Stay Classy: 5 CPG Packaging Trends on Their Way Out

What does it mean to be classy?

The dictionary defines it as stylish, upmarket, and high-toned.

Most people know classy when they see it.

While ambling through a grocery store, or past the perfume counters, a product will turn a head. The box, the lettering, or the name will light a hopeful match somewhere inside. This item respects itself; it knows its worth and doesn't need to flag anyone down.

Yet its simplicity, its beauty, and its quality are unmistakable. How many consumers are apt to purchase a new product because it is saturated with the promise of a sweeter lifestyle?

The average American consumer spends $5,400 a year on impulse buys.

They pull items off the shelves when they seem useful, wholesome, and handsome. Lately, the market for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is transforming itself every season.

CPG brands are intended to be used frequently and replaced often. Their packaging allows them to be displayed palatably on the shelves of retail stores. Items include clothing, accessories, food, and beverages.

As you can imagine, the market for Consumer Packaged Goods is ever-evolving and always competitive.

How do you create CPG packaging that holds up and stands out? You can start by avoiding these packaging design trends in 2018.

1. Too Much Information

Today's consumer loves simplicity. The product's name in a lovely design with an innovative color is all they really need to see. It takes real talent to create beauty with just a few elements.

In an age when scrolling through social news feeds to find a few words to click on is the way many Americans get there news, consumers are not likely to stand in aisles pursuing lengthy labels.

When it comes to cosmetic and beauty packaging, according to CR Fashion Book, "streamlined bottles, jars and tubes, beautiful in their simple aesthetic, house technologically advanced, results-driven formulas. Think of it as minimalism for the millennial--effortless and empowered."

In order for the sparse words on your package to attract new customers, they will need to speak to their needs.

You will need to do some research. Take surveys, have conversations, and watch what the competition is saying that is attracting them.

Do they want beauty products to make them feel more powerful, happy, or peaceful? Do they need to know that the product is natural and beneficial to their longevity? Saying it in the right phrase and color is critical to your success.

2. Splashy Colors

While chromaticity is still key, glitzy neons and in-your-face brights are not in style this season. Instead, consider the creamy, muted sophistication of pastels. Warm pinks and cool blues are known to evoke coziness and stress relief, which will be a welcome draw for weary consumers.

In recent years, the trend toward in-your-face tones was designed to attract attention. Less jarring hues, however, draw shoppers in without causing them to feel overwhelmed.

There is also a trend toward gradients of color behind the lettering that showcases the name of your product. Colors should complement one another, and attract the eye of the customer the way a kaleidoscopic sunset does. Again, the key here is colors that are warm and friendly, not bold and shocking.

3. Boring Lettering

A product name stamped blandly across a sticker is no longer what attracts the interest of passing consumers.

While keeping it simple is still key, lettering styles can tell potential customers a lot about your product.

Consider a thicker stroke width to make your design stand out. If you are marketing a tech or engineering product, geometric designs have clean lines that make packages appear sophisticated and cutting-edge.

If you are creating a custom box for a food product, consider the trend toward handwriting lettering resembling doodles. Brushstroke fonts lend a handmade, old-fashioned aura to the design. And it sends the message that an old-time care and quality went into crafting the product.

Similarly, vintage-style lettering lets the customer know that handcrafted, agrarian ingredients are the make-up of your product. They create a rustic, uncultivated feel that is in line with artisan trends.

Transparent letters with colorful backgrounds evoke a calming, waterfront feeling in those who glance at your product. Remember that customers drawn to your private label will read want to read about what's in the box.

4. Un-Earthly Materials

Mike Scott suggests that "The circular economy requires...less packaging, higher rates of recycling, and ideally, for consumers to take sustainability into account when they buy."

Biodegradable, recyclable materials like boxes, papers, and bio-plastics are of new interest to consumers. Even brands like McDonalds and Deliveroo have committed to begin using only packaging that is sustainable.

5. No Story

Most good packaging at least hints at a story customers can identify with. Does your perfume make a middle-aged mom feel beautiful? Does your lip gloss make a teenage girl feel confident? Will your pre-made meal feed a hungry family with natural ingredients and hearty bites?

The colors, shapes, and lettering on your package do not have to be elaborate. In fact, if it is, it may take away from the message you are sending potential buyers. It does, however, need to let them know that your product is meeting a human need in a unique and quality way.

A wonderful example of this is the bags supplied to supermarkets by the charity City Harvest. The side of the bags were designed with clear cut-outs in the shapes of stomachs, reminding buyers of the empty bellies that are not filled while they were filling theirs. It was hard to miss the effective message.

Today's products need to be more than just useful. Consumers looking for inspiration will trust the meaning evoked by packaging that dares to be moving.

Classy CPG Packaging

Warm colors, sustainable materials, and innovative lettering will speak volumes to your customers about the unique needs that your products meet. Humanity is the new trend in CPG packaging.

For more information on our turnkey packaging service, come see our portfolio or give us a call.