By Alec Italiano, contributing writer
Consumers are looking for environmentally-friendly packaging in the products of tomorrow
Innovations and trends in food packaging have been around as long as food has been packaged. Manufacturers are always looking for a new way to make products visually appealing, sustainable, and cost effective. However, some of the biggest innovations in food packaging may lie ahead in 2014.
Many of the upcoming designs in food packaging will feature simple, environmentally-friendly designs. This should put smiles on the faces of many consumers, as they seek packages made from biodegradable, recycled, and sustainable materials. For packaging makers, focusing on the environmentally-conscious consumer may lead to increased revenue and profit. Additionally, very effective packaging will not only be made from sustainable materials, it will also be multifunctional. Packages that stack well, interlock, or create additional storage space will provide consumers with additional benefits while being friendly to the environment.
Awareness of shelf-life is also being addressed in food packaging. Technology is currently being developed that will change some products’ packaging in some way should the food inside spoil. Some food packaging may even include rotten food indicators. The details of the inner-workings of this technology are not yet available, but the idea has gathered a lot of attention because of the reduced risk of selling expired products while increasing consumer awareness.
Many technology-based brands have taken a minimalist approach to design in packaging. This shift will also be seen in food packaging. This is popular among companies who sell a lot of their products online, thus tailoring packing to match the look of their simple site. It is also less expensive to print these designs. Breakthroughs in printing, more specifically 3D printing, will allow companies to be more innovative when it comes to incorporating mascots, logos, and other marketing tools on packaging.
Staying up to speed with trends is an essential task for food package designers. Everything from a glossy or matte finish to using a specific font on a product’s label can make a difference to the consumer. The challenge for designers is to create a happy medium between style, lowered costs, and being friendly to the environment to keep both suppliers and consumers happy. All signs currently point to food packaging, at least for the immediate future, to incorporate all these elements, while addressing safety, sustainability, and multi-functional uses.
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