have recently endorsed a total ban on the material in light of its potentially negative environmental impact.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, which includes select plastic pouch bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution because it claims to degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead, fragment into tiny shards of plastic that actually contribute to plastic pollution.

Often, consumers think that because a material is biodegradable, it can be composted or even littered on the ground, because, it is thought, the material will break down into nothing over time. This actually ends up leading to an increase in pollution, since consumers don’t end up recycling or repurposing the material, and misconceptions about how the plastic will degrade leads them to end up putting it back into landfills.

What is important to note in this case is that although oxo-degradable plastics are biodegradable, being biodegradable does not necessarily mean that a material is eco-friendly. Although these plastics do break down over time, the tiny pieces they break down into are still plastics that contribute to pollution — they do not degrade into nothing or into another usable substance.

For companies looking to make the switch to sustainable packaging, it is important to consider that sustainable packaging does not necessarily mean biodegradable packaging, and vice versa.

Why New FDA Guidelines Could Bring Big Changes to Pet Food Packaging

Today’s consumers are demanding transparency and accountability from all types of products, and pet food is no exception.

Greater scrutiny over pet food ingredients, and an increasing demand for responsibility, sustainability and complete transparency from pet food manufacturers is driving change within the industry. As the consumer demand for “clean” pet food labeling evolves as a major topic within the world of pet packaging, FDA guidelines are shifting.

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