Food Trends and Packaging

Over the last year and as we head into 2021, we have noticed a few recurring trends in food that are worth noting. With those trends, come packaging trends too, and in this blog, we’d like to look at a few of those and the packaging solutions that are best suited to them.

The pandemic has also brought its own food trends with people staying at home more often. Topics include nostalgia, eating for happiness and comfort, ethical and sustainable options, and new experiences. Until then, food trends had mostly included options like gourmet restaurant foods and convenience.

So where does packaging fit in?

In order to get every single food item from the factory to the consumer, there has to be a barrier, such as packaging, to protect it. However, it can be much more when specified correctly and designed cleverly.


Food nostalgia

Taste memories can strongly remind us of a particular place or person. If your grandma used to cook your favourite beef stew for a Sunday family get-together, you will miss her every time you get a taste of that dish. The taste of certain food will always remind us of special people, places and events in the past. It may make us happy and satisfied, or it may make us feel sad and nostalgic.

The same goes for packaging visuals and brands have often pulled on those triggers by choosing colours, photographic images and design content to evoke memories or childhood nostalgia. Especially during these uncertain times, when consumers are unsure of what the future holds and have spent more quality time at home as a family, often cooking more and looking for those food products reminding them of happy memories.

Well-thought-out packaging can simply create an emotional connection with the end consumers to command that impulse buying.


Mood food and comfort eating

It’s not uncommon for people to crave chocolate, French fries or other foods that are high in calories, sugar and carbohydrates. Comfort foods provide a temporary sense of wellbeing and they make a person feel good. Foods high in sugar, fat or salt tend to elevate the mood by stimulating the brain’s reward system.

Our recent collaboration with Sweet Cheeks® is a perfect example of that. This family run business was launched during lockdown to help bring a smile to people’s faces with personalised premium Pick ‘n’ Mix sweets delivered straight to your door. And it was important that the packaging not only helped with the delivery concept but also conveyed the fun, bright and happy message as well. Bringing sweets to you in convenient and colourful pouches.


Ethical and sustainable 

Sustainable food production is a method of production using processes and systems that are non-polluting, conserve non-renewable energy and natural resources, are economically efficient, are safe for workers, communities and consumers, and do not compromise the needs of future generations.

Ethical food production includes consideration of people (workers’ welfare, whether on small farms, producer co-operatives, large estates or plantations), the environment (centred on environmental sustainability) and animals (mainly concerned with animal rights and welfare).

Healthy British Organic Frozen Smoothie Kits Delivered To Your DoorThe Honestly Good Smoothie Co. produces and packs frozen smoothie produce for delivery through the postal service, straight to your door. They lovingly wash, peel, chop and pack every box at their family home in Bedfordshire, before air freezing the packs to seal in all the good stuff.

We provided The Honestly Good Smoothie Co. with a food-safe, 100% recyclable PE/PE stand up pouch. Their organic approach and philosophy extend to everything they do, from their transparent and sustainable preparation to re-using or recycling 100% of all packaging to donating 2 meals to those in need for every box they send out.


Sensory experiences 

Eating and preparing foods can be a great sensory experience for children and adults alike and a fun learning opportunity. Children are “hands-on” learners. They learn by exploring and manipulating objects in their environment using the five senses: seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, and hearing.

For those that food trends, it’s well known that consumers like to be able to touch products before purchase and for years’ brand owners have been warned of the importance of touch in consumer purchasing decisions.

More recently, a new wave of emotional marketing looks to capitalise on touch and texture as companies seek to connect with consumers in-store through “sensory branding”. This is where our textured Haptic Varnish comes into play and gives the end-users that paper touch effect, which can be seen on the Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic pet food range.

Although psychological research into sensory branding is in its infancy, the growth in e-commerce could make touch even more crucial for successful multi-sensory store experiences. This offers an exciting prospect for packaging and its role in the marketing mix.


If your brand is looking to invest in quality packaging, we will guide you through the entire print process. Providing recommendations along the way to improve efficiency, reduce costs and add untold value to the end product.

Contact us on +44 (0) 161 440 7302 or follow this link to complete our contact form.



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