Skip to content Skip to footer

These Trends in Packaging Design Are Making Registers Ring

grocery shelf with variety of packaging

These Trends in Packaging Design Are Making Registers Ring

You know the saying “It’s what’s on the inside that counts?” That’s far from the whole story, at least when it comes to packaging design.

Just think of the last time you stood in the aisle debating which canned chicken to buy. All things being equal, the can’s label and design probably served as the tiebreaker.

72%

of shoppers say product packaging design influenced their purchase decision

Keep reading to learn which packaging design trends Stealth Creative believes can attract more customers to your brand.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU DRINK

It’s not your imagination: Cans are getting taller and skinnier.

Yes, this is frustrating when you can’t find a snug-fitting coozy. And yes, this trend plays off our subconscious desires.

When we see a slim and sleek can, our brain says “Oh, this must be healthy.” Not only does this satisfy some deep-seated psychology, but it can satisfy your profit margins.

Slimmer packaging also opens more room for your product on retailers’ shelves, which comes with extra benefits like fewer stockouts, lower packaging COGs and more product availability.

10 wider silver cans.

Wide Design

10 facings

12 silver slim cans.

Slim Design

12 Facings

BOTTOM LINE: There are few things more powerful in marketing than understanding your audience on a deeper level—and turning those understandings into appeals to what they value or desire.

MAKE IT SUSTAINABLE

Recyclable materials are so 2019. One of the hottest packaging trends today is sustainability.

Yes, there is a difference. 

Recyclable means using materials that can be remade into others.

RECYCLABLE

Plastic
Aluminum
Glass
Paper

SUSTAINABLE

Bioplastics
Wood Pulp
Cotton
Hemp

Sustainable means using materials that are biodegradable, safe for the consumer and use minimally negative environmental processes. Now, you might be saying. “This sounds more expensive and involved.” You’d be right. But there’s a big market for it—especially if you’re trying to reach younger consumers.

86%

of consumers ages 45 and younger will pay more for sustainable packaging

Source: Trivium Packaging

And when sustainability isn’t an option, big brands are taking leaps towards eco-friendly packaging.

Here’s an example: Sprite recently did away with their iconic green bottles—and we assure you that decision was hotly debated before becoming official. The reason? Clear, transparent bottles are more easily recycled. Now, this isn’t as good as being sustainable—more than a billion plastic bottles are used every day. But we can safely say this enviro-focused trend in general is here to stay.

BOTTOM LINE: Many are starting to take the environment more seriously. And if your brand is philanthropic, nature-oriented or “green,” you need to reflect this in your packaging to boost your brand story’s authenticity.

Speaking of sustainable…

NATURALLY COLORFUL

If you want to influence behavior (*cough* sell more products *cough*), color needs to be at the top of your consideration list. For instance, there’s a reason you don’t find many nurseries painted psychedelic orange. It’s not very soothing.

The same principle applies to packaging—which is why you’re probably seeing more of this color lately.

You’re probably also seeing more blues, light greens and neutral browns because those say “earth-friendly” or “sustainable.”

Pantone's 2022 color of the year, Very Peri.

Out of all the packaging design trends, color is probably the most predictable. So, pay attention. Your competition is.

FLASHBACKS

We don’t know about you, but the past couple of years have been… different. That probably in part explains the upswing in design elements from years past.

Think about it. Retro designs are a backlash. A resistance. These say we want to go back to simpler times with a new face of nostalgia.

Right now, the ’90s are in fashion again. Why? Because the generation that grew up then has more purchasing power… and that decade resonates with them.

So, when our client Urban Chestnut Brewing Company asked us to create packaging for their new line of seltzers, we took a trip down Memory Lane with cans that give a nod to Lemonheads, Hi-C and other staples from that era.

urban chestnut brewing company 80s seltzer can label designs

BOTTOM LINE: Ten years from now, the ’00s will probably see a resurgence. And so on. You can’t quite set a watch to it, but you can anticipate what old thing will become new again.

SHOW, DON'T TELL

Now, you might be saying. “This sounds more expensive and involved.” You’d be right. But there’s a big market for it—especially if you’re trying to reach younger consumers.

leaf icon

Perceived
Freshness

knife and fork icon

Perceived
Tastiness

check mark seal icon

Perceived
Quality

BOTTOM LINE: Transparency sells because customers are more likely to trust their own eyes.

K.I.S.S.

How can your product stand out when everything else on the shelf is screaming out?

You strip away the excess and minimize your design as much as possible.

So, what does that look like? Let’s use this RX Bar as an example. Nice and clean, right? This package embodies all the best minimal design elements:

  • No-wrap around text. If words are that important, make it easy to read all of them.
  • Distill the message. Focus on your single most essential feature or benefit.
  • Two high-contrast colors. This is proven to grab attention.
An RX Bar wrapper that lists 3 eggs whites, 6 almonds, 4 cashews, 2 dates and no BS. This is an example of minimal packaging design.

Source: shop.rxbar.com

BOTTOM LINE: Sometimes, less is more. And that can mean you sell more product.

What trend is your packaging missing?

Our package design specialists at Stealth Creative would love to show what your new packaging could look like. Drop us a line at info@stealthcreative.com!

Joplin MO, Office

1027 S. Main Street
Ste 501
Joplin, MO 64801
417.626.0101

Saint Louis HQ

1617 Locust St.
Saint Louis, MO 63103
314.480.3606​

Stealth Creative Office Map St. Louis and Joplin Locations

Saint Louis HQ

1617 Locust St.
Saint Louis, MO 63103
314.480.3606​

Joplin MO, Office

1027 S. Main Street, Ste 501
Joplin, MO 64801
417.626.0101