Unveiling packaging trends that will define 2024
From Milan, Italy, packaging industry analyst Oumar Fofana provides his perspective on the fast-evolving industry's future in 2024.
2024 is anticipated to introduce a shift towards understated branding and printing choices, departing from the extravagant trends. Credit: xalien via Shutterstock
The packaging industry is constantly evolving, and as we approach 2024, we can anticipate a wave of changes and innovations. This year promises to be a transformative one, with sustainability, cost reduction strategies, eCommerce packaging, interactive designs, and much more taking center stage.
As we delve into these seven key developments, it becomes evident that the packaging industry is not just about preserving and presenting products—it's about staying ahead of the curve.
Anticipated packaging trends: seven key developments expected in 2024
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1. Sustainability takes centre stage: In recent years, the push for sustainability in packaging has been relentless. However, in 2024, we expect this trend to accelerate as brands and consumers alike become more conscious of their environmental footprint.
From using recyclable materials to reducing plastic use and incorporating eco-friendly designs, the packaging industry will continue to make strides in reducing its environmental impact.
Expect to see a surge in biodegradable, compostable, and reusable packaging options that appeal to a growing eco-conscious consumer base.
2. Cost reduction strategies gain momentum: Balancing sustainability with cost-effectiveness will be crucial in 2024.
The industry will see the adoption of innovative cost reduction strategies, such as lightweight materials, optimised packaging designs, and streamlined production processes.
Sustainability and cost efficiency can go hand in hand, as businesses strive to reduce waste and cut operational expenses without compromising the quality of packaging.
3. eCommerce packaging evolution through innovation: As online shopping continues to soar, eCommerce packaging will see a revolution in 2024. Innovations in this field will focus on reducing shipping costs, ensuring product safety, and enhancing the unboxing experience.
Brands will explore intelligent packaging solutions that can adapt to the specific needs of e-commerce, including secure, customisable, and space-saving designs.
4. Subdued branding and printing choices: In a shift away from the extravagant, 2024 is expected to usher in a new era of subdued branding and printing choices. Minimalistic and eco-conscious packaging with simple, elegant designs will become the norm.
Brands will focus on conveying their commitment to sustainability and product quality rather than relying on extravagant visuals. Less is more in the packaging landscape of 2024.
5. Interactive packaging sees rapid growth: Interactive packaging has been on the horizon for some time, and in 2024, it is set to see rapid growth. Augmented reality (AR), QR codes, and NFC technology will make packaging more engaging and informative.
Customers will be able to scan packaging to access product information, promotions, and even immersive brand experiences. The packaging itself will become an integral part of the marketing strategy, enhancing the overall consumer experience.
6. The rise of returnable packaging solutions: Reducing waste and promoting sustainability will drive the adoption of returnable packaging solutions in 2024.
Brands will invest in packaging that customers can easily return and reuse, reducing the need for single-use materials.
This not only benefits the environment but also builds brand loyalty as consumers become part of a circular economy.
The packaging industry is poised for transformation in 2024, driven by sustainability, cost reduction strategies, eCommerce innovation, subdued branding, interactive packaging, and the rise of returnable solutions.
These trends reflect the industry's commitment to addressing the evolving needs and preferences of both brands and consumers.
As we move forward, it's clear that packaging is not just a vessel for products; it's a dynamic, ever-evolving entity at the forefront of modern commerce, where innovation and responsibility go hand in hand.
In the coming year, keep a close eye on these seven key developments as they shape the future of packaging.