Over the past few years, sustainability and eco-friendly packaging has really become a focus for brands, both big and small. Consumers are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and are starting to favour brands that care about the planet.
Major supermarkets and restaurants are starting to opt for plastic-free products and have stopped the supply of single use plastic straws and takeaway containers. Biodegradable packaging is fast becoming an attractive feature of products that can be used as a hard selling point.
However, brands don’t have to do away with plastic packaging in order to be considered sustainable. They can also use recycled plastic for their products and packaging, and remove any bright colours that make the plastic difficult to recycle at a later stage.
Brands can also embark on waste collection campaigns. Activities such as picking up litter, cleaning beaches and reducing waste in the rivers and oceans are a good way to show consumers that a brand cares about the environment. This trend of sustainability is likely to grow and become a real deal-breaker for those businesses that do not follow suit.
Businesses around the world are cutting their budgets, which forces them to become more innovative. Creating profitable products and services with less money is driving packaging and branding innovation. Companies are starting to find new ways to market and display their products with a tighter budget.
Businesses need to become local experts with global capabilities. Innovation will allow the business to gain knowledge of the consumer’s needs and come up with creative ideas of how to market the offering correctly. This will allow them to understand their consumers and deliver world-class branding offerings.
This refers to a multichannel form of branding where all the parts of a business complement one another and work together to form a connected and cohesive whole. Omnichannel is the intersection of digital and traditional branding. It allows a business to package its product for the old-school customers and digital-driven consumers.
Businesses that use their packaging as a key pillar of branding will be the most successful going forwards. Companies need to have the ability to work with old and new marketing techniques. This will maximise audience reach and boost sales.
Blockchain has yet to make its mark on South Africa, but it is already being used in many countries around the world for packaging purposes. Blockchain is a decentralised process of transactions that is spread out among many channels for increased security. It became a popular term with the rise of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain has many uses in the branding and packaging industry, especially when it comes to supply chains. It allows consumers to track products and build trust with businesses. The supply chain is responsible for delivering value to the customer. Through the use of blockchain technology, value and trust is ingrained into the supply chain through accountability and tracking capabilities.
5. Sugar tax
In early 2018, South Africa introduced sugar tax. This meant that ingredients, formulations and packaging sizes had to change in order to meet the more strict regulations. Brands will continue to entice customers through ‘lite’ versions of fizzy drinks and ‘sugar-free’ sweets.
These words will be displayed directly on the packaging and will feature heavily in the branding of products. As can sizes shrink and chocolate bars get smaller, companies will have to work harder to attract consumers through their packaging and branding efforts.
These are the trends that are likely to shape the remainder of 2019 for consumer goods and services. Some of these trends are already in full force, taking local and international companies into the future with innovative ideas and clever packaging designs.