Top 6 Label and Packaging Trends to Consider for 2022

As we begin a new year in 2022, it is a perfect time to reflect on the past year, celebrate successes and look ahead at what we can continue to build upon.

I.D. Images is looking back at the top trends of 2021 in the label and packaging industry and forecasting new, emerging trends for 2022.

Looking Back on 2021 Trends

Security and tamper-evident labels became industry standards

Security and tamper-evident labels are a way for companies to achieve the enhanced transparency and security that customers desire, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These labels have allowed companies to assure customers that their products are safe, which is why the market is expected to double through 2030. In addition, the food and beverage industry is predicted to account for more than 40% of the demand for security and tamper-evident labels, including items such as pizza boxes, pre-packaged grocery store items and coffee to-go cups.

Digital label printing’s time arrived and conquered

With technology advancements in digital printing devices for commercial production, barriers have been removed, allowing for digital printing label applications to be expanded.

Requirements set forth by brand owners, changes to regulatory labeling requirements, substrate limitations (especially throughout the pandemic), print and finishing quality, and the greater ability to color match are all factors that have contributed to the increased growth of digital printing.

Digital printing has equipped brands with the ability to print more efficiently with the capability of printing multiple versions in a single run, offering faster turnaround times, and short-run printing abilities. It has also allowed brand owners to produce personalized vibrant labels that help their products stand out on crowded retail shelves.

E-commerce printing gained popularity

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing brick-and-mortar stores to see little-to-no business at times during 2021, it is no surprise that the reliance on e-commerce has resulted in brands seeking more effective packaging solutions.

Without brick-and-mortar stores providing customers with a full brand and retail experience, companies must pivot their marketing strategy and deliver a memorable customer experience through their labels and packaging.

Forecasting 2022 Trends

Technology-enabled solutions for interactive packaging

Smart packaging solutions will continue to emerge as a top trend in 2022. One of the lasting legacies of the pandemic is that it utilized technologies, such as the QR code, a key feature for tracking and tracing.

The use of a QR code on packaging has offered brand owners an efficient way of providing additional information to consumers, without jeopardizing the overall appearance of their packaging. As a portal to online information, utilizing a QR code on packaging offers unlimited potential for a brand to communicate their value to consumers. It can also direct consumers to links that include helpful tips about how to use the product, giving consumers added value and building brand trust over the long run. In addition, the use of technology on interactive packaging also helps cut down on packaging elements, such as instruction manuals and guides.

Sustainability and eco-friendly will remain a top priority

The impact of packaging on the environment has emerged as an essential priority for brand owners in 2022, due in large part to the demands of consumers for sustainability when considering their purchase options.

Product packaging is a very visible way for brand owners to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. From using recycled and easily recyclable materials, to using printing processes that eliminate chemicals and added waste, brand owners will continue to search for materials that help them overcome challenges in developing sustainable packaging.

Vintage packaging is the way to go

An emerging trend in 2022 will be the use of vintage-looking packaging. While nostalgia has been a popular marketing trope for gaining consumer attention for several years, the pandemic has added to the desire for the “good old days” and a wistful trip down memory lane.

In 2022, the vintage trend in packaging will be paying homage to the groovy and psychedelic trends of the 1960s. Packaging styles will showcase distorted typefaces, vibrant colors and bold designs that help evoke feelings of peace, love and happiness synonymous with the era. Combining contemporary products with 60s-inspired packaging designs help the packaging stand out and feel inviting to consumers.


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