Sustainable and Gamified Packaging – The Future of Packaging

Every year the multi-billion-dollar Packaging Industry goes through unique changes, and innovative packaging ideas come to fruition. The industry molds itself according to the changing consumer demands and is the first to incorporate all the latest trends. From sustainable to interactive packaging, this blog takes a deep dive into the future of the packaging industry.

Packaging is one of the most memorable tools in branding. Be it the colors of Dettol, the shape of the coke bottle, or the little girl on Parle-G, packaging forms an emotional bond with consumers and has a mystical power to draw more in. A few recent trends take this engagement beyond the conventional ideas of packaging.

Gamified Packaging
The packaging you can play with.

Gamification, essentially, is the process of creating a game out of designs that aren’t a game. What this means is that packaging can integrate the quirks of gaming. Gamification utilizes the psychology and related elements of game design (video, board games, cards, etc.) to enhance the experience of the end-user.

McDonald’s has recently introduced the Monopoly game. If you have had the chance to visit this particular fast-food chain in the US, chances are that you have come across their sandwich and drink containers during their “monopoly season”. McDonald’s containers have small tabs that you can peel off for a chance to win free food, money, and other, sometimes, grand prizes, just like in the game of Monopoly.

With the rapid development in technology, augmented reality has been an absolute game-changer in packaging. 19 Crimes Wine Bottles are an excellent example of AR and gamification in packaging. Watch the Infamous criminals come to life when you point your phone to the images on the wine bottles.

The analog packaging of the new Pacman is very far from the digital trends but has it’s own charm thanks to the gamification of an age-old beloved game.

Interactive Packaging
Multifaceted Packaging

Have you ever played with the leftover pizza boxes? Packaging is inherently interesting, and adding interactive elements gives brands the engagement they seek. Interactive packaging follows the basic idea of engagement by piquing the interest of consumers not only in the product inside but also in the packaging itself.

To simply understand the term, think of small games that you can usually see on the papers that line fast-food trays. They have sudoku, connect the dot, and X and O printed on them. This was the early stage of introducing interaction in packaging.

An example of this type of packaging is the beer bottles with coloring or “connect the dots” labels which invite the drinker to draw upon the label. Clothing boxes that have instructions to be turned into hangers or furniture packaging with the instructions to build on them are a few more examples.

Sustainable Packaging
Packaging that is good for you as well as the environment

Material sciences and packaging technology are developing at an incredible speed. With consumers becoming more and more aware, sustainable packaging is a great plus for any company. Many brands are shifting to 100% natural fibers and biodegradable materials for their packaging.

Sustainability doesn’t just stop at the design aspect of packaging but can be introduced in the supply chain process as well. One of the most well-known examples is IKEA. By implementing a mixture of plant-based alternatives to plastic material, along with the further optimization of their cardboard-based packages, IKEA is still the benchmark for all e-commerce and retail brands around the world.

Future of Packaging
What next…

Packaging is ubiquitous and certainly touches almost every person on the planet. It affects things that human beings need for survival: food, healthcare, personal care. All of that is packaged. It is because of this constant close contact that packaging plays a persuasive role in daily decisions.

The packaging industry in India has been predicted to grow at 18% annually, with flexible packaging style growing at 25% and rigid packaging at 15%. In the first quarter of 2021, the food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had announced new packaging regulations to replace the former provisions. Digital innovations paired with fast-moving supply chains further align with the desire for integrated marketing, with packaging providing a gateway to link into social media.

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