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Trends in Consumer Packaging

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  • 1.White paper | November 2009Trends in ConsumerPackagingHow trends impact packaging

2. White paper | November 2009 | Trends in Consumer Packaging | 1Shikatani Lacroix is a leading branding and design firm located inToronto, Canada. The company commissions assignments from allaround the world, across CPG, retail and service industries, helpingclients achieve success within their operating markets. It does thisby enabling its clients brands to better connect with theirconsumers through a variety of core services including corporateidentity and communication, brand experience design, packaging,naming and product design.About the AuthorDiane Mullane, Senior Account Director.Diane Mullane is the Senior Account Director at SL. Diane providesthe senior leadership required to ensure that clients receive thehighest level of account service, project management and strategicinsight. Dianes career spans 22 years working with the industryspre-eminent brands, as well as retail leaders in private labeldevelopment. She has expertise in both graphic standards practicesand account management applied to various disciplines such aspackaging, corporate and brand identity programs. Diane began hercareer as a graphic designer for Canadian Tire, moved into accountmanagement for Interbrand Design Associates Inc. and WattInternational, among others. Diane holds an Associate degree fromthe Ontario College of Art and Design. 3. White paper | November 2009 | Trends in Consumer Packaging | 2Whats hot, whats next, whats a trend?By definition, a trend is a general direction in which something tendsto move; or a gradual change in a condition, output, or process overtime.A trend is very different from a fad. A fad is defined as a short-livedmovement, usually lasting only a few months. A trend, on the otherhand, can potentially become a long-term influence on the future ofa market. A fad and a trend may resemble each other at first, butthere is usually a definite life span to a fad, whereas trends tend togrow and evolve over time. For example, the use of hot pink wallpaint may be a fad, but the idea of using designer colours would bea trend.The points raised in this presentation will identify the current trendsthat are most likely to have an enormous impact on consumerpackaging in the years ahead. These trends include:1. Sustainability: increased emphasis in all areas recyclablecontainers and recycled materials.2. Aging population: portion control and easy-to-open packaging.3. Safety: tamper-resistant dispensers and closures.4. Accessibility: convenience and portability.5. Design: clean, simple design that will stand out on-shelf.A trend has thepotential ofbecoming along-terminfluence on thefuture of amarket 4. White paper | November 2009 | Trends in Consumer Packaging | 3Throughout history, trends have influenced and changedour society. And packaging has been impacted just asmuch by trends. By paying attention to todays trends, wecan glimpse what will influence tomorrows packagingdesigns.As written by Steven Dupuis in his article on trends in Step inDesign, (www.stepindesign.com) trends are often met withopposition in the beginning. Tattoos, once a symbol of irreverenceand rebellion for teenagers getting inked, has become popularwith middle-aged men and women seeking the same mode ofexpression. People are tempted to follow new trends because theyare different but we, as human beings, do not always welcomechange. It is human nature to follow, to be a sheep; however, it is theindividuals who lead who break the rules and think differentlywho are the trendsetters, the shepherds. Trendsetters and earlyfollowers are those who step out of their comfort zone and offersomething new. As a trend gains acceptance, it is transformed andchanged, taking on a life of its own through those who come tofollow it. A trends life cycle looks a lot like a bell curve. Typically, itgains upward momentum as increasing numbers of people adopt it,but once it reaches mass appeal, interest in the trend lessens orstabilizes as it becomes a mainstream idea or it may simply die asanother trend begins to grow and replace it. 5. White paper | November 2009 | Trends in Consumer Packaging | 4Another difference between a fad and a trend is the number ofindustries each affects. A fad often appears in a single industry andis limited to one area, rarely crossing over into others. The 1970sponcho fashion fad, for example, did not become incorporatedinto the youth culture or the music culture. However, Apples iPodbroke down all the barriers and crossed over into the worlds offashion, wireless communications and music. Lululemon bagsactually have a designated pocket for your iPod, complete with alittle insignia of an IPod. Portable electronic devices have become atrend, while fashions such as leg warmers or ponchos remain fadshopelessly trapped in time, waiting to be unearthed again at somepoint during the next few decades. Trends follow a steadymovement while fads follow cycles, rising and falling in popularityonce every few decades. For example, the leg warmer, popular inthe eighties, was reintroduced as a fad a few years ago, but hassince disappeared once again.How trends work in packagingBecause packaging is so closely linked to consumer preferences, itprovides a clear way to evaluate the stages of various trends. Whentrends are incorporated successfully, they help sell products.Packaging has power enormous power over what we buy. Thefashions we wear express who we are. Packaging does the same forproducts. We identify with a product because we believe that itdoes for us what we want it to do. We buy the Brand Promise, andthe package carries a lot of that promise.Packaging haspower enormouspower overwhat we buy 6. White paper | November 2009 | Trends in Consumer Packaging | 5In packaging, trends grow slowly because there are longer leadtimes in product development cycles. We see early adopters andinfluencers coming from small start-up brands that have less at risk,while it may take years before big brands catch on to a trend.Within the marketplace, it can be challenging to pick out new andemerging trends, as there are many different stages in a trends lifecycle. Also, consumers are at different stages of acceptance withinthe bell curve of a trend, so it is vital to understand who ispurchasing the product. You must learn the buying habits of specifictarget audiences in order to better understand their comfort zonesand the extent to which the packaging innovation can stretch tomotivate a purchase. It is about knowing how far the brand you aredesigning for can be pushed.Emerging artists, music, fashion, and the internet provide fertileground to view tomorrows visual trends, and although these trendsmay ultimately look different in later commercial applications, theirroots can be traced back to their origins. These movements aretypically five years ahead of the mainstream, and are dependentlargely on the pace of a sub-culture and how extreme the trend mayseem.Being aware of these movements and watching them becometrends is not enough to bring success; brands need to understandwhen and why to use a visual trend. 7. White paper | November 2009 | Trends in Consumer Packaging | 6Since 9/11 small indulgences and simple pleasures have becomepopular, reflecting our uncertainties about the future. Portabilityof food and personal items are now more importantis this dueto our busy lives or a need to be ready to run away at amoments notice? With such an unsettled feeling all around us,we have come to search for simple pleasures in everything webuy or consume. We want to simplify our lives, and therefore weare drawn to products and brands that help us slow down.Environmental concerns have given rise to the sustainability andgreen movements. Consumers are more aware of their impact onthe world, of the materials and the waste that packaging creates.More people understand the idea of a carbon footprint andmarket.More and more clients are recognizing the strong effect greatpackaging can have on purchase intent. Not surprisingly, we seestore-brands or private-label products embracing new trendsmore readily than the large global brands. Once considered to beless appealing and of lower quality, top store-brands now haveloyal consumers in all categories. Design is a key factor in theincreased market share of private labels because these brandsare more flexible and have less to lose. They are taking risks thatbig brands are unwilling or unable to take.Surprisingly, more often than not, we as consumers do not knowwhy we buy. We do not know what factors actually affect uswhen we make a purchasing decision.We want tosimplify ourlives so we aredrawn toproducts thathelp us slowdown 8. White paper | November 2009 | Trends in Consumer Packaging | 7As addressed in the article Power of the Box, by Tuija Seipell(www.thecoolhunter.net) what we do know and what marketersknow is that these decisions are all about emotions. What mattersis how the brand makes us feel. Our first impression, whether aboutproducts or people, are strong and instantaneous. In many cases,packaging is the main influence. The billions of dollars spent onpackaging and branding annually are not spent based solely onspeculation. Marketers know it works, although even they do notalways know the reasons behind the effectiveness.Packaging has a huge impact on many other things as well, not juston our buying decisions. On store shelves, the battle for space andshelf impact is fought tooth and nail between competitors. There is areason why a box of twelve pills is at least five times larger than itneeds to be to contain the pills. Theft is one concern, as is anti-staking it away from the competition, drawing the consumers eye.TrendsCOLOURStrong feelings about increasing cultural unity and personalcommitments for a better environment make consumers moreattracted to bright, layered colours contrasted with earthy, neutraltones,

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