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CPG Packaging Trends for 2020

Packaged food in a grocery store.

CPG packaging trends are changing as fast as the digital technology that creates our products. From Internet-connected to green packaging that reduces our carbon footprint, this article takes a look at the latest trends in CPG packaging. What has changed in the past year or so? And what do industry leaders predict as far as emerging strategies in packaging to engage consumers and differentiate brands?

Going Greener in 2020

CPG packaging trends are evolving to embrace more sustainable products. Consumers, particularly millennials, demand that brands reduce their carbon footprint by making brand packaging leaner and greener. But it’s not just the younger generation demanding greater accountability; Food Industry Executive reports 68% of consumers say that they care about purchasing responsibly-packaged foods and beverages.

This means we’ll see a reduction in the single-use packaging that dominated the industry in past years. Edible straws and an increase in recyclable glass packaging will be a focus next year. 

This trend will particularly influence food packaging, where Forbes suggests transparent and reusable product packaging will have a significant impact going forward. The article states, “Consumers want packaging materials that reflect a brand’s environmental commitment whether that comes from sustainability, reuse, recycling, or innovative materials.”

Back to Frozen

CPG packaging trends will get shoppers back into the frozen food aisle. Packaging World says consumers are revisiting the idea that frozen food is both healthy and convenient. Watch for more improvements next year in the quality of frozen foods as well as cleaner labels and products that are generally more appealing to tomorrow’s shoppers.

Person grocery shopping online using their phone.

E-Commerce will Fence Straddle

Watch for e-commerce retailers like meal services to move into brick-and-mortar retail locations. Brick-and-mortar retailers will fight for market share with these providers by continuing to diversify in-store pick-up for a variety of brands as well as using other techniques to stay ahead. The convenience and immediacy of the in-store purchase will be just one of the ways these traditional brands will catch up and balance against e-commerce. Watch for new in-store experiences at your favorite brick-and-mortar such as:

  • Shopping personalization and the individualization of the experience
  • More sampling and education
  • Product packaging integrated with smartphone technology (smart packaging)

Speaking of Smart Packaging

Perhaps one of the biggest initiatives to hit the shelves running next year is the idea of connected product packaging. While we’ve been talking about this idea for the past three years or so, 2020 will signal new inroads in the technology that will make the smart package a smart option for CPG marketers and product managers. CB Insights cites this as one of the top CPG packaging trends for next year, stating the global market will surpass the $45 billion mark next year. With 5G innovation just around the corner, products such as Walmart’s smart tag will soon track when goods are consumed and inform store inventory with “predictive replenishment.” 

CPG Packaging Trends and Your Business

CPG packaging is heavily influenced by everything from consumer preferences to government regulators, which naturally means that the industry will remain vibrant and ever-changing. 

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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