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Top 15 Packaging Trends for 2024

The packaging industry, like many others, experiences change over the years. Ideas that were popular years ago aren’t found on shelves or in boxes anymore. In order to stay competitive and make sure your products are packaged in the best way possible, it’s crucial to stay on top of packaging trends. As we look ahead to the remainder of 2024 and beyond, it is evident that packaging trends will be shaped by three primary elements: sustainability, innovation, and experience. To help you evaluate your packaging strategy, we will break down these elements and provide key factors to consider.

person examines shampoo packaging options at a store

Are Packaging Trends Constantly Changing?

The short answer? Yes. The longer answer is that all industries go through changes with trends, designs, and styles. The packaging industry is no different. But what makes packaging so unique is that its trends are tied closely to consumer goods and manufactured materials. Just as quickly as trends can start up and go viral, packaging needs to be able to adapt to meet consumer expectations.

While packaging is always evolving, we can start to notice patterns or bigger trends that develop over time. Something like sustainability has been a trend for years, but the ways in which packaging creates sustainability and sources materials change over time. Keeping an eye on what’s working and what is trending helps businesses avoid being irrelevant in comparison to competitors.

Why is Staying Up-to-Date on Packaging Industry Trends Important?

In today's diverse manufacturing and consumer goods market, businesses face increasing competition and evolving customer shopping behaviors. To succeed, businesses that are trying to sell products to customers must differentiate themselves and create a memorable experience in order to stand out amongst the competition.

Packaging is an extension of your sales and marketing efforts. It plays a crucial role in helping a product succeed in the market. When done right, packaging can help you stand out on shelves, deliver on your core brand values, and create a positive shopping and unboxing experience for your customers. However, outdated or poorly designed packaging can negatively impact brand perception just as easily.

Staying informed on packaging trends and making adjustments to meet expectations is essential for promoting products, standing out from competitors, and captivating buyers.

sustainable metal packaging that can be reused and recycled.

Sustainable Packaging is Still a Top Trend

One of the biggest trends that continues to gain momentum is sustainability. Sustainable packaging involves using packing materials that can be recycled, reused, or composted. Rather than traditional packaging materials like plastic or styrofoam, sustainable packaging focuses on natural materials that have a more positive impact on the environment and can stay out of landfills.

1. Post Consumer Resin

It’s undeniable that plastic is a versatile material that has been so deeply integrated into society that it would be impossible for it to be completely removed. The recycling system was established to divert plastics out of landfills and give a new life to recycled plastic packaging in the form of post-consumer resin (PCR). PCR continues to grow in popularity as innovations to its processing methods and legislative sustainability initiatives are making it a much more attractive option for brands to move into.

2. Bio-Based Materials

The first of the sustainable packaging trends looks at packaging materials. As mentioned above, most traditional packaging relies on materials like plastic for padding, sealing, and individual storage. These plastics can’t be broken down naturally, so they take up space in landfills and oceans. Also plastics are derived from fossil fuels, a non-renewable resource. Bio-based materials are created using renewable biomass sources, such as plant or marine-based products. This innovative approach aims to address environmental concerns and reduce waste from single-use plastics. Innovative sustainable packaging solutions are becoming increasingly popular among packaging industry trends.

3. Less is Indeed More

The saying “less is more” is uttered so frequently that it has lost its meaning. However, the old adage is making a resurgence when it comes to packaging trends. Minimalism doesn’t just refer to modern bold typography and simplistic design elements. It also relates to the amount of material used in packaging and shipping. While utilizing recyclable materials should be common practice, it’s not going to solve our waste problems entirely. Rather than using an excessive amount of plastic or cardboard to package products, businesses are cutting back on waste and cutting down on costs by using a minimal amount of material needed to safely package and protect their products, proving that less can indeed be more.

4. Refillable and Reusable Packaging

One of the biggest issues facing the packaging industry is waste management. Many packaging materials are used only once and then discarded, resulting in massive amounts of waste. The negative environmental impact of packaging has led manufacturers, modern-day consumers, and state and local governments to take a closer look at how we can fix this waste problem. New trends in sustainable packaging are focusing on cutting down on waste with refillable and reusable packaging for food products, beauty products, and even household products.

5. Commitment to Sustainable Sourcing Practices

Utilizing biodegradable materials and reducing packaging waste are great ways to begin addressing the environmental concerns plaguing us today. However, sustainable packaging practices have expanded to encompass a broader commitment. Businesses worldwide are actively focusing on eco-friendly packaging solutions and sustainable sourcing to prioritize environmental responsibility. Leading companies have made sustainability and environmentally-friendly packaging important parts of their brand identity, in an effort to preserve the planet and build trust with their customers.

innovative packaging with QR code

Redefine Your Value with Innovative Packaging Trends

Innovation in packaging continues to trend upward as new technologies and social media become more and more integrated into our everyday lives. From bold design elements to smart packaging, the latest packaging design trends utilize innovative features to stay relevant in today’s market and appeal to their target audience.

6. Leverage the Power of QR Codes

QR codes have been around for many years now, but their integration into packaging is a fairly new trend. Packaging now offers interactive QR codes that customers can scan to get access to additional information on the product, specialized landing pages, or even the chance to win prizes and enter drawings. This use of technology with packaging creates an engaging user experience and gives consumers the opportunity to connect with your brand on a more personal level.

7. Integrating Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is another great example of how companies are utilizing technology to immerse consumers in their brand story. AR for packaging gives brands the ability to provide information through 3D content. Where traditional packaging limits how much information can be shared on the packaging, the use of AR technology opens up the possibility of sharing much more data. The use of AR requires that a user install an app or scan a QR code to access it, but once using it, the user will be directed to an immersive AR experience with the product. This technology makes it possible to virtually try on products such as glasses, cosmetics, clothing, and more. Companies also use AR to provide virtual tours and other interactive experiences and share their brand messaging. It’s another great way to create an engaging customer experience.
8. Utilize Near-Field Communication (NFC) Chips Near-field communication (NFC) chips are now being utilized on packaging to share data while in transit. These chips create a two-way wireless connection between devices, allowing customers to easily check the details of their orders and track shipments. Because the NFC chip doesn’t need to be paired to a device, it makes it easy for customers to check the status of their shipments, enhancing the overall customer experience.

9. Include Interactive Engagements

In the realm of packaging, interactive elements have emerged as a prominent trend for 2024, exemplified by the incorporation of new technologies like QR codes and augmented reality. These interactive features enable brands to forge deeper connections with customers, outperforming traditional packaging methods. By engaging and entertaining consumers, interactive packaging presents an opportunity to amplify marketing efforts while simultaneously enriching the customer experience.

10. AI-Driven Solutions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made an impact in nearly every industry, and packaging is no exception. AI is proving to be a capable tool for businesses seeking to fulfill their sustainability objectives. Through detailed analytics of packaging usage and waste metrics, AI helps companies make data-driven decisions that align with their sustainability goals. AI also helps improve shipping operations by providing real-time insights into product availability and aids in identifying consumer trends.

paper canisters with simple botanical design branding elements.

Connect with Consumers Through Your Product Packaging Design Trends

Design has been, and always will be, a vital element of packaging. It offers you a platform to highlight your business, add relevance to your products, and communicate your company's message. Although trends in packaging design may change over time, they affect customer perception of your brand and require careful consideration to reach your target market.

11. Bold Visuals and Hyper-Contrast Designs

Design trends today are returning to the vibrant colors, stylized typography, and striking contrasts of the 60s and 70s. This bold approach embraces bright colors and hyper-contrasted design elements to create a visual impact that stands out on store shelves. Instead of relying on the gradient color trends of recent years, hyper-contrast allows brands to infuse their packaging with personality and intrigue. Think dopamine dressing but for products. The bright, colorful design elements convey a sense of fun and playfulness that grabs your attention. With a nostalgic nod and futuristic innovations, today's packaging trends are meant to engage all your senses resulting in unique and immersive packaging solutions.

12. Embed Your Brand Narrative Into the Packaging

Packaging gives businesses a chance to showcase their branding and share their messages with consumers. Whatever your brand story is, packaging provides a clear space to share your narrative with customers. You can highlight your initiatives and your promises, or even share details about what makes you stand apart from the competition. With the use of innovative features like QR codes, you can take your brand messaging even further.

13. Leverage Digital Printing and Personalization Technologies

Personalization continues to be a prevalent trend in packaging. Digital printing technology has revolutionized personalization options for brands. Customers who shop online can now receive boxes printed with their names or customized messages on individual bottles and boxes, creating a truly unique and memorable experience.

14. Engage Touch, Smell, and Sight

Packaging appeals to a variety of senses. Trends in textures, scents, and designs have increased the appeal and potential of packaging. The tactile attributes of a package boost customer interaction while strengthening brand recognition. Scented packaging is gaining popularity, adding a new dimension to the unboxing experience for consumers.

15. Premium Packaging Solutions

Businesses today are utilizing effective strategies to provide varying levels of quality and service to their customers. Instead of having a uniform style of packaging, businesses are able to offer a range of options on a tiered pricing scale. Premium packaging solutions enable consumers to opt for a more elevated and immersive packaging experience, often with additional interactive features. Companies can strategically incorporate luxury, creativity, or other branding elements into their premium packaging options to create a unique and memorable brand identity.

perfume bottles in muted pastel colors in varying shapes, sizes, and materials.

Future Proof Your Approach to Adapt with New Packaging Trends

As packaging trends progress and shift over time, some businesses mistakenly dismiss their significance. However, being adaptable and understanding trends will benefit your brand and even help you stay relevant in an ever-changing market. By maintaining flexibility and attentively monitoring emerging trends and changes, businesses can create a brand that seamlessly integrates new concepts while preserving their packaging goals. This proactive approach can help companies stay competitive and relevant with consumers in a dynamic market landscape.

Start Implementing New Packaging Solutions Today

At Paramount Global, we understand the importance of ensuring your product packaging is ready for today’s market. We offer full-service packaging and supply chain solutions, and our dedicated team of packaging experts are here to help you find the best packaging solutions for your products. Contact us today to discover how we can take your packaging to the next level!

established in 1976

For over forty years, Paramount has been delivering perfectly integrated packaging and supply chain solutions.