Many might be surprised to think that trends exist beyond the fashion and social sense. New trends permeate almost every aspect of your life, including how you mail packages.

And one of the most important aspects of a trend is jumping on it before it becomes irrelevant or leaves you behind. So to catch you up on what is the latest in shipping, here are some of the newest trends in packaging for this year.

Packaging E-commerce Goods

As the need for online shopping continues to expand, many retailers are being forced to jump on the bandwagon if they want to remain competitive with other companies.

For Business-to-consumer companies, it is especially important to consider that at-home delivery is quickly becoming the norm. Any businesses that don't have this, or are not currently pursuing it, are going to be left in the dust.

Packaging for Video Game Products

The tide in videogame products and other similar electronic accessories has seen an exciting change in recent times. What used to be dominated by substantial plastic cartridges and containers has now shifted to a more eco-friendly approach.

Two video game companies, Sports Interactive and Sega, partnered together to stand against plastic waste in gaming. In 2020, the two companies saved 20 tonnes of waste through environmentally friendly packaging for Football Manager 2020.

Some companies have also decided to take it a step further and release its game straight to digital download on consoles. However, there are plenty of classic gamers still out there who prefer the physical feel of the game disc. 

So while it might not completely go away soon, it is vital to make a note of how different industries are adapting their delivery methods to consumers.

Packaging Frozen Food Goods

Frozen food packaging has been around since the 20s, ever since the need to quick dry food. It has gone through many changes since then as a response to improvements in technology.

Arguably, the frozen food industry has seen some of the most significant changes in packaging last year. To make sure that food would be safely delivered to families while keeping the spread of the virus down, the industry had to increase packaging uses that still persist today. 

These different packaging materials include:

  • Shrink Film
  • Glass
  • Wax Coated Cardboard
  • Aluminum
  • Lidding Films
  • Flexible Bags

In response to the rise in e-commerce goods with frozen foods, many different industries also had to pledge to make adjustments to meet sustainability demands while staying environmentally conscious. Therefore, multiple large businesses have committed to using recyclable only packaging materials by 2025

Packaging With Mono Materials

In the food and drink industry, many companies in the past have typically resorted to using multi-material packages. These packages are made up of different materials, such as aluminum foil and added plastic, that helps insulate the temperature of consumables. However, the drawback to multi-material packages is that they can not be recycled unless separated, which is a highly expensive process. 

So to combat this, many businesses are switching to Mono-material plastic packages. These use flexible plastics that can be recycled much easier. If more and more companies follow this trend, it could greatly reduce the food and beverage industry’s amount of waste daily.

Packaging Eco-Friendly Goods

As seen from the rise of reusable bags and straws, many consumers have been pressuring companies to make more environmentally friendly choices in business practices. But, sadly, just when it seemed like single-use plastics would nearly be a thing of the past, the pandemic hit and forced companies to revert to the old ways in order to reduce the spread. 

Luckily, the trend is coming back around towards sustainability. A study done by the U.S. Green Building Council in Los Angeles stated that many health experts were pointing out that reusable bags are just as safe as non-reusable bags, and there was not enough conclusive evidence to prove otherwise.

With fewer people now occupying offices and workplaces, this has become the perfect opportunity for business owners to test out waste reduction practices. It has been shown that compostable alternatives, compared to single-use plastics, have led to the most significant opportunities in operational savings costs.

Minimalist Packaging Trends

Following the famous saying "less is more," there has been a recent push for businesses to use less packaging materials when shipping products. Not only does it put customers at ease with less clutter, but it also shows that the company cares about the environment.

Minimalist packaging also shows potential buyers that the company is fully confident in their product and do not have to resort to any additives to make up for subpar service. 

This also helps businesses financially by cutting shipping costs by using lighter materials. Additionally, companies can release their products to consumers faster when they do not have to worry about added logistics of shipping costs.

Change in Packaging Materials

Within cardboard packaging in the food industry, most businesses predominantly use a chemical known as PFAS in their material. This chemical would prevent grease stains and prevent packages from breaking down and was bad for the environment. Like BPAs and phthalates, other similar materials also cause identical environmental and health issues, causing even more backlash from consumers.

Now, more and more companies have been pressured by consumers to quickly phase out the use of these chemicals in favor of a more healthy material option.

Packaging Interactive and Gamified Goods

There have also been drastic changes in the way companies physically and digitally interact with consumers. For example, through modern digital technologies, such as QR codes, consumers can now do many different things, such as tracking packages and looking up menus at restaurants. 

QR codes have been incredibly helpful, especially during the pandemic, for reducing the costs of making new menus and tracking sheets, reducing waste when they have to be thrown away eventually.

Packaging Trends in Home Improvement Stores

Quite a few different locations across the United States have seen a drastic increase in the housing market. Thus, this has affected the Home Improvement industry, with multiple companies struggling to meet the demands of so many new homeowners.

Since so many more people are staying home, there are more orders made to decorate around the house that has been put off for so long.

Packaging Trends in Pet Good Businesses

Another trend that has increased recently due to more people staying home is pet goods. Since there are many new pet owners, or people able to spend more time with their pets, companies have had to keep up with a high demand for online purchases.

PetFoodProcessing.net has stated that online-only pet store retailers dominated 2020. Today, they make up about 30% of the total market, which is insane considering it was only 5% in 2015. 

As a result, companies like PetSmart and Petco have become hybrid companies with both online purchases and in-person locations to stay on top of this new trend in the market.

The Push for Improved Packaging Trends

It is getting harder each day to deny new packaging trends' usefulness for the environment and production costs for businesses. More companies are switching to sustainable materials, switching to online, or just delivering them directly to the consumers. 

The trends will only get more popular as time progresses, so it is important for companies to jump in on these changes before they are left explaining why they did not do anything earlier.

 

Sources:

  1. An Open Letter from Miles Jacobson 
  2. Companies take major step towards a New Plastics Economy 
  3. The status of COVID-19 and plastic waste in Los Angeles and what's needed to move towards a circular plastic economy

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