Expected Packaging Trends for 2020

The end of the year always brings lists from packaging industry players that attempt to forecast the biggest trends for the coming year. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, rather than create our own list of expected trends, we tend to check everyone else's list for repeat items, which seems to be a good indicator for those trends that will be sustained over time. And speaking of sustained...

A familiar trend for 2020 is one that will probably remain a trend from year to year for many years to come and has been listed on most lists several years in to the past. Sustainable, or environmentally friendly packaging, showed up more than any other trend on the lists covered by LPS. From waste-free packaging to re-usable packages to full-circle processes that reduce waste, sustainable still seems to mean something different to each and every packager. Environmentally friendly also appears to be replacing the hard to define term, though no specific definition of environmentally friendly was offered either. In general terms, this trend will push packagers to show responsibility in regard to waste, recycling and the environment in general when choosing their packaging and processes.

Minimalism is another trend expected to grow in 2020, and really stems from the environmentally friendly trend. Packagers are moving toward simplicity and less material when sending products to the shelf, which of course lends itself to less material and hopefully to more efficient processes and less waste. Whether true or not, consumers tend to identify clean and simple packaging with environmentally friendly packaging, so this trend may help push a move away from ornate highly decorated bottles, caps, labels or other packaging components.

Finally, smart packaging is expected by many to make a big jump in the coming year. In general, the forecast seems to call for more interactive packaging through near field communications, virtually reality and big jumps in digital marketing. Of course, connecting on a more personal level with the consumer will always be a goal of packagers, which makes the return of smart packaging to the list of trends in 2020 seem more inevitable than surprising. Given the rise in digital technology and the move toward e-commerce, advances in smart packaging can be expected for years to come as more and more ways to connect with a consumer from afar, and keep that connection, are identified.

In addition to the three trends listed above, some in the packaging industry are expecting to see a move toward vintage packaging, or a return to simpler times, while others believe edible packaging will grow in 2020. The latter also stemming from the most popular of trends noted above, environmentally friendly packaging.  Overall, the expected trends from 2020 tend to simply continue the trends from 2019.  The machinery built by LPS will be manufactured to meet these and other needs for packagers.  Whatever is in store for the packaging industry in 2020, LPS will continue to design, manufacture, deliver and install packaging machinery to rinse, fill, cap or otherwise prepare these products for the consumers in an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.