2016 was a great year for packaging. As we try new technologies and become more aware of the environmental consequences of excessive packaging, we’re saving more every day, gaining warehouse space, and providing a better experience for our customers. So, we decided to find out what the reigning favourites were of 2016, and what people hope to see more of as the new year rolls in.

Here’s some of our packaging experts’ most anticipated ideas for 2017.

1. Bespoke box designs

Lots of companies have gone with bespoke fitted boxes that fit around the contents snugly. Not only does this benefit in a space saving and waste reduction way, it also helps better protect the item that’s inside.

A lovely example of this is the Dollar Shave Club, a company which send cassettes of shaving cartridges to their subscribers each month. In 2013, they earned the People’s Choice Webby Award in the Consumer Packaged Goods category. Here you can see the box is tailor-made to fit their products.

2. Augmented reality in packaging

Next, AR is hitting retail packaging much more, recently. From Coca – Cola to L’oreal, brands everywhere are embracing the marketing benefits of smartphones. In fact, the augmented/virtual reality revenue is forecast to hit $120 billion by 2020.

You can use AR to get people to interact with your brand online. For instance, a food product might contain a scannable picture on its packaging, which when used with a smartphone takes you to a video recipe, or a chance to enter an online competition to win prizes. The possibilities are endless.

The future of retail packaging is interactive and responsive, and gives power to customers. Below is an example from Next Glass — an ‘augmented reality app that takes the fear out of trying new beer.’ It gives users personalised ratings on beer and wine that are scientifically tailored to their tastes, helping them choose which beverage to try next. All they have to do is scan the label!

3. Environmentally-friendly packaging

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs statistics show that 44.3% of household rubbish was recycled in 2015, which is down from 44.9% in 2014. Considering there’s a target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020, it’s really important that more brands like yours provide environmentally friendly packaging. Not only does this ensure your business is positively viewed as eco-conscious and planet-friendly, it also helps fight the war on packaging waste by encouraging others to have the same mind-set.

Take Zara, for example. We love the fact their boxes promote that they’re made from recycled products. Plus, the use of the hashtag ‘#recycle’ encourages customers to recycle the box once used.

4. Notbox

Notbox is a reusable, one-piece, collapsible box with lid and carry handles that can replace your corrugate boxes for storage. This nifty multi-use box can be used as an alternative to single-use cardboard boxes, helping you reduce both packaging costs and carbon footprint. In fact, you can achieve up to a 25% saving in carbon emissions. It also comes with zip or Velcro closures, a document wallet, and can be tailored, resized and branded for your business.

5. Corrugate table and chairs

We’ve also seen more people get creative with packaging materials, like using corrugate to create other useful things instead of being thrown away after use. It just goes to show that bespoke box packaging designs can be created to fit any requirement. Like this table and chairs, for instance!

6. Digitally printed boxes

Beautifully designed boxes make a great impact on marketing efforts. More and more brands have placed high-quality, digitally-printed designs on their packaging to catch the eye of their ideal customers. Plus, as in the case of Pandora, it’s always good to add a personal, bespoke note if you can:

What were your favourites from last year? What do you hope to see more of? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to revitalise your packaging for 2017? Challenge us to create a unique packaging solution for your product. Leave your details via the link below and one of our experts will be intouch to discuss your ideas.