More consumers are looking for eco-friendly packaging that takes Earth's fragile nature into account. Per PDI Technologies, 66% of consumers living in the U.S. (80% of whom are adults under 34) will pay premiums for sustainable products.
Here are some trends you'll want to watch out for this year and incorporate into your packaging design when planning for sustainability.
Why Sustainable Packaging Matters
Sustainability is valued by many consumers today. If you aren’t factoring it into your packaging design, you may lose business to competitors.
Consumers want to know what materials are used for CPG packaging. They often base how they spend their money on whether a brand’s values align with theirs.
There are several ways to incorporate sustainability into your packaging design. One is to use sustainable materials like paperboard, bamboo, and edible CPG packaging, as these materials are biodegradable. Another is to avoid single use packaging in favor of reusable options.
Materials made from recycled products are also great sustainable options. They serve as other methods to show your commitment to saving the environment.
The key is to choose the right CPG packaging materials that align with recycling initiatives. Here are important trends to consider.
Customize Your Packaging
One trend to look out for in 2023 is customized CPG packaging. While this isn't a new one, it continues evolving.
This includes creating customized labels and even packing tape with your brand’s logo. This is a great way to stand out from the competition. It also gets your brand name out there to more people, so it's a good way to advertise your company.
Use eco-friendly packaging materials for further customization. Consumers will recognize your brand values and know you support sustainability.
Waste reduction is another top trend for packaging design in 2023. This ties in with sustainability in a big way because it decreases the amount of packaging consumers throw away.
One way to reduce waste is to choose reusable CPG packaging. You can do this by giving consumers containers they can reuse after removing the product. Glass containers and paperboard boxes are examples of this type of packaging.
Another way to reuse CPG packaging is to recycle it. When you use biodegradable packaging made from materials like bamboo and rice, the packaging is 100% recyclable. That's why renewable materials are being incorporated into many packaging designs.
Use Compostable and Biodegradable Materials
Consumers who are environmentally conscious pay attention to recycling. They understand what compostable and biodegradable materials are and how they affect the environment.
These materials naturally break down when disposed of, thereby reducing waste. This minimizes the impact they have on the environment.
Compostable materials have the ability to become nutrient-rich soil. As a result, the use of these materials is increasing in popularity.
Use Plant-Based Materials
Plant-based and other renewable materials are great options because of their sustainability. Bamboo and sugarcane, for instance, are preferred because of their renewability. They can be grown without any harm to the environment. They're also compostable and biodegradable.
Minimalist packaging is not a new trend, but it's becoming more popular in 2023. The idea is to create a packaging design that's uncluttered and only includes the information consumers need to see.
Minimalist CPG packaging typically includes the brand logo, product information, and details like ingredients and how to use what's inside. There are no busy graphics or other visually distracting components. What makes it stand out is its simplicity.
Minimalist packaging is also about using only the necessary materials. This reduces waste and improves the consumer experience by making the packaging easier to open and dispose of afterward.
Integrate Smart Packaging
Smart packaging is still a relatively new trend, but it's becoming more popular in 2023. It reduces waste through the use of technology that monitors how fresh a product is. This also decreases product spoilage.
Smart technology includes sensors for detecting product temperature and humidity levels. This preserves freshness.
Use Flexible Packaging
Flexible packaging has been used for some time. It utilizes flexible materials that can change in shape when items are placed inside the CPG packaging. Examples include plastic film and other elastic materials.
Per Markets and Markets, this trend is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8%. It's expected to reach $315 billion around the world by 2027. This type of packaging is convenient, easy to use, and it protects the product.
There are many sustainable packaging trends in 2023. Some, like customized CPG packaging and the use of plant-based materials, aren't new, but they're growing in popularity. Others, like smart packaging and flexible packaging, are emerging and quickly developing as technology evolves and consumer needs change.
Adopting sustainable methods into your packaging design will appeal to wide consumer audiences who value the use of eco-friendly products. This audience spans multiple generations, with millennials and Gen Z leading the way.
As more brands accept the challenges of adopting more responsible practices toward sustainability, even greater trends will emerge. These practices can then be easily and affordably integrated into sustainability frameworks, and they'll become major components of the packaging design strategy.
Offering sustainable packaging will also continue to increase your consumer base. Following and integrating sustainability trends shows your dedication to the environment and speaks to consumers who share your values.
PKG Brand Design is always at the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives. Subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!