Food, drink packaging forecasts key trends cited

Sustainability, value, technology and eye-catching aesthetics will have a major impact on color, material, and surface design directions driving food and drink packaging design and development in the coming years, according to a report released by trend forecaster WGSN.

“Smarter and simpler is the mantra for Design-Wise, which champions environmentally conscious, better basics and durable and versatile packaging designs with long-term appeal,” said the WGSN report furnished by the Design Center of the Philippines.

The push for less but better packaging solutions will drive design innovation, it said, as organizations and individuals explore how to build a more equitable world.

Citing the Personas 2023 report, the WGSN said the Everyday Optimisers, a cohort focused on maximizing the benefits in everything consumers purchase and consume, will push for thoughtful designs that contribute to a more circular and less wasteful packaging system.

“In Design-Wise, color is used with confidence and clarity. The colors feel simple and reassuring, as well as versatile. With muted brights and core classics, this palette isn’t about multi-color stories, but rather color pairings or confident monotones,” it said.

The report said another forecast theme, Soul Space direction, explores how a need for sanctuary and self-care will inform packaging design inspired by the natural world and the need for connection with oneself and the planet.

“Products that feed the soul and nourish the spirit will not only feel more appealing – they will also feel more necessary,” it added.

The report thus urged businesses to tap into the values held by the Rooted Transcendents with packaging that appeals to consumers’ growing desire for personal and planetary connection and nourishment.

Rooted Transcendents, a group looking to natural ingredients and materials as a solution for personal and planetary wellness, and the change-making Collective Visionaries, will also turn to brands embracing naturally nourishing, from-the-Earth solutions that replenish and restore, it said.

“The Soul Space palette is optimistic, soft and emotive, balancing grounding natural tones and uplifting brights with healing metallics. Infused with warmth and depth, sundial, bloodstone, kansa metal and healing jade feel earthy and calming while setting sun, pink punch and tranquil blue dopamine hits of color that take you to a happy place,” it added.

The WGSN further said Full Spectrum acts like a collective exhale following a unique period of global constraint.

“Following years of turmoil, it’s time to have some fun. Appeal to a sense of celebration and carefree optimism with eye-catching colors, playful humor and joyful designs that will make buyers smile, fostering a sense of connection,” it said.

The WGSN said Sensory Seekers, who crave the experimental and want to expand their world through food and drink, will ring in the new season with full-spectrum rainbow brights that signal the long-awaited restoration of anything-goes, carefree living.

Emerging consumer needs and attitudes will drive brands to create packaging that has been given the same level of consideration as the ingredients and formulations of the products inside, it said.

“Act now to identify which of these drivers is most relevant to you and your audience, and create solutions to meet those needs, from aesthetic inspiration to material choice,” it added.

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