• 5 global packaging trends to dominate 2017

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    FIVE packaging developments can help Philippine enterprises leverage their brands and products in the global market next year, according to an international market intelligence agency.

    In the latest, entitled “Global Packaging Trends 2017, UK-based Mintel enumerates five emerging and trends that would impact on brands, consumers, retailers and packaging designers.

    “The majority of consumers are paying attention to package format and design, and purchase drivers are either being directly related to or being communicated through packaging,” the report noted.

    However, the emphasis on functionality while reinforcing branding is an inherent feature of packaging design. The study noted that consumers are looking for unique structures that not only differentiate on the shelf, but also help form and support brand identity.

    Examples of functionality are resealable or recloseable packaging in order to reduce waste, a pinch-waist container for an integrated ergonomic grip and an inverted dispenser for liquid products.

    E-commerce is another significant development expected to impact on packaging. In 2017, the online experience and the shift from in-store to in-home will become a core part of packaging design.

    “Looking ahead, brands must explore both the opportunities and threats that online shopping can bring, while considering the implications for packaging to remain an integral piece of the purchasing decision,” said Mintel.

    Some of the changes catering to online shoppers are clean labeling and a de-cluttered look by doing away with detailed imagery that fails to work at the thumbnail size and making the brand logo the main image.

    In choosing a packaging format that works for e-commerce, the study suggests removing obstacles to delivery. Packaging that comes in a compact shape for shipping, is robust and unbreakable, and can handle fluctuating temperatures will suit well the e-commerce environment.

    Smart, active and intelligent packaging is another notable trend in response to the increasing demand for food safety, the call for waste reduction and the removal of consumers’ exposure to hazardous or fraudulent products.

    Some smart packaging ideas that have come out include intuitive labels with a color-changing dot design to indicate on-pack freshness messaging.

    “It is extremely simple, but highly effective for consumers. It eliminates the need to interpret the otherwise confusing ‘sell by’ or ‘use by’ date codes,” said Mintel.

    “The next generation of branded products, particularly those aimed at difficult-to engage younger consumers, or the more cynical, such as the aging hipsters of Gen X, are looking at design as a bigger part of the brand, not just to create connections, but to drive experiences,” the agency said.

    Recent innovations in this area include a sports drink that uses pods containing both dry and liquid ingredients to be mixed with water to enable portability and customization, and a facial wash that comes encased with dry mud to encourage the user to engage in a ritual of focus and relaxation.

    Another new packaging concept features a wine bottle that comes with a blank label and pencil and featuring Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest logos to encourage consumers to share their personalized label messages on social media.

    Mintel sees packaging performing a more pivotal role in helping brands successfully enter new categories: “Brands can leverage that familiarity to create loyalty and extend a product portfolio well beyond traditional categories.”

    Campbell’s has been able to branch out into ethnic cuisine soups, cooking sauces and meal preparation by using a distinctive look that differentiated the product from the existing range, while still leveraging the brand name.

    Carlsberg, on the other hand, has crossed over into premium hair care for men, touting the “beautifying properties” of the beer’s main ingredients, along with a packaging lineup that tied directly to the famous green beer bottle and logo.

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