04 Sep Cristina Ventura: Warning Signs for Future Packaging Design
The changing financial situation in Europe is affecting consumer goods. As a new element in the game, the present structural crisis has increased the complexity of the environment, affecting every link in the packaging chain for all kinds of products.
As a result, consumers’ attitudes shift between two poles: their individual nature and a growing awareness about paid price versus acquired value. The driving force is the change undergone by consumers: their needs, preferences, their assessment of what they buy, their habits, their purchasing power, etc., are constantly changing elements for which the value chain should find an effective response. That is its raison d’être.
However, changes in consumer profiles are faster by the day, and spread to other places at even greater speed. The impact of this force on the value chain is greater and greater, provoking changes in packaging.
In this case, overall trends in design coincide with those to be found in the industrial sector: space saving, easy valuation, packaging adapted to fast pre-cooked food, new dosage units, new opening and closing systems… However, the introduction of those innovations will be connected to a good symbolic relationship with consumers, good added value, good quality and comfort.
Packaging design must show the advantages that will have an effect on final consumers.
Packaging has become a whole universe abounding in languages, symbols, icons, experiences, requirements, controls, demands… It is a market where consumers are taken by storm by an infinity of stimuli struggling to capture their attention. And good design has, to begin with, a differentiating function. A clear perception of an object in relation to the competition implies winning the battle before beginning it, and an alternative to reducing prices. On the other hand, by adding quality at various levels, packaging design increases product value.
Packaging and Product make up a commercially indivisible unit, based on two major elements: functionality and marketing, with packaging often being more important than the product containing it.
The packaging sector is also involved in the search for and application of all those concepts and methodologies with a view to generatin true sustainability. As an essential part of the product, packaging has to meet, not only its main functions of protecting, containing, transporting and selling, but also of reducing environmental impact, especially when it’s the part of the product that produces the greatest amount of waste. The goal will therefore be to maintain its basic functions with a new environmentally-friendly and sustainable value, thus moving rowards the development and positioning of an increasingly more important concept: eco-packaging.