Explore 5 trends in paperboad packaging that will help your product stand out.

What’s hot in paperboard packaging?

What’s hot in the paperboard packaging market? A lot. It’s our job to know the wants and needs of our target markets. Consumer shopping trends are changing, forcing businesses to adapt quickly and efficiently.

Paperboard packaging provides retailers, supply chain managers, and consumers endless, unique designs. It’s no wonder the market is growing.

Here’s our insight into what trends are hot in paperboard packaging:

1. Sustainability

Is your product’s packaging headed straight for the landfill? Whether you know it or not, your packaging may not be living up to the sustainability standards your customers want, and that’s critical. Consumers want to know you’re helping the environment, and they’re willing to pay more for products and services that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

In fact, according to a 2017 Sustainable Packaging Study, 92% of respondents say packaging has never been more important. While of course, product quality is essential, packaging may be the first step for manufacturers to capture their audience. It needs to protect and store products, and ideally, be reused.

Also, brands need to review their supply chains to understand if all elements of production are meeting sustainability standards. The more transparent your business can be when looking internally and externally at suppliers, the more holistic and sustainable your brand will become.

Corrugated and folding cartons are now seen as a sustainable packaging option as paperboard is inherently renewable and recyclable,  but the struggle is getting the word out to consumers. Providing information on your packaging and on your website about your company’s efforts can go a long way toward creating loyalty.

2. Digital

High-quality printing on paperboard packaging is more than just a trend, it’s becoming the standard. Digital printing is redefining the future of label and package printing and taking over.

It provides short-run flexibility as run lengths can shrink even as volumes increase. As shorter runs become common, the economics and workflows of traditional offset printing can limit productivity and profitability.

Digital printing on paperboard packaging can offer versatility, greater automation, and reduce waste. Telling the difference between digital and traditional printing is becoming more difficult, and the ability to digitally print can help companies personalize designs for their target audiences.


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3. Luxury

Upscale items, no matter how big or small, are taking designs to new heights to excite customers. The luxury packaging market is expected to grow by 4.7 percent during 2018-2023 with travel and online retail fueling the demand for packaging solutions.

Manufacturers are looking for new packaging innovations to enable their products to shine on the shelves and online. Packaging needs to have high-quality finishes, decorations, and innovative shapes. It also needs to be sustainable, as more product manufacturers are investing in biodegradable and environmentally friendly packaging like paperboard packaging to appease consumers.

4. Multi-Use

Packaging can do more than just carry, store, and protect a product. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 45 percent of materials in landfills in the U.S. come from food and packaging containers. This fact can help push designers to create versatile packaging that can live well beyond consumer consumption.

By making packages multi-use or dual-use, brands can help the environment and become useful for customers. With the growing eCommerce market, artisan and products with personalities can cater to our specific individual needs. We expect more than just a one-dimensional package.

Packaging can create a larger story and connect consumers with depth and value. For example, your paperboard packaging can be converted into food or non-food usages such as take-out boxes, provide engagement through QR codes, or create activities for children. Now, more than ever, it’s time to be innovative and sustainable.

5. Convenience

Packaging should always help provide consumers convenience, and the consumer today is very different than consumers of the past. Millenials lifestyles are busier, but they’re also looking for healthier options. Everyone is on the go, so product consumption should be delivered fast and easily disposable.

Great packaging will make sure there is convenience across the entire supply chain, from the warehouse to transportation, to online distribution.  Paperboard packaging should be easy to stack, interlocked, and provide higher storage capacity. This offers customers the chance to stock up on on-the-go products that make their lives easier.

Get on board with paperboard

Businesses can’t afford to ignore the trends we’ve listed. If brands want continued growth, they will need to be flexible to keep customers satisfied. Paperboard packaging has excellent potential to solve many packaging problems.

With digital technology innovations and increased demand in sustainable practices, it’s an option worth exploring, and we’re happy to explore those options with you. The GREIF (formerly Caraustar) team are experts in making sure products stand out on the shelf, and flexibility is essential to us. Whether the market is dry or frozen foods, candy, and confectionary, private labels, or natural products, we’re here to help.

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