The future of luxury packaging – between disruption and resilience
What will the high-end creative and cultural industry look like in five years? Will sustainability remain a priority at a time when the economy faces potential downturns? From high-end cosmetics to iconic perfumes, staying competitive in the luxury sector requires a keen understanding of what’s to come.
These questions are set to be top of mind for the luxury products industry and those who supply it, as they gather for Luxepack Monaco – the leading event for high-end creative packaging. That’s why our latest LinkedIn Live session brought together Simone Baratta, CEO of Bormioli Luigi, Patricia Beausoleil, Head of Home & Design at Peclers Paris, and Michel Gutsatz, President of Le Jardin Retrouvé, to discuss the trends that will shape the world of luxury packaging and how luxury brands can find resilience. Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General of FEVE, moderated the live session.
Missed the live session? Read our breakdown of the key takeaways from the event.
Identity and immersion are trends to watch
Nature is set to become a source of inspiration, from what goes into a product to how it’s packaged. Sustainability is the word on everyone’s lips, and eco-friendly design is becoming the norm – even expressed through use of living materials. Today, connoisseurs are increasingly shopping with a list of eco-requirements in mind, on the hunt for luxury goods that convey meaning and values of their preferred brands. And the nuanced evolution of how we express our identity is getting ready to take brands by storm. Gender fluidity is changing how masculinity or femininity is portrayed, shattering social norms, and opening new aesthetic frontiers.
The task ahead for luxury brands will be strengthening their commitment to sustainability while ensuring this is reflected in their aesthetic identity: increasing use of natural materials, committing to recycled content, and investing in innovative materials and programmes.
Sustainability, digital transition and fluid identities all having their impact on luxury goods
That’s why we may see luxury brand packaging changing ‘apparel,’ returning to less slick and less polished designs to highlight their unique craftsmanship, and give a stronger sense of exclusivity and authenticity. We could see more brands embracing ‘imperfection,’ with irregular colours and opaque glass surfaces seen to add uniqueness while underlining sustainable credentials. Expect more recycled glass, lightweight bottles, refillable options, colour imperfections, natural packaging styles and new shapes hitting the market as part of this eco-design revolution. Gender fluidity may also leave its mark on luxury products, with provocative packaging designs that defy convention, allowing for new creative aesthetic expression.
What’s more? The metaverse is knocking. The pandemic has accelerated digital transition, and science is increasingly a source of inspiration for luxury brands. This gives fresh opportunity for consumers to immerse themselves in a new augmented reality and multisensory experiences through sounds, smells, and textures. This could be reflected in emerging packaging aesthetics, with fluid lines. Digital expression in packaging is not far behind, bringing multimodal “phygital” packaging experiences that blur the lines between the real and the abstract.
“The digital metaverse is a new creative territory for luxury brands to explore new shapes and materials, directly inspired by digital expression, aesthetics and 3D design.” – Patricia Beausoleil
Finding sustainable solutions is top priority for resilient brands and retailers
Sustainable packaging will be an important axis for a carbon-neutral future, emphasises Simone Baratta. As a packaging we rely on for essential and luxury goods alike, glass will play an important role in reducing emissions and saving natural resources. Glass is a permanent packaging material which is infinitely recyclable, as well as reusable and refillable. It offers luxury brands the opportunity to provide consumers with clear sustainable options on shelves while rising to their expected standards of luxury.
In a society that does not tolerate waste, glass flacons are becoming increasingly popular, with more skincare and perfumery companies switching from bottles with crimped necks to bottles with sphere necks, says perfumer Michel Gutsatz. That is where glass can shine, as a material that is both refillable and recyclable, from an industry making great strides to offer brands lighter packaging options.
Convey your brand story through packaging design
Packaging serves as a product’s first impression –the first point of contact with the consumer, able to convey a brand’s identity and commitments at a glance.
“A successful brand needs distinctive brand assets that can offer a multisensorial experience to the consumer. It can be a colour, a sound, texture, the sensory dimensions which a brand owns and which it makes it very distinctive in the consumer mind. One of those brand assets is also the shape of the bottle.” – Michel Gutsatz
Think of the iconic Coca-Cola bottles: it’s easy to make the connection that the glass packaging shape is an essential part of consumers’ multisensorial experience and a reason for its spot as a universal cultural symbol. Glass can be moulded into almost any shape, colour and texture imaginable, helping to build a unique and authentic brand identity that reflects the excellence of the product inside. Read more on why glass builds brands in a recent University of Parma/FEVE report which delved into the importance of packaging design in brand differentiation.
With choppy economic waters head, it’s time for luxury to return to its essence: top quality materials, embracing local production and heritage, customised servicing and experiences, as well as premiumisation and timelessness. Iconic products should embrace their timelessness, while reflecting how the world around is evolving. Glass touches the very core of luxury, and that’s what makes it the leading packaging provider of luxury brands, now and into the future. The age of glass is upon us.
Did you learn something new about the future of the luxury industry? Do you agree with the top trends set to shape the direction of luxury brands? Head over to LinkedIn and let us know!
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