The Five C’s of Packaging in 2024

A look ahead at the top trends to expect this year

As the world’s largest Hybrid Packaging Supplier®, Berlin Packaging has leading insights and world-class expertise in the global packaging market. Here are the five major industry trends they’re tracking for 2024.

1. Connected. According to GlobalData, more than half of global consumers (55%) are actively looking for smartphone connectivity when making purchases, and 42% are always or often influenced by how digitally advanced a product or service is. This is especially relevant with younger consumers, and one in four Gen Z and Millennials say that interactive packaging is a key purchase driver. Digital tools like QR codes and near-field communication (NFC) technology allow consumers to connect with brands in more robust and engaging ways, which can help consumers save time and money, reassure them of product quality and safety, and create an overall unique user experience.

2. Conscious. Today’s consumers want to support brands that align with their values and lifestyle choices, and demand for sustainable packaging is as high as ever. Consumer packaged goods products with an ESG (environmental, social, and governance) claim printed on the packaging generated higher sales between 2018-2022 than products without a claim based on a joint study by McKinsey and NielsenIQ. Packaging designed for those with physical limitations, visual impairments, and the aging population is also becoming more prevalent as consumers seek out products and packaging that are both inclusive and accessible. According to Mintel, 47% of beauty product users say they shop from brands that promote diversity or inclusivity.

3. Compliant. Governments in the United States and around the world are introducing legislation aimed at reducing packaging waste and promoting a more circular economy, and these laws are driving change that will continue to impact the packaging industry for years to come. Packaging laws vary by state and include measures around, for example, post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, container deposit return systems (DRS), and extended producer responsibility (EPR). Given the ever-changing legislative landscape, partnering with a packaging supplier who understands the latest legislation and requirements is increasingly important.

4. Cost-Effective. Today’s consumers continue to feel the effects of inflation, rising prices, and weakened purchasing power, with 63% of global consumers saying they are extremely or quite concerned about their financial situation (GlobalData). This has put a newfound focus on how packaging can create a competitive advantage as consumers change their habits to spend less and/or buy “better.” After quality and price, consumers list “multi-functional/multi-benefit” as the next thing that provides value for money. This is especially relevant in personal care and home care categories, with 55% of global consumers saying they are looking for more convenient/timesaving household cleaning products (GlobalData).

5. Customized. According to Euromonitor, more than half of global consumers want products and services uniquely tailored to them. While the desire for individuality is not new, it is now more attainable through technological innovations and digital engagement. Customizable labels, smart packaging, and interactive design can create unique, personalized consumer experiences and drive brand loyalty.

For more information or to speak with someone at Berlin Packaging, please contact Lindsay Rafayko Santora at Lindsay.Rafayko@berlinpackaging.com.

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