If the last two years have shown us anything, it’s that no number of restrictions will decrease people’s coffee consumption. Unable to visit their favorite cafe for that daily (or multiple-times-a-day) caffeine fix, many have invested in mastering the perfect cup of coffee from the comfort of their own homes.
This increase in demand for ordering coffee online has prompted many retailers to rethink how their product is packaged, and up the ante as a result. Your coffee packaging isn’t just about keeping the beans fresh as they travel from your roastery to your customer’s doorstep. Great packaging helps you convey your brand personality and story — which is vital if you want to make long lasting connections with your customers and build brand loyalty.
Each year, we speak to our global community of freelance creators working on 99designs by Vista to get their insight on the biggest design trends for the year ahead. Looking at their predictions, it’s clear to see that coffee brands are increasingly turning to more design-forward packaging to create memorable experiences — albeit more on doorsteps these days rather than in store.
Here are six of the top packaging trends we’re anticipating will dominate the coffee industry for 2022.
1. Serenity in packaging.
After a chaotic couple of years, consumers and companies alike are seeking peace and tranquility in all areas of their lives. In 2022, we will see coffee packaging embrace this sentiment, pairing light and calming hues with simple copy and understated typefaces. The goal of this packaging design style is to create a comforting and pleasant experience, just like your morning cup of Joe.
2. Eccentric text-centric design.
It’s a common misconception that good design needs to feature illustrations or photographs to stand out, but in 2022, typography is taking center stage. With this trend, intricate typefaces are taking over coffee packaging, serving as art in their own right. Expect to see aesthetics take precedence over legibility, with letters doused in vibrant and contrasting colors. This approach can be especially appealing to brands with strong names or unique qualities that deserve to be given the spotlight with accentuated text.
3. Y2K aesthetic.
You might not immediately jump to “kitschy metallic” when you imagine coffee packaging, but 2022 will have you thinking again. The Y2K aesthetic characteristic of the mid-1990s to early 2000s is re-emerging — not only in the realms of fashion and design but in coffee packaging design too. This trend is distinguished by its pale blue and pink neons against silver and white backdrops, layered with geometric shapes to add an edge. While originally a futuristic style, it’s now somewhat nostalgic, making it ironically charming in the eyes of consumers.
4. Perfectly, imperfect raw materials.
Consumer concern for the environment has only grown this last year and people are looking to back brands that have eco-friendly values and practices. Using ethical and compostable materials for packaging was already gaining popularity in 2021, and in 2022, we expect to see designs that reflect the raw materials the coffee packaging (and coffee itself) is made from. Manifesting in the form of minimal elements and printed ink set against off-white backdrops and earthy textures, these designs are a great way to show you’re serious about your brand’s sustainability.
5. Cut ‘n’ paste color layering.
Considered to be 2022’s take on the much loved collage, cut ‘n’ paste color layering, is another design trend that’s great for coffee brands looking to tap into the eco-conscious market.
This year, we are seeing more of an emphasis on the layering of colors and geometric shapes, ripped paper effects and raw textures creating the essence of recyclable materials. Much like the art of collage in general, the possibilities are endless — and the beauty of this trend is it can be as subtle or vibrant as feels right for your brand.
6. Mischief illustrated.
After a relatively somber couple of years, consumers are ready for some mischief and playfulness. This is being reflected in many major design trends for 2022 and none more so than packaging, where we’re seeing more and more designs that are the embodiment of childlike impishness.
In 2022, we expect coffee packaging to be graced by some eccentric 2D characters that feel half cute and half satirical to make customers smile. Either way, coffee brands are using this tactic to communicate the less serious side of their brand personality and convey a bit of much-needed lightheartedness.
When looking at these trends, it’s evident that shifting consumer behaviors are having a strong impact on how brands approach interactions with customers. And in a world that looks set to rely heavily on ecommerce for the long haul, well designed packaging is going to be vital to ensure that your coffee brand can continue to foster long-lasting relationships with its devoted drinkers.