As we enter 2022, Herbert Walkers predicts the top five packaging trends for the year ahead.
- Seasonal and year-round gifting
As seasonal retail periods continue to get longer, deadlines for cards and product packaging will get earlier. Print companies will be tasked with delivering projects that stand out in terms of quality and finish while meeting these business-critical deadlines. At Herbert Walkers, our specialist capabilities in finishing mean we can be competitive on smaller runs for seasonal items. That said, we’ve also noticed that gifting has become a year-round phenomenon and consumer trends have led to increased sales of luxury options. This may have been accelerated by the pandemic, as people sent gifts to loved ones during periods of national lockdown. As the economy recovers, we anticipate this trend to grow, so there will be a need for packs that stand out on shelf and also have virtual shelf appeal for online channels.
- Packaging as a keepsake
Packaging not only protects and showcases the product; it is often an integral part of what the consumer is buying. In the gifting world, it can be kept, as a container for odds and ends, for example, or simply as a keepsake because it is decorative and has sentimental value. Again, the increased focus on sentimental value may have been driven somewhat by the pandemic and the prioritisation of showing our loved ones how much we care about them.
Sustainability is still an increasingly important influence for both packaging and greetings cards; consumer demand for more eco-conscious products means that print and packaging companies like ours need to be proactive in suggesting solutions. Non-recyclable materials like flitter, which used to be a common feature on greetings cards, are now much less attractive. Instead, multi-dimensional, reflective finishes can be used to add depth and aesthetic appeal to products. We regularly use our foiling expertise and in-house die making capabilities to develop comparable effects by using recyclable foils. Every last scrap in the print room is gathered up and compressed into bails so that it can be collected for recycling.
- Interactive Packaging
Interactive packaging is likely to be another trend we see more of in 2022, as features like QR codes are used more widely. One of the benefits of this trend is that information usually included in packaging can be cut down, as customers can simply scan a code to access it online. In some cases, this has the additional benefit of also being more eco-friendly.
- UK-based supply chains
We’ve seen a lot of companies reverting to a UK-based supply chain during the pandemic, which has highlighted the risks of overseas production. Delays with the import of boards and foils from the EU, which happened frequently this year, may well settle down, but we suspect the trend away from overseas suppliers and toward more localised supply chains will continue.
To learn more about our premium print and packaging solutions, visit https://www.herbertwalkers.co.uk/