What were the top packaging trends of 2019?

By Rick Lingle in Packaging Design on December 18, 2019

Exploding SKUs, ecommerce, an American propensity for snacking and three other industry drivers enable brands to leverage the power of packaging design to their advantage. 


Knowing what trends are in vogue is essential for packaging professionals to understand the dynamics in their markets of interest—and where the best growth opportunities are. Which is why Packaging Digest has compiled a list of the six best-read trends posted since January 1. 

6. 8 global packaging trends and where they’re all heading 

First impressions count, and for many brands, this puts high importance on the product packaging. As with all forms of marketing, it shifts and changes due to customers’ tastes and global sentiments—such as the current appetite for sustainable packaging. 

Here are eight key trends that brands should be taking note of right now: 

1. Bold colors make an impact.

2. Creativity is key

3. Sustainable packaging is a priority

4. Less is more

5. The past makes a comeback

6. Transparency means honesty

7. Sell me an experience

 8. What’s your cause?

5. 10 tasting trends: See what’s ahead for snacks and sweets 

Financially, the candy and snack industry is in good health and so are a growing number of products.  Encouragement of more healthful snacking isn’t the only trend. At the NCA’s 2019 Sweets and Snacks Expo, attendees heard about notable market facts and trends: 

  • Hot, hot, hot.
  • Go with retro.
  • Living single.
  • Count on Keto.
  • Rolling out redesigns
  • Eating and activities
  • Two-part harmony
  • Premium experience
  • Get the message?
  • Sugar-free gets younger

    4. 6 packaging reasons SKUs are exploding 

    A survey of 250 consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies by L.E.K. Consulting found that 75% of brand owners say they’re going to spend significantly more on packaging—and one-third of them will increase spending by more than 10%. In fact, 90% of brand owners say packaging is critical to their brand’s success as they seek to adapt to an increasingly competitive landscape and rapidly changing consumer tastes. 

    Jeff Cloetingh, managing director at L.E.K. and report coauthor, reports they were amazed by the reported magnitude of increasing trend in new stock-keeping units (SKUs). Cloetingh provides additional details in an exclusive Q&A including identifying the six reasons:  Convenience, premiumization, customization, healthy, green, and e-commerce.

    Next: Snack, ecommerce and emerging trends  

    Rick Lingle

    Rick Lingle is senior technical editor of Packaging Digest. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

    Filed Under:
    By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
    500 characters remaining