Some packaging trends have emerged in 2021 despite the pandemic and with lockdowns forcing us to stay at home, e-Commerce has indeed come into its own. Brands that had never considered selling online suddenly had no other choice, and early e-Commerce adopters were faced with severe competition. 

With dwindling in-store opportunities available to create emotional connections with customers, packaging designers and brands have really upped the ante to become closer to their clients and are starting to use packaging trends in 2021 to target their marketing efforts.

A brand’s packaging is now seen as a gateway to cement customers trust in their product.

When looking at the packaging trends for 2021, we can expect significant behaviour trends to stick even after this pandemic era – price sensitivity, more digital engagement, a rise in attention to health and hygiene, and a redefinition of brand purpose.

Several trends are already emerging, and the experts have decided which of those will become the norm. We’re here to help simplify these trends and explain how we can help implement them into your upcoming projects.


One key theme in 2021 packaging trends will be an explicit focus on sustainability. Despite the pandemic squeezing wallets and shifting priorities, consumers remain conscientious – especially among younger consumers. Sustainability is fast becoming non-negotiable, so your brands’ opportunity will be how you meet these demands through innovation and acceleration of newer ideas, such as circular economies and re-use initiatives. Those that combine brand and sustainability to create unique consumer experiences through their packaging will be the winners that transform “doing good” into a competitive advantage. We can help your brand with sustainability, via our Ready2Recycle range.

e-Commerce Packaging

The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled e-Commerce growth, and research shows that many of the online shopping habits consumers adopted over lockdown/quarantine are here to stay. With changing demographics, access to fast broadband, advances in artificial intelligence and improvements in delivery infrastructure, these will undoubtedly contribute to continued rapid growth in 2021 and beyond. At this point, brands should tailor their approach to cater to the evolved consumer needs and improve retention and utilise packaging trends effectively. This packaging trend is one to watch!

Personalisation / Humanisation

As a reaction to the reduction in-store browsing time, we can expect packaging design to become more direct and better targeted towards its customer base. Smart, minimalist designs will take the edge over elegant design aesthetics from construction to messaging and graphics. Packaging will be increasingly used to convey messages that we traditionally see in advertising – including limited editions, seasonal varieties, select calendar dates, and so on.

Brand Storytelling

Brand storytelling takes on a new life in this packaging trend of 2021. Sharing your narrative of how the brand has adapted in the face of new challenges and pivoted to accommodate ever-evolving needs and how employees and customers are being kept safe is crucial to a brand’s reputation. Your packaging doesn’t have to include a full biography, but a short phrase such as “still bringing your product to you!” to let customers know you’re still active can make all the difference. Social media is also important, so putting links to your pages on your packaging also helps.


Flat illustration in 2021 will bring us a step closer to a perfect harmony of functionality and aesthetics. People are hyper-aware about their health; hence they show a keen interest in purchasing products that offer health benefits. Clear windows can let customers see the product itself, it ensures the authenticity of your business and the realistic texture of the specific product. In the era of realism, paying attention to this fact can help you gain some significant benefits.

We hope you enjoyed this insight into some packaging trends coming up in 2021.

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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