• Prahal Saravanan

Packaging trends in 2020

The Packaging trends going into 2020 will revolve around the demanding expectations of e-commerce, personal and environmental well being, and the ever-evolving consumer experience.

Simple Packaging

E-commerce requires brands to re-think and re-design their packaging substrate, structure, and design. McKinsey suggests that to respond to e-commerce demand, brands will start to simplify primary and secondary packaging into a single layer designed for easy shipment. This will help reduce materials, reduce weight, reduce the cost of delivery, and improve the time it takes products to get to consumers. These structural packaging changes will help optimize for last mile shipments, so e-commerce consumers get their products fast.

Creative Designs

While simplifying is a trend in packaging, the demand for creativity is still very relevant. Brands can focus on eye-catching minimalism in packaging design. This will help their products stand out against all the products that consumers can easily compare and contrast through e-commerce platforms. The design of the physical packaging should extend into e-commerce platforms to strengthen omni channel consistency and brand recognition.


Sustainability has been increasing exponentially as a trend in packaging and will continue into 2020 and beyond. Consumers want to buy products they know will have a smaller footprint and help promote environmental sustainability. This can be illustrated on the packaging through design by highlighting whether the product and packaging are recyclable, compostable, made from recycled materials, and more.


Consumers want to spend less time finding what they are looking for. They want to exert little effort in making the purchase and using the product, but with long-lasting results. Because of this, packaging needs to be easy to open and should show how easy it is to use the product to produce a specific result. Consumers expect they can purchase a product that will be easy-to-open, easy-to-set-up or put together, and easy-to-use. Brands need to consider this as they create the structural design for their packaging.


Not only do consumers want to find a solution for exactly what they are trying to solve or improve, they want it in their preferred quantity, color, size, and shape. With an entire network of digital and physical shopping channels, they have the means to find an exact match for their needs. Because of this, brands need to be able to develop different versions of their products in different sizes. This means they will need to quickly develop multiple SKUS of packaging so that they can hold different quantities and display versions and languages of messages that explain how they meet very specific needs. To enable these capabilities, brands should have efficient processes and digital tools in place to easily create and manage personalized versions of packaging and labels.

Brands should understand the expectations of the consumers and evaluate how they compare to the competition so they can display compelling strengths as part of the marketing messaging on their product packaging.


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