New horizons for consumer packaging

As anyone who hasn’t spent the past decade in a cave will have noticed, shopping has changed.

In the past, all you needed was a shopping basket and some cash, but today anyone with an Internet connection has access to thousands of online stores. The basket is now an onscreen icon, and the cash is your preloaded credit card details.

However, people haven’t stopped visiting brick-and-mortar stores. And retailers are upping their game – changing the shopping experience by adding cafés or cooking classes (like the DeLonghi store in Paris), or using devices like the iBeacon, which uses Bluetooth 4.0 to sense shoppers’ mobile devices and broadcast information and special offers on nearby products.


Branding is now multidimensional, across print, digital and, increasingly, social media, on physical shelves and in online galleries. Packaging design is facing a new and exciting landscape, so we asked two experts for their take on the role of packaging in the shopping world of the future. They identified four big trends:

We live in a busy mobile world. In response, designers are making packaging easier to see on the shelf, more efficient to use and more portable and convenient.

Brands that are honest and treat people and ingredients responsibly are using packaging as the perfect canvas to tell the story.

Brands make it personal with interactive elements. Think of the Coca-Cola campaign in several countries that printed the 150 most popular given names for people on bottles and cans, and even allowed customers to go online to generate their own named bottles.

Environmentally and socially responsible design is here to stay. What’s crucial is designing packaging that makes it easy for shoppers to do the right thing.


Derrick Lin

Founder of the Packaging of the World blog

What part does packaging have to play in an increasingly digital world?

“Package design is a good way to market brands. Some brands have even gone all out by implementing a digital dimension with interactive content. In the future, this could also customise the brand to each customer, identify their needs or be used to educate them.”

What about sustainability?

“Sustainability is not just a trend – it has become a culture. There are many people who only purchase products that are environmentally sourced and packaged responsibly. We can certainly expect to see more 100 percent renewable materials on our shelves in the future.”

Kristina de Verdier

Founder of food packaging blog Ambalaj

How has shopping changed?

“Everyone is shopping differently these days. Some people go into a store and shop the old-fashioned way, some shop online, and some order online but go to a store to pick it up. Retailers understand they need multiple solutions.”

How is that influencing packaging design?

“The package has become the brand’s primary advertising tool. It’s where the brand comes to life. Brands have so many channels to reach consumers, but one thing they can be sure of is that people will at some point actually hold the product in their hands.”





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