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Packaging trends to watch out for in 2024

What does the future hold for packaging in 2024 and beyond? Nick Elliott, Managing Director of Elliott Packaging takes a look at the innovations and trends to look out for.

At the beginning of a new year, it’s always important for business owners to reflect on their strategic priorities and consider where they can make improvements over the next 12 months. One area will be packaging, where economic challenges, changing consumer behaviours and the continuing drive towards more sustainable solutions will all contribute to decision-making and business plans throughout the year.

At Elliott Packaging, our team has been closely monitoring the trends and innovations to keep an eye on in 2024 to not only adapt but also innovate for a future that demands more from packaging solutions and its effect on the environment.

E-commerce’s unrelenting importance

The way consumers now shop has transformed dramatically over the last few years. An increasing preference for online shopping, driven by convenience and lifestyle changes, has become evident.

In the UK online sales now represents over 25% of all retail sales with over 80% of the population now making online purchases. This shift places immense pressure on businesses to ensure their e-commerce packaging solutions are top drawer.

At Elliott Packaging we are helping customers to respond to these ever changing demands, the following 3 points are key focus areas for retailers in e-commerce packaging:

  • Durability and protection: Packaging must protect goods effectively. With 32% of consumers experiencing damaged packaging, and 58% likely to stop ordering from a company due to repeated damaged products, this is a critical area.
  • Sustainability: Consumers are increasingly eco-conscious. Our research indicates that one in four online shoppers would stop ordering from a company due to excessive, non-recyclable packaging.
  • Ease of returns: A smooth return process is essential, as 29% of consumers find the current process frustrating.

Innovation like our high strength eco-friendly FSC approved paper mailing bags address these concerns, making returns easy and also being completely recyclable and compostable these mailing bags tick all the boxes.

Value is king for consumers

The financial landscape for consumers remains a big challenge with many experiencing a worse financial situation and negative disposable income, 2024 could also be taxing. Consequently, consumption patterns are evolving, with 73% making fewer impulse purchases and 54% buying in smaller quantities.

Retailers are adapting by delivering value through promotions, private label ranges, and loyalty schemes. They are focusing on communicating local and seasonal credentials and finding efficiencies in their channels. Premium, sustainable packaging solutions are crucial in this context.

They can drive supply chain efficiencies, offering cost benefits and environmental advantages. Automation, for instance, offers significant cost savings in both online and traditional shopping channels.

Don’t lose sight of sustainability

Sustainability remains an important concern. With 62% of people wanting to purchase eco-friendly packaging due to financial constraints, businesses must continue to prioritise sustainable practices. Retailers are striving to meet ambitious ESG targets amid stricter packaging regulations.

Elliott Packaging’s approach includes an increased in-house recycling programme and further recycling initiatives. We are also supporting research into ‘second harvest’ materials whose initiative aims to transform agricultural waste into paper-making pulp, potentially saving up to 10% of the virgin fibres used in paper making. This innovative approach presents a viable alternative to traditional sources, underlining our commitment to sustainable packaging solutions.

In conclusion, as we enter into 2024, the packaging industry must remain agile, innovative, and responsive to the evolving needs of consumers and the planet. At Elliott Packaging we are committed to leading this charge, ensuring that our packaging solutions meet the demands of today while paving the way for a more sustainable tomorrow. Whilst consumer preferences and customer demands evolve, our teams’ strong focus on driving innovation is a timeless trend and remains at the forefront of our business for 2024 and beyond.

Get in touch today and see how we can help with your packaging requirements in a responsible and sustainable way.

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