6 Eye-Popping and Innovative Food Packaging Trends for 2022

Food packaging is the first impression consumers have of your product and is one way your brand stands out from your competitors. This year, businesses in the food industry are getting creative in using recyclable materials and sustainable business processes to share their products attractively and safely with the public while minimizing their negative impact on the environment. We cover some of the most notable, innovative food packaging trending in 2022 as inspiration for your products.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sustainable and recyclable packaging is dominating the food industry in 2022.
  • Brands are simplifying their materials and designs.
  • Businesses are finding sustainable packaging to be more cost-efficient.

6 Innovative Food Packaging Trends for 2022

In 2022, companies are diving into a new world of innovative food packaging with a major focus on sustainability. We discuss six of these new packaging trends and why they’re raising eyebrows across the industry. Packing options are a great way to enhance your message and connect with consumers.  The video below summarizes some of the changes in food packaging. 

1. Recyclable and Biodegradable Packaging

About 60% of global plastic waste comes from food packaging. Brands are finding ways to limit single-use plastic, BPA packaging, and other non-recyclable and dangerous materials by packaging products in more eco-friendly containers. Some other retailers are making the recycling process more convenient by giving consumers the option to return their cans, bottles, and other recyclable items to the store. Some other examples of sustainable food packaging materials include:

  • Glass containers
  • Stainless steel
  • Bamboo
  • Rice husk
  • Gelatin films

An example of sustainable packaging is KFC’s new container designs. Their goal is to transition all of its packaging to 100% compostable home materials by 2025. They have created sustainable packaging through fiber-based cutlery, bamboo buckets, and eliminating plastic straws.

Sustainable KFC packaging

Image from KFC

2. Intelligent Food Packaging

Intelligent food packaging has gained an upper hand in recent years. Recent technological advancements have boosted this latest packaging innovation in 2022. The global intelligent packaging market makes up 2% of the $900 billion packaging industry but is expected to rise to 5% by 2030.

Manufacturers and retailers use intelligent packaging to monitor the quality of the food, detect the temperature, keep track of expiration dates, identify whether the food was tampered with, and track products.

3. Augmented Reality Packaging

About 85% of Americans own a smartphone. The food industry is taking advantage of this demographic and combining it with modern tech in the food industry to create an augmented reality experience for its consumers through AR packaging. As a result, the AR market is expected to rise from $3.5 billion in 2017 to over $198 billion by 2025.

With AR packaging, consumers use their phones to connect to games, images, videos, websites, and health information. The use of AR packaging leads to a more positive customer experience as they are more engaged and have access to more information to help them make better health decisions. AR packaging can help meet the overgrowing need for brand transparency. Here are some other examples of how companies are using AR packaging:

  • Giving food preparation instructions
  • Connecting to others
  • Viewing demonstrations
  • Examining objects in 3D
  • Learning how the food goes from the farm to the plate

Using a smartphone to access games through AR food packaging

Image from YouTube

4. Simple Packaging Designs

Food packaging in 2022 is moving away from complex images and multiple typefaces in favor of more simplistic designs. Many brands switched to one or two bold colors paired with large, straightforward typography. This design is less cluttered and is more appealing to customers. It is also easier to spot on a shelf when consumers quickly glance at several items at once.

Minimalistic designs are also the best design for conveying your message. With fewer items on the package, consumers can easily read and digest your displayed content. They are also less likely to miss important messages as there are fewer distractions.

One of the most notable brands moving away from complex designs to simple packaging is Burger King. Burger King’s previous logo had several different elements and three different colors. The new logo is only made of two simple colors and one font type. Their food packaging also reflects this shift as they use two colors, large typeface, and minimal designs.

5. Flexible Food Packaging

Flexible food packaging is another branch of the sustainable packaging movement. It helps minimize the materials you use in your packaging by molding to your products’ shape and size versus using stiff materials with large amounts of wasted space. Manufacturers can build flexibile designs by using foil, plastic, paper, or other materials to create pouches or shrinkable packaging.

Flexible packaging uses less water and energy to produce, which is healthier for the environment. It also has fewer parts that go into landfills after the consumer uses the product. In addition, it has several other benefits for the consumer and manufacturer, including:

  • Keeping food fresh for longer
  • Being more lightweight
  • Easy to pack and bring in lunch bags or purses as a snack
  • Easy to store
  • Extends the food’s shelf life
  • Resealable design reduces food waste

6. Fewer Unnecessary Parts

Streamlined packaging is one last way the food industry is moving towards more innovative and straightforward designs. To reduce waste, manufacturers and others along the supply chain eliminate extra packaging that doesn’t serve a purpose. Instead, they use only the minimal number of materials to ensure food is safely packaged in the most efficient way possible. For instance, food manufacturers might reduce the number of single-serve packages in a product box and instead opt for bulk product packaging.

For example, Lindt & Sprüngli created a Sustainable Packaging Initiative that outlines their commitment to streamlining their packaging. They do this by using totes and reusable containers to transport their products to retailers. They also cut down on the number of paints and chemicals they use on their packages.

Learn More About Packaging Trends in 2022

SIAL America is the only generalist food and beverage event and trade show in the U.S. Our conferences bring in industry leaders to share the most innovative trends to help you gain a competitive edge in your industry. You will also have unique opportunities to network with other food manufacturers and retailers to learn their strategies for food packaging.

Contact us to learn more information about our next event and how you can exhibit your business.