Flexible packaging trends

Flexible packaging is getting more and more popular, with many reports saying it covers around ~19% of the entire packaging materials market at this point. Experts say this is largely due to constant advancements in materials and production possibilities. However, while advancements are part of the reason we also think the growth of flexibles is due to a change in trends and consumer desires. Below you will find 5 noticeable trends within the flexible packaging market. While we can’t prove it we personally think these are also big reasons for the continued growth of the flexible packaging market.

1. Flexibility

Flexibility is a big reason why we think flexibles will continue to grow more popular in 2019. Flexibles are structurally designed to be easy to use. For example resealable pouches or sachets with an easy-open laser. Pouches are very consumer friendly in general, with their adaptable shape making them easy to carry and store. Flexibles also use less material than rigid packaging to pack the same amount of product because they can shape around the product: many rigid packagings require you to ‘pack air’. Together with their lighter weight they reduce transportation and ecommerce costs.


2. Ecommerce’s continued dominance

Not unsurprisingly, ecommerce is predicted to grow faster than ever in 2019. This is felt everywhere: with U.S.A. based Sears announcing their intention to close 40 more stores per 2019 at the end of 2018. It’s not just the USA, in our own country we’ve seen many popular retail-chains close down (Intertoys, Coolcat). More then ever brands will have to stand out and this is going to affect their packaging designs. We expect packaging to become more personalized and to see more unusual packaging designs as time goes by: whether they have an innovative gimmick or are simply better looking.


3. Environmental awareness

Sustainable packaging has steadily become more important to consumers over the years—people are becoming overly conscious about their effect on our planet. Many brands are looking for solutions, be it through recyclability or biodegradability. We recently visited a knowledge session ourselves to discuss this important point. Important to note is that flexible packaging is already many times more environmentally friendly then other forms of packaging when it comes to the production. The thing we still have to properly tackle is the re-use of flexibles. Because we think this is an important point we will be publishing a white paper on sustainability and our thoughts related to it, expect this to be published somewhere in May!


4. Less is more

Stripping packaging designs down to their essentials has been popular for a long time, particularly when minimalism was at the height of its popularity (2nd half of the 20th century). Even now the style is maintaining its relevance, and will continue to do so throughout 2019. Why? Because of it’s greatest strength: its clarity. Consumers are more skeptical of what brands are trying to sell them than they once were. A product that uses only a small amount of text to explain exactly what it contains implies a greater amount of transparency. This can reward the brand with increased consumer trust and loyalty.


5. The power of nostalgia

Another style that many brands will continue to use is that of vintage packaging: creating packaging with a retro feel. This has particularly proven popular among food and drink producers in recent years. The nostalgia reminds consumers of their past and creates a rose-tinted emotional response. Vintage packaging also has an air of authenticity: increased familiarity means the consumer will instinctively trust the product more. This is why vintage packaging can also be a viable and potentially lucrative option.

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