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Food Packaging Trends to Watch in 2020

By: Paul Gertin

A New Year and a New Decade is here – which presents you with an opportunity to examine some food packaging trends which will help optimize your brand and continue to build on its relationship with customers. The way your products are packaged – and thus presented – plays a unique role in building and maintaining a consumer’s trust in your company.

Increasingly food and beverage products are being shipped directly to the consumer – whether it’s online grocery delivery, or meal kit services like Blue Apron, Chef’s Plate, etc., this trend of increased direct-to-consumer food delivery is likely to increase. It is vital then, that you take the time to consider what message your packaging is sending to customers when their purchase arrives on the doorstep.

When you consider the impact of your packaging, it is important to note how customers perceive your brand through the quality and design of the materials. Customers today have more buying options than ever before, which is why it is essential that you appeal to the demands of the consumers so they will maintain loyalty to your company.

Packaging Sets the First Impression

When your customers receive their orders, the packaging sets the first impression. Not only does the quality and appearance of the packaging impact their view of the products received, but these details speak volumes about your company.

When it comes to food packaging, the packaging should be just as important as the product inside. The right packaging design is more than just a container for the products. Packaging helps:

  • Market the product
  • Strengthen the company brand
  • Protect the shelf life of the food or beverage item
  • Enable safety for long-distance shipping

As you can see, packaging materials affect both the function and the aesthetics of your product.

Top 9 Food Packaging Trends for 2020

Now that 2020 is underway, now is a great time to evaluate the quality of your food packaging. If you are considering an upgrade for your packaging this year, don’t overlook some of the upcoming trends that will keep you ahead of the competition:

1. Personalization

food packaging

Gone are the days when generic, unmarked boxes are standard for shipping. One of the most important and significant trends in the industry is how the box is personalized, both inside and out. Amazon Prime is, perhaps, the most obvious example - every box that leaves an Amazon warehouse is marked with their trademark logo, and often includes branded, seasonal packing tape used to seal the boxes.

2. Simplicity

When minimalist designs are paired with clean packaging, it communicates a message of sustainability, health, ease-of-mind, and more. Brands are moving away from over-engineered designs to simple details that focus on the most essential information without the fluff.

3. Transparency

A push for transparency is a big factor this year because consumers want details about how the products are prepared and what is inside. The wording is clear and to-the-point, communicating essential information without unnecessary details. This approach is especially important in the food and beverage industry since it is a simple way to help consumers quickly identify individual ingredients.

4. Inside Reveal

Not only is transparency integrated into the information shared on the label, but many companies are ditching opaque packaging for transparent materials that allow a peek inside before the package has been opened. Even just a small, see-through cutout can provide a major level-up to first impressions.

5. Smart Packaging

For years, companies have included smart labels that make it easy for the customer to scan QR codes to learn more about a product. Now, smart packaging takes things to the next level to allow real-time evaluation of food quality, freshness, temperature, pH, and more.

6. Sustainability

More and more consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how product packaging is affecting our landfills. According to a recent sustainable packaging study, it was found that 84% of consumers are willing to pay a higher price tag for products that are packaged with sustainable materials. As such, companies are shifting to paper void-fill, paper packaging tape, and other novel and innovative packaging solutions to meet consumer demand. Click here to read our recent blog on sustainable packaging solutions.

7. Corrugated Packaging

Corrugated packaging products will continue to be a staple of the packaging industry thanks to their rigid, stable design that helps to protect products in shipping. Additionally, the sustainable qualities of these materials appeal to consumers looking for eco-friendly solutions. Many companies in the food and beverage space are integrating packaging solutions that minimize traditional plastics to prioritize materials that can be recycled.

8. Engagement and Stories

The right packaging design can evoke strong emotions , which in turn can impact a customer’s buying decision. The goal is to boost positive emotions through the vision and philosophy that the company shares. For example, graphics and labeling can communicate the quality and sourcing of the ingredients, or promote a charitable cause supported by the company.

9. Vintage Throwbacks

Vintage designs are gaining in popularity. The goal with the vintage feel is to promote feel-good emotions that remind people of simpler times. In the food industry, these packaging designs can communicate volumes about “returning to our roots” with minimal processing, natural ingredients, and ‘mom’s home cooking.’

food packaging

Successful Design of Your Brand Packaging

As you are choosing materials and systems for your product packaging, it is essential that you look beyond simply the shipping guidelines. Your box needs to be designed for practicality but should also strengthen your brand through some of the small, unique details that have been identified here and we see as food packaging trends.

Consider every interaction a customer will have from the moment the box arrives on their doorstep. The labels and outside packaging will communicate the first message, and you’ll have an opportunity to continue building brand loyalty as the consumer cracks open the box to see the contents inside.

These details show the buyer that your business is paying attention to customer experience, even after the transaction is complete. The right product packaging design can literally reinforce the person’s purchase by appealing to the emotions that will impact buying choices in the future.

Customized Solutions for Your Packaging Needs

Our team at Gertex Solutions understands food packaging trends, and the importance of customizing your packaging solutions to match the unique needs of your company. If you are looking for options to upgrade your packaging solutions this year, then we invite you to reach out for more information. Not only do we offer a variety of packaging solutions, but we can provide the systems to improve your in-house shipping systems. For more details, contact us to schedule a free assessment.

paul gertin gertex solutions

Paul Gertin
President and Co-Founder