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Sustainable, Minimalist, Secure: The trends that are shaping food packaging in 2022

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Food packaging is power. As consumers, our behaviour is guided daily based on the aesthetic and feel of food packaging. It’s important that your brand listens, understands and responds to the ever-evolving consumer demands. 

We spoke to our packaging design experts and asked them which trends should shape your brand’s packaging decisions for 2022. 

Secure

Consumers have been influenced by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has pushed staying fit and healthy to be a top priority for many. From what we’ve seen in recent months, consumers are now opting for well-wrapped foods which are viewed as more hygienic than loose products. Your brand should shift its focus to ensure that food is well-sealed with a secure layer of protection between the packaging and the food product this year. 

However, this does raise a challenge for brands as more pressure is placed to create sustainable packaging solutions. Consumers are demanding more sustainable food packaging, so brands should look to replace current formats with highly-recyclable alternatives.  

Material

GlobalData’s 2021 Q3 global consumer survey quizzed shoppers on their food packaging preferences for 2022. Consumers were given a food group, dairy products – e.g. milk, butter, cheese, cream – and asked how they would prefer these to be packaged: 

  • Cardboard packaging was the most appealing material to consumers, with 37% of participants in the study preferring dairy products packaged solely in cardboard
  • A second material that came up favourably was cartons, matching cardboard with 37% of consumers agreeing
  • Glass was the third most popular material, with 24% saying they find glass the most secure, environmentally friendly and visually appealing packaging solution.

Despite these results, a huge 84% of the food we eat continues to be packaged in plastic (The Standard). Our advice for brands looking to improve their packaging solution – stay away from plastic! 

Sustainability

A third significant trend that will shape many brands’ food packaging decisions in 2022 is how environmentally friendly your brand’s packaging is deemed to be. When asked in a recent study, almost three-quarters of consumers said they were willing to pay more money for sustainable and recyclable food packaging solutions (Trivium Packaging). 

Brands that use sustainable packaging will become more favourable as we move through 2022, meaning you should focus on alternative, environmentally friendly packaging. This is high on the agenda for many consumers, so if your brand already uses 100% recyclable packaging, consider highlighting this in your pack design, and shout about its environmental benefits.

The UK government has recently introduced a Plastic Packaging Tax (launched on 1st April 2022) in an attempt to push companies to act more sustainably. The tax will charge companies based on the amount of plastic packaging they ship and is set to be priced at £200 per tonne. This additional cost will inevitably fall on the shoulders of consumers, who will end up paying more for their favourite brands – offering an additional financial incentive to go sustainable. 

Minimalist Design

Get the aesthetics of your food packaging design right, and you have the power to change consumer behaviour. The reality of being a consumer in 2022 is that we are flooded with thousands of adverts every day, and can be left feeling like a rabbit in the headlights, staring at the huge range of brands and products on a supermarket shelf. 

This has led to the recent ‘clean labelling’ trend. Consumers are busy people, and all we want to know are key details about the product. Packaging should offer clear and concise information about the brand, product and sustainability – and that’s it, cut out the waffle! 

Accessibility

GlobalData’s 2021 Q3 global consumer survey further revealed that 55% of respondents said that their number one irritant with food packaging was that products were too difficult to open. 

Making sure your packaging is fit for purpose is key when designing your brand’s food packaging. If your product is intended for multi-use, include a resealable mechanism that fastens securely to ensure your product stays fresh and at its best as your consumer reuses it. 


So there we have it – there’s our whistlestop guide on the food packaging trends that your brand should follow for 2022.

Can we help your brand to cut through the noise on busy supermarket shelves? 

At Together Agency, our packaging creation experts have worked with brands such as Müller, Fox’s Biscuits and Tetley. Our unique approach to packaging design aims to cut through the noise; each package we create has been optimised to change consumer buying habits. 

Get in touch now, and a member of our creative team will call you straight back.