Thinking Ahead: 4 Packaging Trends in 2023

Posted by CS Packaging on Dec 13, 2022 9:15:00 AM

packaging trends 2023 - box with paper fill inside

First, let’s recap 2022: Sustainability became a notable priority for consumers, as they expected to see businesses prove their concern about their environmental impact. The year was also impacted by COVID and its ongoing presence. 

As a result, online shopping maintained its portion of the market, and packaging needs remain a top concern for shippers. 

When it comes to packaging trends, 2023 will primarily focus on more of the same for sustainability and online shopping. However, packaging supplies’ color and visual appeal will also be a major driver in 2023 trends. 

4 Packaging Trends to Expect in 2023

It’s true that customers now more than ever want to see sustainability prioritized, and want to feel good about the brands they support. Even more importantly, customers want the product to arrive on their doorstep quickly and in one piece. For e-commerce businesses, this means more pressure to find the best product packaging design that withstands the shipping journey while decreasing your company’s carbon footprint.

Packaging trends for 2023 take all of that into account, and they take it a step further to consider the packaging appearance when it lands on that doorstep. 

Trends for 2023 in packaging include

 

  1. Sustainability
  2. Online shopping
  3. Color and visual appeal
  4. Inclusivity

 

1. Sustainability


Businesses should continue to look for new and innovative ways to prove their dedication to preserving the future. One way many are doing this is by focusing on sustainability in their operations across all fronts, and being transparent about it. 

packaging trends 2023 - packages and paper fill

Just like using energy-efficient lighting and appliances, the type of packaging a business uses goes a long way. 

Consider packaging materials that are:

  • Biodegradable
  • Recycled & recyclable 
  • Compostable 
  • Reusable

 

2. Online shopping


As noted before, to keep up with the competition, businesses need to find ways to protect their products while maximizing the relationship with the customer. 

Lightweight packaging meets both of those needs. It provides protection while maintaining the overall package weight and also keeps costs in check by heading off high shipping prices (something the cost-conscious consumer appreciates).packaging trends 2023 - bubble wrap around package 

 

Here are some examples of lightweight protective packaging that meets these needs:

  • Air cushion packaging such as air pillows and bubble quilts is ideal for filling voids, wrapping, and cushioning products against sudden shifts. 
  • Paper fill  comes in many forms such as flat sheets or robust pads. Paper is lightweight, absorbs shock during transit, and offers great protection while being curbside recyclable. 
  • Biodegradable loose fill is the modern take on packing peanuts and a trusted way to keep items safe. This static-free, Earth-friendly substitution appeases today’s buyer and even comes in fun shapes like stars and hearts. 
  • Suspension and Retention inserts are great for electronics and valuables. These types of inserts use less material and more engineering to keep items suspended safely in the center of the package. 

 

3. Color and Visual Appeal


There’s nothing better than instant brand recognition. Whether a person is your customer or not, they recognize your brand by a visual cue. The Nike swoosh or McDonald’s golden arches are prime examples of this. So are the cow-spotted boxes Gateway computers came in during the PC boom of the 1990s

Put simply, creative design and careful color choice help a business draw attention to its product, even when it’s unopened. 

Package design considerations that should be a priority include: 

  • Solid colors provide appeal through simplicity. Bold colors are visually appealing, so they may be a good choice for your brand. 
  • Geometry is increasingly popular in terms of shape and design. Typically, the geometric shapes are simple yet eye-catching.
  • Symmetry is more aesthetically pleasing to the consumer. This should be true for both geometric shapes and the overall package design.

Bold and engaging type helps prioritize the product name while maintaining brand identity. This aspect of package design has grown and improved, thanks to innovations in recent years. 

When it comes to fonts for mass production, many different fonts are now available for businesses to use on their packaging supplies. This allows businesses to choose a font that is appropriate for their brand and reflects their overall style. It is also important to create a brand-specific strategy to guide the font selection process. 

Using different fonts for mass production can help businesses create a more unique and appealing look for their packaging supplies. This can help them stand out from the competition and increase sales.

Gender-neutral packaging is also gaining in popularity, as companies realize the effort to package the same product differently to gain sales from different genders is negatively received by the public and therefore a waste of budget. In order to practice inclusivity in packaging, businesses should consider a new approach that leaves previous gender-specific and demographic focus behind. 

4. Inclusivity 


One positive shift in society’s focus has been the recognition and celebration of different people that exist in any given community. With this recognition comes a drive to improve our efforts to be inclusive in all aspects of daily life - including product packaging. 

When attempting to be inclusive in packaging design, it is important to consider the following: 

  • Versatility - Package design should be easy to open regardless of whether the consumer is left or right-handed. 
  • Straightforward Presentation - The packaging should be easily accessible, regardless of the age or capabilities of the recipient. It should not require a certain level of literacy skill or any other criteria that might not be accessible to the consumer reliably. 
  • Appeal - The design should receive a favorable response from all age groups and demographics, rather than focusing on a specific audience. This means the company can utilize the same design for a variety of audiences and reduce the cost of packaging supply production. 

Packaging Trends 2023 Will See Gaining Traction

A new year means new challenges and a chance to take a new approach to business operations. While there’s a bit of push and pull with the shift to online shopping, the fact remains society is focused on the environment and our impact. 

Balancing packaging sustainability trends with visual trends and a changing societal perspective can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. 

Talk Trends with a Packaging Expert

The team at CS Packaging are available and happy to answer any questions about sustainability, visual packaging adjustments, and e-commerce. Reach out with questions and get a jumpstart on 2023.

You can also check out our free resource on custom-use packaging:

New call-to-action

Topics: Packing Materials, Product Safety, Protective Packaging, Shipping