In just a few days we’ll be ringing in the new year with champagne and sparklers, which means it’s also time to start watching out for new 2020 packaging trends. Some of them may shock you, while others may come as no surprise. Either way, keeping up with the newest trends is important for those who work in the packaging industry, as it gives you insight into what customers want and how you can deliver them the ideal unboxing experience. Here are the top 2020 packaging trends we see on the rise.

Environmentally Friendly Packaging

The demand for eco-friendly packaging is higher than ever. With many consumers becoming activists for sustainability through online media, it’s impossible for companies to ignore their packaging waste anymore. Major companies like Amazon have been criticized for their excessive use of packaging, as packaging materials are considered one of the biggest pollutants. In fact, it’s said that nearly one third of the average landfill is made up of packaging materials. That’s why this year eco-friendly packaging has been growing in popularity, and it’s sure to be a major trend in 2020 as well.

Minimal Packaging

Sustainability has been inspiring another packaging movement, which is minimal packaging. Whether you’re using this tactic for reduced costs or environmental impact, it can be a great trend to follow in 2020. Minimal packaging refers to using the least amount of materials possible without putting your product at risk for damage. Whether you’re reducing the amount of void fill or simplifying the product design, minimal packaging is a great strategy to bring focus on the product itself rather than the fancy packaging. Many consumers appreciate simpler designs, so minimal packaging could benefit your business if it appeals to your specific customers.

Smart Packaging

Smart packaging, also known as interactive packaging, encourages customers to interact with your product and your brand using mobile technology. The term “smart packaging,” encompasses a lot of different technologies, including QR codes, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Near Field Communication. Currently, near field communication seems to be the fastest growing segment of smart packaging, especially with brands like Apple pioneering the technology for mobile transactions through Apple Pay. Virtual reality has also seen an increase in use over the last year but is still not as readily available or accessible for the customer. There is sure to be an increase in the coming months with smart packaging technology.

Reduced Chemicals During Production

Packaging manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of the chemicals used during the production process and how they affect a product and the consumer who receives it. Many studies have been coming out, especially in the food industry, about chemical contamination in products due to packaging. Many of these chemicals in question have been proven by the EPA to provide adverse effects after long-term exposure. The safety and well-being of people has always been a top priority, which is why these manufacturers are reducing the chemicals used during production and finding more efficient ways to create packaging that is safe for consumers, especially in regard to food packaging supplies.

We hope you’ve been enjoying the holidays and getting ready for the new year. The packaging industry is sure to see some major changes in 2020, especially in regard to the four trends mentioned above. As smart technology and the push for sustainability become more important, businesses will have to adapt to keep their customers happy. What other trends have you noticed in the packaging industry lately? Be sure to share them with us in the comments!