Enter RSN. We have studied the current trends for the food packaging industry and incorporated them into our practices and policies. We think it is good news for the consumers of our client’s products.

First Impressions

Before we jump into the today’s trends, we want to stress the importance of the initial impression that your food packaging makes on the buyer. “It´s what’s on the inside that counts” sounds lovely and sure makes you feel good, but it is not the current reality — at least in the realm of food packaging. In our industry, looks matter. Consumers have many brands and options to choose from today. So, in order to truly stand out, your food packaging needs to set itself apart and raise the bar. Utimately, buyers need to be won over with the wow factor.

The following trends for 2021 offer insight into what today’s consumers hunger for. Adding them to the menu of your food packaging marketing strategy will not only help you make a first impression that pops, it will resonate with your customers.

Green is the Color of the Season

The sustainability trend is gaining momentum in the food packaging industry. And it is here to stay.

How brands package their food products is more important than ever, particularly when the types of materials used are being scrutinized. Luckily, Kermit the Frog’s claim that “It´s not easy being green” no longer applies in today’s modern food packaging world.

Brands are turning to new technologies to get on board with sustainability and to embrace packaging and practices that reduce their carbon footprint.  What else can be done to make a difference? Communication with suppliers. A company should seek information about how their packaging materials are being sourced to ensure the process is sustainable.

There is a misconception that going green is not a feasible option for companies that seek a profit. That is a myth. Consumers that are adamant about supporting only eco-conscious brands are willing to pay more for the earth-friendly option.

Your brand now has the oppportunity to show its commitment to sustainability by opting for packaging made of eco-conscious materials. Consider recyclability and/or going with cardboard and/or custom food service papers, or to really “dress to impress”, feature packaging with zero waste, such as edible packaging made of rice paper, seaweed or popcorn.

Things Are Getting Personal

Everyone wants to feel special. And creative, sustainable food packaging can now make that happen.

From monogrammed pillows to mailboxes with surnames painted on them, consumers have always been drawn to personalization. So, it really should come as no surprise that the food packaging industry has started to offer personalization with their own brands. How? Basically anything that adds a personal touch on packaging (names, special messages, etc.) has proven to be successful.

The quintessential example of this personalized approach was Coca-Cola with its “Share a Coke” campaign — an endeavor that led to an impressive 2.5% uptick in sales. It featured Coke cans with printed names. One brand that currently is capitalizing on this growing trend of customization is Dedicato a Te by Barilla, an Italian e-commerce platform that allows customers to personalize their (fully recyclable) packaging with photos, pictures, images, names, and messages.

Tell Me a Story

While personalizing food packaging meets the demand for consumers to feel special, story-driven packaging meets their desire to be included in the brand narrative. Simply put, consumers want to feel a part of it all, even packaging.

After all, who doesn’t love getting swept up in a good story? From riveting movie plots to juicy novels that hold your attention till the very last page, stories lure us in, then compel us to invest in discovering more.

Story-driven packaging can connect your customers on a deeper level and in a new and creative way. By customizing your food packaging design to tell your brand´s unique story, you can highlight your vision and philosophy in a way that invites the consumer to get to know you in a more intimate way. Story-driven packagaging draws customers in and drives brand loyalty. Consumers will see your brand as a trusted friend.

For more information about food packaging from leading packaging experts, watch the panel discussion below.

We’ve Got transparency: What’s Your Superpower?

Food packaging in 2021 is all about being transparent. While the same rules apply for transparency that have existed for some time now (such as having exact ingredients printed clearly on the label to nutrition facts on full display), consumers are increasingly demanding to know what they purchasing before sealing the deal.

Being transparent enables your customers. It gives them peace of mind knowing that what they are buying is in fact what they are looking for.  It also instills a sense of trust in your brand when they see how forthcoming and “honest” you are about your product. And what does brand trust translate into? Brand loyalty.

Get Smart

Food packaging is getting smarter. “Smart packaging” allows consumers to take advantage of technology: the use of QR codes, options for increased social media interaction, access to online games, for example, heighten their experience with your brand.

Need help with your packaging? RSN helps companies make their packaging more sustainable. Learn more about our sustainable packaging services here.

How To Get Started

Setup a free 30-minute consultation with an RSN print and packaging expert.