Packages and closures for packaging

Trends for 2024 in packaging

Preparing this article, I asked the artificial intelligence about the packaging trends for the next year...
Thus we can conclude that one of the trends that will or should accompany us in order to meet consumers’ and legislators’ requirements will be the new technology.
Packaging is pilloried by environmentalists and legislators.
However, this situation should be eliminated by means of state-of-the-art solutions which we don’t know well yet, are still afraid of them, but start to understand that they may lead to the success.

Packaging should combine a number of features that need to be optimized in a consistent way. Safety, stability, the lowest possible weight, recyclability and recyclate content. What may help achieve the perfect balance of those factors is the trial and error method, but also calculation software can be used that will conduct the initial simulation of the desired packaging. Implementation of new calculation methods at companies or using facilities of research centers may prove to be a significant saving at the level of tests and the subsequent production.
It’s in line with the trend, and, in fact, with the status quo in which we exist, namely the upcoming legislation. We expect that the PPWR will be introduced as early as in June next year, so any preparations for the new challenges will be a crucial must-have for each entrepreneur operating in the primary or secondary packaging area, as well as in logistics and e-commerce.
Irrespective of the regulations, on thing won’t change: it's the packaging that sells the product. In fact, the cosmetic industry is ambitiously starting to talk about the idea of the packaging unification, giving up on excessive and problematic packaging, decorations or ornaments. But will everybody follow suit? Certainly not in 2024. Business isn't mature enough, but, first and foremost, the consumer isn’t educated enough to stop buying with the eyes and start focusing on products’ ingredients.
Such a national spurt is utopian despite being positive, as our market isn't a closed bubble devoid of foreign products.
The experts who put the idea under discussion mention that in the 90s the industry succeeded in spoiling the consumer with colorful packaging, golden elements and other details that pleased the eye. They, however, have forgotten that what provided an impetus for that was the influx of foreign goods which Poles expected and basically treated as a luxury. The Polish cosmetics industry was forced to match, at least in terms of the appearance, German, French or Italian cosmetics on an almost express basis.
Today, exactly for the same reason, it won’t give up on decorations, dyed or golden elements, because if it puts its product on a shelf next to a “baroque” Italian cosmetic or a British feast of colors, they simply won't be noticed.

If we are already talking about decorations, their scope will definitely be expanded in 2024, but this time it will go towards customization and the use of the augmented reality.
Some of us still don’t associate packaging with the VR, but it's already happening. QR codes, but also embedded information which can be decoded from the smartphone level are still surprising gems.
Certainly, there will be more and more of them. Maybe it is the eco-friendly design, ascetic label which transports the buyer to a virtual world after scanning it and tells the legend of the fairy tale nature of the product, its functions and performance or simply provides entertainment, will be the surprise for the customer that will steal their (virtual) heart.  
Customization, which is every now and then attempted by food brands, always brings great results. Consumers are willing to choose products with their name or buy something as a gift for their loved ones. A drink or a wafer handed to a 'brother-in-law', a 'nag' or a 'whiner' becomes a joke - a friendly gesture among loved ones. Digital printing solutions for labels create almost unlimited customization possibilities. If a hair conditioner, instead of a text in screaming print that it’s for 'damaged, brittle and generally nasty hair,' had a caption like 'Queen Anne, we’ve created this product specially for you, just to make your already perfect hair stay that way for a long time', wouldn't it become a drugstore hit?
When will cosmetic brands dare to conduct similar campaigns.
Maybe the new year will show it.
Market experience teaches us that when it comes to crossing borders, you can't cross the border of the good taste, and you should certainly understand very well how the modern internet works.
A misinterpreted hashtag or emoji, which has another meaning among teenagers than it would seem at the first sight, can lead to quite a mess and do damage even to a well-established brand.
Understanding the internet trends, following them and reacting to changes, if there is such a need, is something we should do very carefully.
Even environment protection, which for years has been one of the top trends in packaging and marketing, must not be devoid of careful observation. Separating greenwashing from truth is one thing, and the second thing is to observe the latest research results. Introducing eco-friendly solutions is like working on a living organism.
It has recently turned out that paper drinking straws not only aren’t environmentally friendly, but due to the fact that they are coated with toxic PFAS, and trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) as well as trifluoromethanesulfonic acid (TFMS) were found in some of them, they are extremely harmful to humans and nature.
Such situations also take place in the world of cosmetic packaging, when one day role models decide that something is a reasonable substitute for the current solutions, and after its implementation on the market, after tests in real conditions, it turns our that it wasn’t necessarily a good choice. It may result from the fact that an insufficiently tested solution has been handed over for use, or that the laboratory tests failed to anticipate what the consumer will do with a given product.
What may serve as such an example is bioplastic. It’s introduction to the market, without educating society about where it should end up as waste, devastates fractions of e.g. recycled HDPE. Bioplastic looks like plastic, behaves like plastic, so it's discarded to plastic, but if it isn’t separated from petroleum-based plastic before the recycling process, it will deprive the whole thing of the expected quality.
It should end up in the mixed waste.
What, therefore, has to be a trend for the upcoming period is the courage to withdraw from bad ideas. Building the brand on genuine and open communication with the client is something that pays off with a trusted and loyal group of consumers. Showing a human, fallible face will certainly be more appreciated than sticking to the path considered to be right, but proved to be wrong.
Getting to know our consumer continually is a process in which you can’t stop, because younger and younger consumers enter the stage of purchasing decisions, but older and older ones remain in it for longer and longer, so that group is smoothly growing, and certainly it won’t disappear.
Getting to know our client will be really crucial because sometimes one thing is said and another thing is done... Consumer research results already differentiate a declarative approach to shopping from real shopping behavior. If producers were to combine those needs in their products, they have to make an eco product which is cheap at the same time.
What may be considered to be an eco product is a product in packaging which, at least to some extent, comes from the recycling process, but there isn't enough correctly sorted out waste from which new packaging could be produced. Consequently, we’re in a vicious circle with our consumer. What should break it is dialog and education, but this time by means of the language of benefits. “If you want a cheap and eco-friendly product, you have to help us with it!” Start to sort out waste, and it will return to you in a cheap and eco product.
The public space is an arena for matters of extreme importance and triviality. We live between information about the war and memes about funny cats.
Environmental education of consumers is a subject which nobody wants to handle, or nobody knows how to do it. It will have to become a fact in the era of growing prices of paper and its shortage on the market, regulations which require the use of recyclate, or the changing appearance of packaging, because the one with the regranulate will no longer be crystal clear.
Introduction on the market of caps attached to the bottle and the number of social media “rolls”, shorts” and “stories” talking about “a hopeless idea” and “EU’s whims” which summarize that action as making common person's life more difficult is understandable, as the caps’ introduction wasn’t accompanied by a single piece of information explaining the purpose of the whole procedure. No foundation, recycler or government institution has attempted to conduct a campaign devoted to “sieve, PET and HDPE”.  

Will our world change in 2024?
Everybody dreams that the change of one digit in the year will be a magic change of their life for the better, the world for a more friendly one and other people for more warm-hearted ones.
The more such changes a person has undergone, the better they know that the change for better is a result of persistent work.
Changes for worse come unexpectedly, which I don’t wish on anyone