What will the key packaging trends be in 2022? - focus
Innovations in packaging that are designed to enhance sustainability will be key next year as consumer demand for more environmentally friendly options will intensify. Meanwhile, the COVID pandemic has focused minds on the need for hygienic and secure packaging options.
Consumer appetite for packaged over loose products remains high - and has only increased as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Today’s consumer has health & wellness as their top priority. The trend is a huge opportunity for packaging companies, who should up their focus on protection layers. After all, packaged products are clearly seen by the consumer as being more hygienic.
In GlobalData’s global consumer survey for Q3, carton/cardboard came out as the most appealing packaging material when it comes to food - dairy products saw the highest interest for cartons in the survey (37%).
Glass, meanwhile, is favoured by half of consumers for their alcoholic drinks, followed by non-alcoholic drinks (39%) and dairy products (24%).
Both of these packaging materials play well with consumers from an environmental basis, thanks to their ease of recyclability. Glass is also perceived as having higher quality cues, particularly in alcohol. Paperboard, however, is rising in terms of quality perceptions, thanks not only to the material’s green credentials but also its use of sleek, minimalistic design, which can be adapted to a number of FMCG categories.
In South Korea, dish soap brand Mugunghwa is packaged in a paperboard box sourced from FSC-certified paper. The pack also utilises soy ink. This recently-released version of the soap is made with the support of Donggubat, a social enterprise in the country that works with people who have developmental and physical disabilities. Subsequently, Mugunghwa aligns well with both social and environmental trends among consumers.
Elsewhere, the Babaria Bio anti-ageing cream, which has launched in Spain, is packaged in a glass jar and outer paperboard box. The namesake brand owner also claims that 99% of Babaria Bio’s ingredients are of natural origin and is suitable for vegans. The use of glass will resonate with the growing consumer base that prefers plastic-free packaging.
Finally, in the UK, Potts Partnership has started packaging two of its cooking sauces - enchilada and fajita & taco - in aluminium cans. The company is trying to reduce plastic usage, hence the move to aluminium. As well as being more environmentally friendly - attracting the 76% of shoppers in the UK who told GlobalData they rate ease of recyclability of a product as either ‘quite’ or ‘extremely’ important - the change will also differentiate the sauces from competitors.
Going into 2022, plastic-free claims will remain imperative in packaged goods as consumers look for accessible and simple ways to cut down their environmental impact. However, as plastic is still favoured in certain categories, brands should explore recyclable plastic solutions when they use the material, in order to avoid backlash.
Some consumers are also reducing their virgin plastic usage, so packaging companies will do well to opt for recycled plastic even more than before.
Next year will also see the legislators up the ante: In January, for example, the sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic packaging will be banned across France. We should expect to see more moves along these lines in 2022.