Discover the trends that will drive the coming year
Once again, we can see that the key issue is sustainability in packaging design trends for 2021, when applied to the world of beverages.
There’s an ever-growing number of consumers who are worried about the negative impact that humankind is having on the planet. Not surprisingly, it has been years since this fully-fledged war began against excessive carbon emissions generated during the production of goods, against the changes in climate that we are seeing, and against the quantity of plastic that is polluting the world’s waters.
This war against resource waste is fought on a number of fronts. On one side we find consumers, with their purchasing power, who drive the market. And on the other side we have a line-up of various companies who have defined their mission statements around green issues by adopting eco-friendly production systems and offering solutions with low environmental impact.
On this basis, it’s clear that sustainability will remain an evolving trend.
It’s not just paper that’s become a popular alternative in the packaging sector. Many consumers are looking for recyclable, biodegradable or compostable packaging, particularly when buying food and drink.
According to the Global Web Index, it’s likely that 61% of Millennials are happy to pay more for eco-friendly or sustainable products.
Given that our planet’s health is critical, Tapì has also decided to roll out our own sustainable action plan – the result is LEI. This acronym defines our company’s mission in a very simple way – it focusses on our contribution to reducing our impact on the environment.
We have included in the LEI project all our company’s best practices along with all our designs that have the aim of reducing our impact on the environment. There are even some product families in LEI, such as Abor, T-Cask and Devin. Their production processes reuse distillation residue, cask wood that is end of life, and grape pomace respectively, which leads to the creation of closures that are green to their core. And there’s also Duo, the closure designed with separable components to make recycling simpler for the consumer. Neos is an innovative technology that reduces the carbon footprint of products through the use of renewably sourced biopolymers. And there’s Pure, a “polyurethane-free” closure made by blending polymers from renewable sources – the Neos Technology – with sterilised natural cork micro-granules.
Less plastics and more paper
Due to the global battle against single-use plastics that continues to gain ground, the transition to paper has become an increasingly popular choice. Today, many brands produce paper straws amongst other things, that are durable, natural and sustainable as well as recyclable. And there are ever more companies operating in the beverage world who are using them to supplement their own packaging.
But it isn’t just a question of replacing plastic with paper in secondary packaging.
Bacardi recently announced a new initiative to manufacture innovative bottles made with a paper base mixed with a cutting-edge biopolymer, Nodax PHA, derived from seeds from oil crops such as soya, canola and palm.
With the aim of becoming completely plastic free by 2030, the company is convinced that this experiment could develop into an entirely eco-friendly container that can maintain the sensory characteristics of its products with no variation. Just as they are preserved in standard glass bottles.
In addition, over the last few years, various governments have announced a ban on sales of straws made from single-use plastics. It’s a war being waged on many fronts and in response to ever more significant pollution to our planet.
Smart, interactive packaging
Intelligent packaging has been talked about for some time now, but the constant progress that characterises this era is leading businesses to design new solutions that favour their own growth and consumer engagement.
Research shows that augmented reality packaging has risen by 120% over the last two years. This is a result of it being more attractive to Millennials – games, competitions, music and recipes can be added to products.
But that’s not all. Besides enhancing brand engagement, interactive packaging has the potential for increased transparency. The consumer can access a secure platform directly from their smart phone where they can find a whole host of information about the product’s supply chain.
At Tapì, we have recently developed i-Tap – the ability to insert NFC technology into our closures.
When an enabled smart phone moves into the vicinity of a bottle, the tag recognises if the product has been opened, tampered with or if it’s still sealed. Manufacturers can use this to protect their products and warn customers if the contents inside the bottle are not safe to consume. The tag can also let the brand make dynamic, interactive experiences available to customers, consequently enhancing engagement and loyalty.
More use of aluminium
The use of aluminium cans has grown significantly over the last few years due to its distinctive characteristics – its durability and the fact it is lightweight. This allows companies to package and transport beverages with ease while using fewer materials.
Mordor Intelligence states that the specific market related to cans should experience a growth rate of 3.2% between 2020 and 2025.
But aluminium is not just the preserve of canned drinks. Over the last few years, it has often been considered by spirits producers because of its versatility – both in terms of constructing secondary packaging, possibly intended for specific limited-edition products, as well as a cutting-edge material for closure heads.
Precisely because of its primary features of style, prestige and modernity, we have developed a number of closure technologies at Tapì, that adapt really well to this growth trend. From Starcap to Alu-Mix, SCR Aluminium and Ghost Charm – these are all versatile, completely customisable closures that can add the finishing touch of refinement and style to any packaging.
With the recent Covid-19 pandemic, that’s impacting the whole world to a greater or lesser degree, consumers have become even more careful of their health. This trend has been present over the past few years, but now it’s completely dominating the market in a number of sectors.
This increasing attention brings with it demand for better understanding of the information about products, driving companies towards improved transparency to promote loyalty in its customer base and brand.
It has been shown, for example, that 80% of UK consumers have no idea what the calorie content of an alcoholic drink is. This is why there is now clear labelling in that country.
In the light of this, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) backed a proposal that was presented in Brussels in 2018. This proposal was to ensure that nutritional information is made available on all types of alcoholic drinks by 2022.
Once again, we see sustainability as a central trend in the world of packaging design and an issue that arises in many different forms.
We have also noted that consumers are ever more aware and vigilant in their desire to do something concrete for the planet. This is why every company that operates in the sector should pay attention to this trend when they are designing packaging for their products. Their aim should be to show themselves as environmentally friendly and of convey values and positive messages to all their potential customers.
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