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CPG Food Packaging Trends to Watch in 2020

Aisle in a grocery store.


The Internet has empowered consumers to research brands to make purchasing decisions. This has created new challenges for CPG food packaging designers, as these consumers search online reviews, scan ingredients, and even seek to understand the environmental footprint of companies.

How will tomorrow’s consumer shopping trends impact CPG food packaging in 2020? Here are some of the innovations and challenges that lie ahead.

2020 CPG Food Packaging Trends

1. Less Waste

2020 will be the year of the zero waste edible food packaging. Watch for CPG food packaging to include edible pods instead of bottles or cartons for beverages and edible food wrappers. 

These wrappers will be made from seaweed, potatoes, rice, and even tomatoes—to name a few. You’ll also see biodegradable plastic and compostable packaging materials.

2. Transparency

Transparency in CPG food packaging will dominate 2020. This means designers will share food ingredients clearly with see-through packaging that will leave nothing hidden. 

Consumers demand this transparency to remove the guesswork about what’s inside the package. FoodDive says research shows that consumers will choose transparent packaging over the alternative the majority of the time.

3. Trustworthiness

CPG food packaging will also increasingly emphasize the trustworthiness of the brand and the products for sale. Brand trust will be an essential issue for consumers in 2020. These purchasers are increasingly Internet-educated and highly aware they have plenty of choices to fuel their purchasing decisions. 

The idea that your products are reliable and secure will permeate CPG food packaging circles next year, with designers and writers focusing on language formerly found in trusted industries such as finance, law, and real estate. Instead of aligning with these uncool industries, manufacturers will steal from them to build their credibility with consumers.

4. Simplicity

At the same time, food trends will require more simplicity in packaging. Consumers are on the go and don’t have time to laboriously read details and reams of packaging information. Brand packaging will be concisely transparent, showing consumers what they want to know fast. 

Look for bold colors, large fonts, and brand names with one word and short tag lines that get right to the point. 2020 will be the year of no fluff in CPG packaging.

Tomato with fork and knife.

5. Brand Stories

Finally, brand stories will become increasingly important. Communicating the “why’s” behind the brand in ways that attract customers will increasingly dominate the field. Consumers will continue to gravitate toward the brands that fit or mirror their lifestyles. 

CPG packaging should reinforce an inclusive archetype for the brand, whether it’s “neighborhood local” or “urban chic.” Carrying these archetypes across the brand will be necessary for consistency and trust-building for market-savvy consumers who will seek companies that fit their approach to the world.

2020 holds some exciting challenges for CPG packaging designers. We’ll see new market innovations next year that will change how we approach the work for years to come.

PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!


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