Packaging is often ignored unless it is designed to advertise your product, fails when intended to protect the product or otherwise doesn’t meet expectations. The packaging itself goes through trends from materials to design to production methods.

Here are 3 trends to watch in the world of packaging in 2018. We’ll also discuss the factors driving these trends.

Less Is More

Lighter packaging generally needs less material, saving money in material costs alone. It requires less energy to transport since it typically weighs less. When the product packaging is more compact, you can ship more products in the same volume, making supply chain management that much simpler or cost-effective. For example, if the product is a fifth smaller, you could ship 20-25% more product in the same crate. Flexible, durable packaging is often seen as an ideal compromise since it is easily shifted and fitted into containers without damaging the product and generally allows you to put advertising on its exterior as well. If you want to create bright, flexible, durable and minimalist packaging, research your options with Douglas Machine.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, having packages full of wasted space and air can result in negative social media coverage.

Clean Labeling

Clean labeling is an extension of the “clean” movement. The simplest explanation of this is to have products with as few ingredients as possible and as natural as possible. This is where companies advertise that the ice cream is made from just five ingredients, none of them requiring a chemistry class to understand.

Another way the “clean” movement is affecting packaging is that it is scaring consumers away from plasticizers and other ingredients used to make packages. This is especially critical if you’re selling something like cosmetics or food. All packaging has to meet labeling requirements to communicate their ingredients, serving sizes, expiration dates, and safety warnings.

This is aside from the evolution of processing methods that companies are using to maintain consumer safety without preservatives or additives. In some cases, it results in a return to dried ingredients or far more salt put in food, regardless of what this does to the packaging. Alternatively, you get packaging that must survive high-pressure processing, or HPP, since this keeps food fresher longer and makes it safe. In other cases, tight temperature control and ensuring outside air never gets in are essential to protecting the consumer from the disease.

Convenience

Frustration-free packaging is now a sortable category on a number of retailer sites, and the package that is easier to open may sell for a little more than the one that requires ten frustrating minutes to open. Another variation of this is the packages that simplify use for consumers. Think about the proliferation of upside-down jellies and ketchup. There’s less mess if people just pick it up, flip the lid, pour and close it.

New packaging trends like all-in-one and minimalist packaging; a further push towards eco-friendly solutions and user-friendly packaging should change how companies approach packaging in 2018. You would be wise to stay on top of these changes if you want to avail of their benefits.