Packaging Innovations is a yearly event held in London that brings lots of packaging suppliers to share their innovations around wrapping and packing consumer goods. This year’s event was all about sustainability, zero waste movement, luxury and recyclable packaging, etc… One thing was clear, beauty businesses are placing packaging on the top of their priorities, as customers are driving this change more than ever before. As noted by Philip Chadwick, Editor of Packaging News: “Packaging is what consumers think brands should take more action on”.
Especially with an increasing interest in natural and organic beauty products and raising awareness of plastic waste in the oceans, there is a strong call to action for companies to rethink or realign their packaging with sustainability in mind.
#1 Sustainable packaging means luxury
Natural and naturally-derived products call for more eco-friendly solutions and consumers are ready to pay for it. Interestingly, Global Data research shows that 32% of consumers interpret high quality in personal care products to mean “environmentally friendly/sustainable” and some believe (21%) that sustainable packaging means more luxurious products.
This shift in perception means that even simple packaging can be luxurious, what matters is that it is sustainable. We have found a few great examples to share Virginia Sone, Ethique and Kjaer Weis.
Virginia Stone stands out with their unique packaging with their sustainable packaging made using stone, hemp and water for their skincare product line.
Image Credit: Positive Luxury
Ethique packages their biodegradable bars in biodegradable wrappers or compostable boxes, which is an amazing example of great product and packaging alignment.
Image Credit: Ethique Beauty
Another way to think about luxury was through refillable packaging solutions. More and more brands are going to be taking a notice of this and having product on offer. The great example is a luxury looking refillable makeup packaging system by Kjaer Weis.
Image Credit: BlushingBME
So this shows that some brands are definitely placing packaging high on their agendas and trying to stand out from the market while combining luxury with sustainability.
#2 Plastic and plastic-free packaging
Sustainability being a majority focus at the conference attracted presenters, suppliers and delegates to explore possibilities of plastic alternative solutions. However, not all companies can simply ditch plastic. We have found out that apart from offering recyclable plastic packaging, there were some suppliers showcasing plastic-free plastic packaging for shower, soap and bath products.
Plastic has a bit of a bad reputation at the moment. It is mostly associated with irresponsible littering and recycling challenges, which had a major effect on our land and marine life. And with consumer concern about harmful chemicals leaching from plastics on the rise, it is not surprising that government, producers and retailers have felt obliged to respond.
Plastic packaging offers cost-effective and applicable packaging applications for a variety of products and in some consumer products, especially food, enhance product shelf life. Simply switching can have even more challenges associated including transportability, carbon emissions, pollution and others. This is usually a more strategic decision that is required to undertake to consider plastic-free as a viable option.
In some cases, it might be a viable option and we have seen one great example of plastic-free packaging options showcased by Futamura. The packaging films are made from renewable and responsibly sourced wood pulp.
Plastic-free transparent film by Futamura
#3 Reengineering Packaging for online
Digitalisation and growth of e-commerce had made a major impact in the beauty and cosmetics industries. With growing shoppers online, the expectations of efficient and convenient deliveries and even packaging design are top priorities to win customers for brands. In fact, 90% of users who order online for the first time never come back if they face delivery issues, according to the presenter and multichannel beauty expert, Papis Camara.
Papis Camara presenting at Packaging Innovations
Great examples provided were also some companies rethinking their packaging. We really liked these personal care subscription brands with outstanding packaging solutions Birchbox and Dollarshave Club.
To Sum Up
So there you have it. It was amazing to see packaging industry innovations and the exciting sustainable packaging solutions on offer whether it is plastic-free, easy shipping, standing out, instagramable packaging. Brands are really looking to offer their products and packaging to meet the consumer demand and gain a competitive advantage.