Top 5 Packaging Trends for 2023

pastel paper boxes of soap sitting on white surface.

Written by Nancy

Jan 26, 2023

Design Trends come and go but, high quality packaging never goes out of style.

If you are a trend setting brand than you might want to consider bold colours, flashy typography and take influence from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

But, for those of us who want packaging design that will endure the test of time, it’s smart to look at shifts in consumer behaviour first.

Before jumping into designing your new packaging, take notice of the current retail landscape where your products are sold. How can your packaging design meet the evolving needs of your customers? This approach will help you design packaging that will endure the test of time.

Top 4 Industry factors to consider:

  1. Growth in e-commerce
  2. Consumer preference for sustainability
  3. Global pressure to reduce margins
  4. Digitisation


5 Packaging Trends

I believe the above changes in retail will influence the following trends in packaging for 2023.


01. Smart Packaging & Interactivity

Smart packaging elements such as QR codes can improve the packaging experience and extend the brand journey with your consumers, encouraging them to further connect with your brand ie. take customers to product tutorials, info and tips or quick checkouts and offers.

Augmented reality offers a very cool, yet more advanced digital experience that takes customers from package to an augmented reality see AU company 19 Crimes Living Lables

Interactivity can also be created via ‘not digital’ interactions via unique unboxing experiences ie. peel away tabs that reveal more information, unique unboxing experiences or cleverly positioned windows that visually link the product inside the box to the package design on the outside.

There is also an increasing need for digitisation in packaging to meet automated warehousing technologies and offer quick and easy returns for online orders.


02. Authentic Sustainability

Today’s consumers are driven by environmentally friendly options, and they will not be fooled by false claims or brands that don’t show transparency around their sustainable efforts.

In the beauty and home cleaning industry particularly, the adoption of recycled materials, refillable containers and partnerships with independent recycling programs ie. TerraCycle, RedCycle etc. has increased.

Other options might include reducing packaging weight (referred to as light weighting), using more sustainable materials ie. aluminium, offsetting carbon emissions and/or reducing water in your products or manufacturing process.

Sustainable packaging is more than a trend, it is a brand strategy that needs to be built into your business plan and designed with the big picture in mind. I suggest a packaging and supply chain audit to assess what solution makes the most sense and impact for your business. Grab a free copy of my sustainable packaging worksheet to get started.


03. Minimalism

A minimalist approach portrays your brand as honest, organised and no-fuss. The ‘less-is-more’ concept applies to ingredients, packaging and product design.

‘skinimalism’ is the idea that skincare and cosmetics should take a minimalist approach. Think multi-purpose products that simplify the skincare routine ie. serum + moisturiser in one.

Simplicity in copy highlights only the top benefits that make your product unique. Avoid using catchy phrases and buzz words in packaging copy. A simple and straightforward label helps customers better understand the ingredients and product information.

Minimalism in design means a clean, neat, organised and minimalist approach.


04. Inclusivity & Gender Neutral Branding

Gender norms are changing, and this will influence packaging in 2023 and beyond. Traditionally, packaged goods (especially in the beauty industry) have been designed to appeal to either female or male sex. This can be seen in colour schemes, shapes, imagery and language used.

Today, tenderised packaging is being replaced with neutral colours, minimalist designs and language that will appeal to any gender.

Place less emphasis on gender specific cues and more focus on gender-inclusive designs. See Bonds UnGENderwear Project and their plan to remove non-inclusive language across all products & packaging by 2025

Inclusivity is not just about gender or ethnicity. According to Mintel Beauty Trends Report, a key trend for 2023 is self-care for all ages and a focus on “wellness for every life stage.”


05. Glorify the Brand Story

Help consumers to connect with your brand emotionally by communicating your brand story and what your brand stands for.

There are two main ways to tell your brand story on packaging. With visuals and with copy. Creative elements such as colour, materials, images and illustrations can communicate your brand values and goals visually. However, don’t forget the power of copy and a solid brand story. When it comes to copy, people remember stories better than information.

Tell your customer about your brand’s journey, values, brand promise or the commitment you make. These stories will help consumers connect with your brand on an emotional level – a powerful tool for developing brand loyalty.

Showcare your personality through the language and tone of voice you use in your copy and keep your brand image and voice as a central element to your packaging design.

If you are embarking on a packaging design project this year I hope this article will help spark some ideas. Follow me on instagram @nancyjdesign for more sustainable packaging and brand design tips.

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