Packaging awards offer a fantastic snapshot of what’s happening in a particular territory and the recent UK Packaging Awards were no exception. With categories covering every part of packaging from design through to supply chain, here are some of the trends that became apparent on the night.
Convenience was the big winner with KitKat Senses’ transforming packaging, Garcon Wines’ flat wine bottle and Dulux’s Tester Pak all taking home awards. The KitKat packaging sees the cardboard box automatically open out into a bowl when the lid is taken off making sharing the contents super easy. It also neatly folds up again if for some reason you haven’t eaten them all and need to put the lid back on. It’s an elegant dual-use packaging design that makes eating chocolate feel a bit more special.
Reportedly the world’s first flat wine bottle, Garcon Wines’ innovative design still manages to fit a whole bottle’s worth of wine inside. The bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic, which combined with their shape, means they can fit through letterboxes for easy delivery. Plus, the plastic design means they’re much lighter to post as well.
The Dulux Tester Pak was also designed to cater to online shoppers. The company wanted to be able to send out between one and three paint samples to customers, but for the packaging to be able to fit through letterboxes. It shows how packaging designers are responding effectively to changes in shopping habits as ecommerce continues to grow.
Packaging that communicates the heritage and authenticity of the contents also went down well. Smeaton’s Gin and Manchester Gin, both created by Allied Glass Containers, took home awards for their bottle designs. Made in the city it’s named after, Manchester Gin communicates its history by adopting the well-known Manchester Bee motif in its packaging design. Most impressive is the use of a honeycomb design which is embossed into the bottle itself adding a tactile element to the product.
Smeaton’s Gin on the other hand tells the story of its heritage by printing an original, handwritten recipe for Bristol Method Dry Gin onto the label itself. The company uses the original Bristol Method to make its gin and further hammers home this connection by using blue glass for its bottle – something the Bristol area is famous for.
The awards even offered up a glimpse of the future when it comes to using digital channels to enhance packaging and consumer experiences. FACT’s prize-winning organic sparkling water cans are enabled with CrownConnect technology and linked to blockchain platform Almond to allow customers to access information about each specific can. This includes a list of ingredients, carbon footprint and the manufacturing process. It shows how tech-enabled packaging will bring customers closer to brands by giving them access to information that it was impossible to provide in the past.
With so many choices of products out there these days, packaging has never been more important for helping brands to stand out. Whether it’s offering a more convenient way of consuming the product or telling the story of a product, today’s packaging designs are working double-duty and breaking new ground as a result.
By Cate Trotter, Head of Trends at Insider Trends.