2016 has been quite a year so far, but in food packaging terms it's been one of innovation and creativity. We've been looking back to the key trends of 2016 and seeing how they'll develop into 2017.
From the Share a Coke campaign to personalised 6 packs of Heineken, 2016 has been a big year for making it personal. The ability to print you own packaging has been key to this trend, and our range of thermal transfer printers make it an easy one for you to tap into going forward.
Nutella are another company who've successfully used personalised labels to increase awareness and boost profits. Another effective campaign was Heinz's 'Get well soon' personalised can of soup, which saw UK consumers happy to pay £3.99 for a product that usually costs around 50p. This trend will continue to get stronger into 2017, as brands continue to use big data to target certain demographics.
clean and clear labelling
58% of UK consumers check the labels for information about ingredients, artificial preservatives and nutritional values. Packaging has responded strongly to this trend as gluten free, vegan and clean eating diets continue to grow in popularity with sales of free-from foods growing by 13% to £531 million in 2016.
stand up pouches will grow in popularity
Flexible packaging will be key to one of 2017's big new trends - the conversion from glass to plastic. Our clear stand-up pouches are perfect for brands that are trying to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Lighter than cans or bottles, flexible pouches store and ship flat, giving them a minimal carbon footprint. And that's another important trend for 2017 packaging - the drive towards greener materials and packaging that can demonstrate sustainability.
Pouches also play into the continuing trend for handy and convenient portion sizes, that are better suited to the grab and go mobile lifestyles of the modern consumer.
The growth in beautifully designed labelling has been driven by the craft beer market, where ornate and original labels have helped to reflect the brewer's ethos and personality. This is a key packaging trend that will only continue to grow. In 2017, it looks set to be heavily influenced by all things retro, with vintage packaging creating a strong sense of nostalgia particularly in the wine and spirits industry. It looks like moustaches will be with us for a long while yet.
Own label premium brands have been around for a while, usually in darker packaging than their budget basic brand cousins. Waitrose aren't bucking that trend, but their Waitrose 1 range does reflect a growing trend towards making a virtue of minimalism.In a marketplace that is often visually overwhelming, the decision to choose very simple line drawings helps these products to make an impact - think Apple's white boxes and simple logos.
This trend began to emerge in 2016 and will only get stronger through 2017 as companies find ways to innovate with technology and packaging. This moves packaging on significantly from the QR codes that have been popular to labels that actually interact and communicate with a customer's smartphone via Bluetooth. Diageo, who manufacture Johnny Walker and Guinness, have experimented with NFC technology that allows a buyer simply to tap the label with their smartphone to access more information about their purchase. This trend has an obvious tie-in with clean and clear labelling as it could enable customers to know exactly where ingredients come from and how sustainable they are.