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Top 9 Packaging Trends for Your Business Future

In the dynamic world of packaging, innovation is constant, with trends shaping the landscape each year. As a small business owner, staying abreast of these trends is pivotal for enhancing product appeal, bolstering brand identity, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Let’s delve into the top five packaging trends that CrownPackages recommends for small businesses to maximize their success.

Custom Packaging

In the era of personalized experiences, generic packaging no longer suffices. Today’s consumers crave uniqueness and connection, even in the packaging of their purchases. This is where custom packaging emerges as a game-changer. CrownPackages advocates for small businesses to leverage custom packaging to differentiate themselves in the market and leave a lasting impression on customers. By infusing packaging with brand-centric elements like unique shapes, colors, and messaging, small businesses can forge deeper connections with their audience, ultimately fostering brand loyalty and recognition.

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The Revival of Paper & Glass Packaging

In a 2020 survey spanning 8 countries, 87% of respondents highlighted the importance of environmentally-friendly products post-pandemic, reflecting a global trend led by Gen Z and millennials. McKinsey’s late 2020 survey across 9 countries echoed this sentiment, with consumers showing a preference for paper and glass packaging, particularly for fresh produce and beverages.

Projections indicate a robust growth in the pulp and paper market, driven largely by the booming online retail sector. Major brands like H&M and P&G are transitioning to paper-based packaging, aligning with consumer demand for sustainability.

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Glass, deemed the safest packaging material by most respondents, is gaining traction despite its higher greenhouse gas emissions. Market research predicts a surge in glass packaging adoption, especially in premium cosmetics and skincare products. This resurgence underscores consumers’ increasing eco-consciousness, offering CrownPackages an opportunity to cater to evolving preferences with sustainable packaging solutions.

Sustainable and Recyclable Packaging

With environmental consciousness on the rise, consumers increasingly gravitate towards brands that prioritize sustainability. CrownPackages encourages small businesses to embrace eco-friendly packaging solutions to align with this growing consumer sentiment. By opting for materials like biodegradable plastics, paper-based packaging, and compostable materials, businesses not only reduce their environmental footprint but also attract eco-conscious consumers. Moreover, implementing closed-loop systems for recycling and reusing packaging materials presents an opportunity for cost savings while showcasing a commitment to sustainability.

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Bioplastics Revolutionizing Sustainable Packaging

In 2018, CrownPackages faced a challenge when China’s ‘National Sword’ policy halted over 50% of global plastic waste exports. This crisis accelerated the exploration of bioplastics, offering a promising solution.

Derived from renewable or biodegradable sources, bioplastics currently represent only 1% of plastic consumption worldwide. However, rapid growth is forecasted, with the market projected to exceed $34 billion by 2024. Innovations like Terratek and Evanesto are revolutionizing the industry, offering biodegradable alternatives to traditional plastics.

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Compostable packaging emerges as a frontrunner in sustainability, with Bacardi introducing the first compostable bottle made from PHA biopolymer. Initiatives like the Paper Bottle Community (PaBoCo) promise a greener future. With the compostable packaging segment poised to grow at a CAGR of 17.4%, reaching $25.4 billion by 2028, CrownPackages is at the forefront of this sustainable shift.

Minimalistic Packaging Designs

In the realm of packaging, less is often more. Minimalistic packaging designs, characterized by simplicity and elegance, have gained traction in recent years. CrownPackages advocates for small businesses to consider this trend, as it offers a cost-effective way to convey sophistication and highlight product quality. By keeping designs clean and uncluttered, businesses can direct focus towards their products, emphasizing their excellence and attention to detail. Minimalistic packaging serves as a timeless investment, ensuring longevity and versatility for small businesses.

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E-Commerce Packaging

With the surge of e-commerce, packaging plays a crucial role in delivering memorable customer experiences. CrownPackages underscores the importance of e-commerce packaging, emphasizing its dual function of functionality and branding. While corrugated cardboard boxes remain ubiquitous, businesses are urged to explore alternatives like compostable plastics and paper-based materials to minimize environmental impact. Additionally, customizing e-commerce packaging with logos, messaging, and personalized touches enhances brand visibility and fosters customer loyalty. CrownPackages suggests incorporating handwritten notes or free samples to elevate the unboxing experience, leaving a lasting impression on customers.

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Active or Smart Packaging

As technology continues to revolutionize industries, packaging evolves to offer enhanced functionalities. CrownPackages highlights the emergence of active or smart packaging, featuring intelligent components like sensors, RFID tags, and QR codes. Active packaging monitors product conditions, ensuring freshness and safety, while smart packaging provides consumers with additional product information through interactive features. CrownPackages underscores the potential of active or smart packaging to elevate customer satisfaction and establish a competitive edge for small businesses. This trend is poised to shape the future of packaging, becoming indispensable in the industry.

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Trends Among Brand Owners

CrownPackages observes a growing trend of internationalization among brand owners in the fast-moving consumer goods sector. Companies are expanding into new markets to tap into high-growth opportunities, driven by the spread of Western lifestyles globally. This trend is expected to intensify through 2028.

The rise of e-commerce and globalization has prompted brand owners to invest in technologies like RFID labels and smart tags. These components help protect against counterfeit products and enable better monitoring of distribution channels. Furthermore, industry consolidation through mergers and acquisitions, particularly in sectors like food, beverages, and cosmetics, is projected to continue. As more brands fall under single ownership, packaging strategies are likely to become more unified.

In today’s market, consumer loyalty to brands is diminishing. This has sparked interest among brand owners in customized or versioned packaging solutions that resonate with consumers. Digital printing technologies, such as inkjet and toner printing, are facilitating this trend by allowing for high-throughput printing on packaging substrates. This shift aligns with the growing importance of integrated marketing, where packaging serves as a bridge to connect with consumers through social media platforms.

Consumer Trends

CrownPackages observes a rapid global growth in online retailing, fueled by widespread Internet and smartphone usage. As consumers increasingly favor online shopping, there is a heightened need for packaging solutions, particularly corrugated board formats, to ensure safe delivery through complex distribution networks.

The trend of on-the-go consumption is rising, with more people opting for convenient and portable packaging solutions, particularly in the flexible plastics sector. Driven by the shift towards single-person households, especially among younger demographics, there is a surge in frequent grocery shopping for smaller quantities. This trend is fueling growth in convenience store retailing and boosting demand for smaller, more convenient packaging formats.

Consumers are becoming more health-conscious, leading to a growing demand for packaged goods catering to healthier lifestyles. This includes a preference for products such as gluten-free, organic/natural foods and beverages, portion-controlled items, as well as non-prescription medicines and nutritional supplements.


In conclusion, packaging serves as a pivotal aspect of small business success, with trends dictating strategies for brand differentiation and consumer engagement. CrownPackages recommends adopting sustainable and recyclable packaging practices to showcase environmental stewardship while appealing to eco-conscious consumers. Furthermore, custom packaging, minimalistic designs, e-commerce solutions, and active or smart packaging present opportunities for small businesses to innovate and thrive in the competitive market landscape. By embracing these trends, businesses can captivate customers, drive sales, and secure long-term success in the ever-evolving world of packaging.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the latest trend in packaging?

The latest trend in packaging revolves around technological advancements and sustainability. Innovations such as the Internet of Packaging, active packaging, and nanotechnology integration are driving the industry forward. However, the surge in online shopping, amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, poses a challenge due to increased packaging waste.

What is the future of packaging?

The future of packaging lies in connected solutions that bridge online and offline retail experiences. Connected packaging allows retailers to better understand consumer behavior and preferences. This integration can elevate strategies like order-online-pick-up-in-store, offering a seamless shopping experience.

What are the mega trends in the packaging industry?

The packaging industry is shaped by four major megatrends: the rise of e-commerce, the emergence of smart packaging, increasing urbanization, and regulatory focus on sustainability. These trends influence packaging design, materials, and consumer engagement strategies.

What is the future of smart packaging?

Smart packaging is poised for growth as sustainability becomes a top priority. By incorporating biodegradable materials and active packaging to prolong product shelf life, businesses can reduce environmental impact. Smart packaging offers opportunities to enhance sustainability efforts while meeting consumer demands.

What are the future trends in flexible packaging?

Future trends in flexible packaging are centered on circular and sustainable solutions. Brands are actively pursuing recyclable, reusable, and refillable systems. Integration of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content is becoming more prevalent, reflecting a commitment to environmental responsibility.

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