Packaging Trends 2021

Is your packaging ready for 2021 and beyond? Maybe some of these current packaging trends will help you stay on brand but be responsive to your customers needs.

Solid All-Over Colourng

While the colour palette is limited and must align with your brand, this trend undoubtedly catches the attention of the consumer. In 2021, expect to see packaging designs that let the copy and bold colour choices do the talking.

Sometimes the colour isn’t necessarily bright and fun, rather it is a shade that creates a mood and directs the consumers eye to the copy. This builds anticipation for the buyer, rather than giving it all away immediately.

Product names front and centre.

Often the logo or an illustration is the focal point for packaging, with the product name taking a back seat. In 2021, we will see the product name taking front and centre. This is a fantastic trend for product-focused businesses that aim to increase brand awareness. These designs rely heavily on typography that can carry the brands whole aesthetic.

Protective packaging

As a result of flatten the curve measures. 2020 saw a huge increase in e-commerce orders. More items are being shipped overall and shoppers value packaging that protects their purchases from the elements and possible viral exposure.

The National Institute of Health study states that COVID can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic. It is likely we will see more socially conscious businesses using packaging less hospitable to the virus, like porous materials.

Sustainable Packaging

While the use of more sustainable packaging materials might be the first thing that comes to your mind, there other ways of introducing sustainable packaging practices.

Many brands have already taken steps to lower emissions by reducing waste in tailor made packaging. This ensures the product fits better, the weight of the packaging is lessened and gives you more control over the packaging’s End-Of-Life cycle.

There has also been an increase in creative packaging design that gives the materials a second life. Some imaginative examples include:

  • A colouring-in-design to use as part of a competition.
  • Packaging that contains seeds that can be grown once planted.
  • Minimally designed boxes that can be re-gifted.

Immersive Unboxing Experiences

Having a branded box or vessel for your product is a must but adding some extra unboxing touches can turn it into an EXPERIENCE. Delivery is often the final interaction you have with a customer so adding to your brand story through packaging will leave them with a positive impression, an increased perceived value, and boosts your content marketing (in hope they share the unboxing process).

Some details you can add to increase the experience could include:

  • The obvious…a branded box! Plain boxes might be cheaper but doing so might mean you miss out on an opportunity for brand recognition.
  • The obvious…a branded box! Plain boxes might be cheaper but doing so might mean you miss out on an opportunity for brand recognition.
  • Brand aligned packaging materials are practical and aesthetic. This could mean wrapping fragile items in branded tissue paper and secure with a foil sticker or using an eco-friendly filler to accentuate your environmentally conscious brand value
  • Make your customer feel seen. Adding a customised sentiment removes the notion of “mass-produced” and makes it feel more personal and relationship building.


Doypacks (often known as stand-up pouches) are usually seen as the standard packing for edible items like coffee or other dry goods. In 2020 we saw brands realising the versatility of Doypacks for clothing like socks and underwear, or skin care sets. The Doypack can be padded for protection and used as a mailing pouch to avoid the need for extra sender packing.