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  • Writer's pictureElliot Gray

2023 Packaging Trends

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

A new year provides businesses with a new opportunity to adapt and evolve to changing consumer demand and trends. However, following a bumper 2022, which saw the incredible rise of sustainable packaging, connected experiences and circular strategies, what trends can we expect in 2023?

The TEC team give their thoughts on what trends are here to stay in the new year, with a focus on design, quality and of course, sustainability.

The Future is Circular: ‘Circular economy’ has no doubt been the buzzword of 2022, with a focus on materials and products being used over and over, rather than discarded after use. This is now less of a trend, and more of an expectation for businesses, with over 65% of consumers wanting to buy products that do not use single use plastic packaging.

Sustainable materials and recyclability will continue to play a key part in successful packaging strategies, alongside ‘reusability’ – i.e., how can consumers re-use or repurpose their packaging to keep waste out of landfill? It’s up to businesses to use materials which meet this expectation, while also providing consumers with information on how packaging can be re-used.

Design for the End: While the use of sustainable materials should be commended, businesses need to increase their understanding of what it means to have a successful recycling strategy, as well as how the use of different materials can impact the disposal process. For example, when using PET water bottles with paper labels, it takes an educated consumer to separate the two before the materials end up in the recycling process.

There is no one size fits all solution, so work with a trusted packaging partner who can develop a bespoke strategy to fit the needs of your business. This will also ensure all packaging elements – from adhesives and labels – are compatible for end-of-life disposal.

Carbon comes First: While sustainable packaging is a trend that is firmly here to stay, 2023 will see eco-packaging strategies become smarter, with a bigger focus on reducing carbon emissions. The weight of materials, transportation methods and manufacturing processes all play a part in increasing global emissions.

Effective palletisation can have a positive impact on fuel-use, alongside local resourcing which minimises the miles products need to travel. Adequate product protection will also minimise product damage during transit and in turn the need for returns and additional transportation.

Quality of Quantity: With a cost-of-living crisis showing no signs of abating, it is likely businesses will be also tightening belts when it comes to packaging. This doesn’t have to impact on quality, with a successful packaging strategy focusing on essential materials and packaging elements – i.e., those which are sustainable, share the brand’s messaging and protect the product – without ‘over-stuffing’ packaging for consumers.

Strip out any unnecessary packaging elements, and in turn you will not only likely save on cost, but also reduce waste.

2023 is already shaping up to be one of the most innovative and exciting periods for packaging, with a focus on planet-friendly materials and solutions designed around the needs of the customer and environment. While any change can be daunting, even the most minor of adaptions to the production, manufacturing or design process can result in positive savings; both environmentally and financially, while improving brand loyalty, perception and recognition.

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