As the cannabis industry continues to grow and the category becomes increasingly crowded, packaging is more important than ever. Impactful and effective package design can help a brand differentiate from the competition, create unique and memorable user experiences, and drive brand loyalty. Berlin Packaging (www.berlinpackaging.com) tracks the latest trends impacting the cannabis industry to help our customers grow their business. Here are four key trends we’ve identified this year.
Today’s consumers are increasingly incorporating technology and digital tools into their everyday lives. Smart devices are used to stay connected and informed, manage work and personal lives, and assist in household and shopping tasks. The use of digital technology, including “smart packaging,” can monitor freshness, provide ingredient, nutrient, and health specifications, display information about a brand or company, and create an interactive consumer experience. A recent GlobalData study found that 42% of global consumers are always or often influenced by how digitally advanced or ‘smart’ the product or service is in 2022 (up from 35% in 2021). Younger consumers are especially interested, with one in four Gen Z and Millennials saying that interactive packaging (i.e., QR codes) is a key purchase driver. Smart packaging can help cannabis brands expand their messaging beyond the label to reach consumers in new, interactive ways.
Consumers want to support companies and brands that are socially responsible, and demonstrating a commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility is becoming increasingly meaningful. Accessible packaging is especially important within the cannabis industry. With chronic pain and arthritis as common afflictions for cannabis and CBD consumers, easy to open and use packaging is essential in creating a positive user experience. “Senior-friendly” packaging is also becoming important as the world’s population is aging. THC- and CBD-based products require child-resistant packaging, often at odds with the needs of consumers suffering from pain in their hands, including the prevalent older demographic. Finding ways to meet regulatory requirements while making products accessible to all users can demonstrate a brand’s commitment to social responsibility while driving trial and brand loyalty.
Today’s consumers are looking for enjoyment and excitement in the products they buy, especially following the stress and anxiety from the last few years. Fun experiences can provide a sense of escapism from daily stressors, and the need for enjoyability is an essential part of the value-for-money equation. Pantone’s 2023 color of the year – Viva Magenta – is described as “brave and fearless, and a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration.” The Dieline has included cartoon characters, sticker design, and “groovy feels” among their 2023 package design trends. An example of groovy packaging is the Highway 420 spec packaging developed by Berlin Packaging’s in-house design team at Studio One Eleven (https://studio111design.com/). And retro packaging is popping up across categories. These all reflect a desire for fun, nostalgic, escapist design experiences that align nicely with the recreational cannabis industry.
While material circularity and recyclability continue to be important to cannabis and CBD consumers, there is also growing awareness around the role of carbon emissions in the packaging sustainability equation. Almost 60% of global consumers say reduced carbon footprint is extremely or quite important to them in a product (GlobalData). Several companies, including Unilever and Cocokind, have started incorporating carbon labeling to demonstrate their commitment to the environment and help consumers make informed purchase decisions.
Berlin Packaging (www.berlinpackaging.com) conducts lifecycle analyses (LCA) to help our customers quantify their product’s environmental impact over the course of its entire lifecycle. LCA tools allow us to calculate a product’s carbon footprint (i.e., its greenhouse gas emissions) as well as its water and fossil fuel use. We can compare packaging options and select the most effective and impactful solutions for our customers regardless of material. We concentrate on strategies that combine the decarbonization of materials and production, as well as the end of life, in developing circular economy solutions centered on recycling. Our strategies include
light-weighting, recycled content, refill & reuse systems, improved durability, and optimized logistics.
Berlin Packaging has been a trusted resource for cannabis packaging since 2014. With the industry’s most complete product offering, we are uniquely positioned to help cannabis and CBD companies of all sizes find impactful and effective packaging solutions for every category, including flower, beverage, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more. From market insights to sustainability strategies and a dedicated Quality Service Division, Berlin Packaging helps brands succeed in the marketplace with superior, affordable packaging delivered on time and within budget.