This past year seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye. So much change and disruption: It has definitely kept us jumping! And here we are, already breezing through Autumn and eagerly waiting to welcome the official holiday season. It´s this time of year — as we sip on our pumpkin spice lattes while soaking up the glorious “sweatah weathah” and enjoying time with family and friends — we begin looking back on all the year has brought.

We also look forward to the coming year. Many of us make lists filled with resolutions that we want to accomplish. We decided to jump on that annual bandwagon and also make a list — but one that focuses on what we can expect in packaging trends as the New Year rings in. We’ve kept our ears to the ground and have heard all the latest buzz in order to bring to you this handful of 2022´s packaging trend predictions.

Visions of Grandeur

It´s no secret that we all like nice things. And as we enter 2022, this desire to treat ourselves to only the best of the best extends to our preferred packaging. Yes, after a pandemic era of shortages and saving (for many), now more than ever we feel we deserve goodness. Actually, make that greatness.

And as we pamper ourselves by indulging in those pricier luxury items (think only the best perfumes, fine wines, gourmet selections, dazzling jewellery and more), only equally opulent and epic packaging will do. Luxury packaging can best be described as packaging that absolute screams “Pure Indulgence” (stylishly and chicly, of course).

The equivalent of your preferred product dripping in diamonds, luxury packaging in 2022 is designed to dazzle, and will most certainly be in high demand.

Take a Look Inside

You’ve heard the old adage that you never buy a car unless you look under the hood first. Well, the same spirit applies with packaging in 2022. Consumers are doing their due diligence in ensuring they are getting exactly what they expected, and they are looking to transparent packaging to help them do so.

With transparent packaging, such as flexible pouches that allow you to literally feel your product before purchasing it, as well as see-through “windows” for viewing exactly what your product looks like up-close and personal (pre-purchase), consumers are able to have that extra peace of mind when investing in products.

Damage Control

With cancel culture careening to center stage in 2021, “damage control” is not a new concept. But unlike celebrity and societal concern over a bad reputation (here’s looking at you, Tay Tay), we’re talking about preventing damage to product.

Protective and tamper-evident packaging will be a prime seller in 2022. We´ll see far more features like lidding films, seal brands, and the like, which will be able to reveal whether or not the products we´re considering purchasing have been twiddled with.

Keep It Simple

While luxury packaging mentioned above will be wildly popular, so too will minimalist packaging. Consider the consumers embracing this “less is more” mentality in their packaging as the anti-hero to the luxury set. These savvy shoppers will be hellbent on purchasing only those products that use the very least of things: materials, graphics, space… you get the idea.

Now, instead of a dizzying array of bright colors, stylised fonts, and aesthetics the equivalent of neon signage, minimalist packaging will mark a decided shift toward less showy styles. Think monotone magic —still chic, but subtle and sparse.

Back to the Future

A hot packaging trend that honoured blasts from the past — vintage packaging — will remain all the rage in 2022. Nostalgia isn’t going anywhere, with vintage packaging growing in popularity due to how it makes consumers feel — warm and fuzzy and remembering a simpler age.

What will we see in particular? A continued homage to oldies but goodies in packaging, such as the use of vintage l colors and old-fashioned fonts (Think of the pea green and other pastel hues made popular via the kitchen appliances and sitcoms of the 30s, 40s, 50s… ) There’s more of that to come…

Say It Ain’t So

Packaging trends in 2022 will take the old adage dedicated to “Keeping it real” and absolute turn it on its head. Instead, virtual and augmented reality packaging (AR/VR) where it´s at (but not literally…)

More and more brands are adopting this ultra-modern and super cool packaging trend, where augmented and virtual applications on packaging can now enable brands to offer customers digital access to outstanding specials, discounts, even interactive fun — all with the touch of a screen or scan of a snazzy, hi-tech code.

Adopting this type of packaging that utilises these modern features will be a surefire way for many brands in 2022 to set their products apart from the rest, especially among the younger, more tech savvy and digital generations.

Don’t Box Me In

“Don’t box me in”… or do, but not too stiffly… will be the mantra of 2022 packaging. Moving forward, it is all about flexibility, with flexible packaging fast replacing the former reigning rigid packaging. When you think of flexible packaging, you think of a literal moveable feast of materials, marked by items such as shrink film, poly bags, bendy pouches, and more.

And if the mere flexibility of the packaging itself isn’t enough of a reason for consumers to convert from rigid in 2022, the fact that flexible packaging tends to be more earth-friendly (lower carbon footprint) and less expensive just might put it over the edge in ousting the competition.

Pandemic Proofed

When wars are waged, everyone wants artillery (and armor) that is bulletproof. Well, we have been (and still are) waging our own war in facing a pandemic, and in 2022, packaging lines and supply chains are determined to be prepared… and pandemic proofed, if you will.

In fact, there is an actual certification from AIB International that aims to keep businesses safe by ensuring their supply chains are, in essence, bulletproof in facing any barrage of pandemic-related problems that could arise in the future.

Operating on Auto-Pilot

In the same spirit of seeking security and avoiding unnecessary snafus, more brands are beginning to embrace packaging automation as 2022 looms on the horizon. This will be, by far, the best trend of 2022 in packaging, which will see the most optimized and most efficient, streamlined packaging lines to date.

Fully automated packaging machinery, possibly even paired with complementary robots, will become a common sight, and to no surprise. After all, who doesn’t like the sound of increased production, improved quality, and greater peace of mind in all points of their packaging operations?

As we wrap up 2021, we hope this list has inspired and enlightened you as you prepare to wrap things up (literally) in 2022…

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