Mintel identifies six key packaging trends for 2016

Posted: 21 December 2015 | Victoria White | No comments yet

Digital package printing and flexible hybrid packaging are among the six key trends set to impact the global packaging markets in 2016…

Mintel has announced six key trends set to impact global packaging markets in 2016.


Mintel’s key packaging trends are:

  1. Digital Evolution: In 2016 Mintel says we will experience the tipping point for digital package printing, as brands move beyond using it for limited editions and personalisation, and capitalise on its economic and speed-to-market advantages for mainstream package decoration.
  2. Show Me The Goods: With the growing number of on-pack claims competing for shoppers’ attention, consumers are demanding more information about what they are really buying but seeking less on-pack clutter that confuses their purchasing decisions. This is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in food, where clear and concise information about ingredients, functional product attributes and safety must be communicated with total transparency. Looking ahead, Mintel says the concepts of clean labelling and clear on-pack communication are set to converge.
  3. Phenomenal Flexibles: No longer is flexible packaging considered a tradeoff. Almost one third of consumers associate flexible packaging with being modern, and brands are tapping into flexibles’ nearly unparalleled marketing opportunities. Mintel says that innovative brands will be looking to the next generation of rigid/flexible hybrids that offer functional and environmental benefits alongside great shelf presence.
  4. More Than “Just” Green Packaging: 63% of US consumers have stated that reusable and repurposable packaging is a key purchasing driver. Going forward, when product price and perceived product quality are equal, consumers will be increasingly turning to these eco- and alternative-use attributes as the deciding purchasing factor, and Mintel says brands cannot afford to ignore this as they develop their brand positioning and marketing strategies.
  5. Size Matters: American families are seeking value in larger container sizes for milk; British consumers are asking for more choices in size for alcoholic beverages. In 2016, brands must deliver packaging that consumers see as right-sized for themselves and shifting use-occasions in order to overcome the growing lack of brand loyalty.
  6. Packaging Mobil-Ution: There’s a revolution happening in mobile-engaged packaging. Unlike the previous generation that included clunky QR and text codes, this time around brand owners are tapping near-field communication (NFC) and bluetooth low-energy (BLE) as primary engagement technologies. Mintel says the mobile environment will become the new front line in the battle to win consumers’ hearts, minds and wallets.

David Luttenberger, Global Packaging Director at Mintel, said: “There’s a parallel path between brands striving to engage consumers on a more personal level and consumers’ expectations for packaging to deliver that experience. Digital print that creates ‘hyper’ personal experiences; clean-label messaging that enhances brand transparency and builds purchasing confidence; eco-responsible packaging that empowers social consciousness; next-gen hybrids that offer functional and environmental benefits alongside great shelf presence; right-sized product packaging that meets consumer needs and shifting use-occasions; and apps that support ‘mobile-engaged’ packaging.

“These are the key themes we see resonating with consumers in 2016.

“Brands and manufacturers are innovating packaging to keep global consumers, not only engaged, but to develop brand loyalty which is becoming more and more intangible in this modern age where consumers have more choices than ever before across all packaged goods.”

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