A Look at The Top Retail Packaging Trends for 2018

A Look at The Top Retail Packaging Trends for 2018

A Look at The Top Retail Packaging Trends for 2018

Here at Lakeside Products we love to stay on top of the latest developments in packaging. So as we enter a new year, we’re taking a look forward to the retail packaging trends we’re expecting to see in 2018.

Formats & materials

  • Planet-saving packaging

Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about environmental issues. Whether that’s transport miles, plastic in our oceans or food waste – today’s shoppers are moving towards products and companies that show respect towards the planet. And with a recent government announcement for plans to eliminate the UK’s plastic waste, these concerns can no longer be ignored.

Packaging has a big part to play in all of this. Companies that are serious about their environmental impact ,and their appeal to the consumer, should be increasingly looking towards sustainable, recyclable or compostable materials for their product packaging. When it comes to cutting emissions, the emphasis is on the most economic packaging to reduce the pallet-space (and therefore number of vehicles) required to transport products. As a result, optimised, stackable and lightweight packaging options will also be become more and more popular this year.

  • Lighten up

As mentioned, the weight of packaging products will help reduce the environmental impact of their transportation. So we predict that more companies will be seeking lightweight retail packaging options. And with so many consumers shopping online, there’s also a growing need for packaging options that make delivery easier, more environmentally friendly and more economic – for both the company and the consumer. There’s been a big rise in subscription services, from weekly food boxes to flowers through the letterbox. Companies offering these services need bespoke packaging formats that will ensure products are easy and cost effective to deliver, promote the brand and arrive in optimum condition.

  • Let’s get physical

With an increase in big online retailers, some may think that the high street is on the way out. But predictions are that physical stores will be as popular and successful as ever in 2018, if they take advantages of the experience they can offer to customers that online shopping cannot. One thing you can’t do online is pick up, touch and feel products. Connecting the customer with a physical product by using mixed materials and custom shapes will play a key part in packaging trends this year. This could be transparent packaging for premium food products – allowing consumers to see tantalising ingredients within. Or it may be in the form of packaging with unique shapes and textures that will give them in store standout or reflect the item within. The aim will be to delight customers in a way they can’t experience through online shopping.

  • Foiled again

Along similar lines, holographic and metallic packaging is making a comeback in 2018. Foil stamping can be used on cardboard or plastic packaging to create a stunning look that really stands out. Paired with flat colours, it can highlight a logo or graphic. Used as a complete coating it can draw attention to a product on the shelf.

  • I can see clearly now

More and more, consumers are looking for transparency in the products they buy. On packaging this applies both to clear labelling, and also literally  with transparent packaging. Clean labelling means cutting the fluff and using simple, understandable messaging. Windows or transparent panels can be added to packaging to give customers a preview of the product they’re getting and can be cut to bespoke shapes to provide a unique and attention-grabbing packaging format.

Design trends

  • The old ways are the best

In this world of ever-evolving technology, our attachment to the past is growing stronger. Consumers love a throwback, nostalgic image that connects them to the good old days and vintage & movie poster looks are set to be big again this year. There are hundreds of vintage typefaces available and these are used to great effect to give a feel of old-fashioned quality to food, drink and cosmetic products. Another great way to give products personality is with the illustrated poster look. Drawing on graphics that reflect particular movie genres can create an instant connection with those audiences.

  • Words – the bigger the better

The use of big type links in with consumer demand for no-fluff labelling. With so much choice available, products need to get the message out there, make it obvious and make it quick. This trend gives companies the chance to be witty with words, bringing personality to their products. The use of big type can also help a product come across as a no-frills, does-what-it-says-on-the-box item – ideal for time-starved consumers who know what they’re looking for and want to find it quickly. If they can see it, they can find it!

  • Showing a feminine side

In 2018, packaging colours will be all about pastels and femininity. Think dusky pinks, mint greens and duck-egg blues. Brash masculine colours are on the way out. Our hyper-stimulating world has taken its toll on consumers and now they’re gravitating towards packaging design that feels more natural, calming and linked with wellbeing.

  • Photography gets all mixed up

Photography never really goes out of fashion when it comes to packaging designs, but this year collaging real imagery with flat graphics, negative space, typography or illustration is set to be a key design trend. Hand-drawn illustrations have been popular for a while now and can also be used to add individuality alongside a product photo.

  • Getting personal

In recent years major food and drinks brands have experimented with using different packaging for the same products – with alternative names, words, images or colours that are linked by the primary brand. These give customers the feeling of choice and a connection with the look or wording that most appeals to them. It’s the idea that lots of different and unique people can share a love of the same product. It’s clever, and technology will make it even easier (and more common) this year.

How will you pep up your packaging in 2018?

Which of these packaging trends do you like and what are your retail packaging plans for the year ahead? We’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you’re looking for a packaging solution, speak to our experts to find out what Lakeside Products can create for you.