Likely Packaging Trends for 2021

by Megan Arnold January 13, 2021

The past year has greatly changed the way most of us live. Work is done from home, shopping is done online, and groceries are delivered right to our door. But 2020 has shaped more than just the way we live. For brands big and small, it’s shaping product packaging too!

Below are just some ways that product packaging is likely to change in order to adapt to this new way of life for consumers.

It’s All About Staying Calm

To say this past year has been stressful is an understatement, so you can expect brands to try and alleviate the stress while shopping. Calming colors like pastel, baby blue, tan, and taupe will dominate packaging, while serif fonts are more likely to be used thanks to their classic and predictable look. And while patterns have always been a thing, expect more of it in 2021. That repetitive imagery and perfect symmetry can have a relaxing effect on consumers that’s sure to draw their attention.

Quality over Quantity

This last year saw a lot of panic buying. And with so many out of work, people were also worried about just how far their dollar would stretch. Moving forward, brands will focus on demonstrating the quality of the product and will show consumers that it’s truly worth the investment of their hard-earned money. Create a list of key features to put on your packaging or website so consumers have a clear picture of what your product is all about and how it differs from the competition.

Young man preparing a box with packing material

Durability Will Play More Importance

There is nothing worse than finally getting that long-awaited package, only to find your product broken at the bottom of the box. With an increase in e-commerce shopping, brands will need to start thinking about durability when it comes to their packaging. The product is no longer going from your warehouse to a big box store. It must stand up to the rigors of the shipping process. Start considering what changes you can make to ensure that a product arrives to a consumer’s front door as if it’s just been picked off the retail shelf.

Even Packaging Can Be Healthy

Health has become a number one priority for everyone around the world, but it doesn’t stop at wearing face masks and washing hands. Staying healthy can extend to product packaging too. The next time you design packaging, carefully consider the features and materials. That cut-out might allow a consumer to touch and feel a product before purchase, but it also leaves it exposed to dirt and bacteria. Plastic can be durable, but according to the National Institutes of Health, it’s also been shown to carry viruses for two to three days compared to just 24 hours on cardboard. Carefully think about how to present your products so consumers can feel as safe as possible.

Sustainability Is Still Important

woman handing money over to a man for pizza and both are wearing face masks

COVID-19 has been dominating the headlines, but that doesn’t mean that concern over the environment has gone away. In fact, as online shopping and food delivery remains a popular option for millions, more and more people are going to become acutely aware of just how wasteful that packaging can be. Now more than ever, brands should bring focus back to how they can help eliminate waste. Consider swapping out some of your packaging materials for something that’s biodegradable, like the paperboard packaging provided by Tap Packaging. Or try reusable packaging and consider starting a recycling program.

These are just a few of the trends you should expect when it comes to product packaging in 2021. What do you think? Are there other trends we should keep our eye on in this new year?



Megan Arnold
Megan Arnold