Three Unique Packaging Trends for Retail Businesses - Small and Mighty Co.

Three Unique Packaging Trends for Retail Businesses

In this article Joanne Griffin, founder of Arnold and Bird shares three unique packaging trends for retail business to use for their products that covers ‘packvertising’, multi-use and eco and sustainable alternatives.

Three Unique Packaging Trends for Retail Businesses |

Pretty much all retail products need some form of packaging to tell the customer about the product and to protect it. And that doesn’t even include postage packaging as a way of telling your brand story.

This means packaging is something you should consider carefully whether you sell in a brick and mortar shop, wholesale or online. Packaging can really make your products stand out on a shelf and delight a customer when they receive their order in the post.

I’ve included three packaging trends for you to consider as part of your product development process and also your marketing strategy. Pick and choose the ideas that appeal to you and create something that will suit your brand and make your customers want your product even more. And have fun – packaging is the added extra your customer isn’t expecting!


Packvertising is using your packaging as your advertising and is a term coined by Perry Haydn Taylor, the founder and creative director of an agency, Big Fish.

“In a few words, packvertising is building a brand awareness without the paid advertisements. In other words, it’s using packaging as the primary advertising channel.” (source)

Using your packaging as your advertising is all about catching your customers attention but in a more subtle way. As you are using the packaging to showcase the product and its main features.

Packvertsing works perfectly to tell your brand story and showcase your brand’s unique voice. Plus you can identify why your product suits your customer as they browse the shelves. Or delight your customer with extra details as they unwrap their online order.

Look at how you can combine your packaging with your graphics and marketing to create a full story and keep your design elements consistent.

Also, consider showing off the product within and don’t hide it underneath your packaging, this works particularly well with food but also to show off patterns, size and texture.

Multi-use packaging

Could you packaging add to the product you’re selling? This is a unique way to catch attention and add something extra that your customer wasn’t expecting.

How could your packaging be reused in a functional way that adds to the product you’re selling.

If there is one thing we know it is that children love to play with a cardboard box. So taking this idea to spark your inspiration could your product come in a box that creates a dolls house or board game as an added toy?

Think of how you can relate this analogy to your product range and consider ideas such as:

  • Food hamper that comes with a plate and cutlery attached to the packaging
  • Clothes packaging that creates a travel hanger
  • A boxed book that comes with a tear-out bookmark
  • A gift tag that can be taken from the packaging and added to gift the product
  • Packaging that is easy to hold and use for older customers

Eco and sustainable packaging

The Blue Planet II effect and Pantone Colour of the Year 2019 being Living Coral. Means consumers are much more conscious about the effect of climate change on the world and in turn how this translates to their purchasing habits.

This has seen a rise in natural materials and a need for brands to be more ethical and transparent in their values.

As there is no planet B customers want their products and packaging to be more eco-friendly and sustainable. Especially as this aligns with changing attitudes to their values and beliefs.

There’s been a rise in the use and demand of natural materials. Consider the below list that works well for packaging:

  • Raffia
  • Bamboo
  • Cork
  • Cotton leather
  • Wicker
  • Hemp
  • Linen

Be visually inspired by these packaging trends on the Pinterest board I’ve curated for you.

Beyond the Blog

Feeling inspired and want to move your ideas into action steps? Get in touch with Joanne for product development & design support to bring your ideas to life, feel confident in your products and move your business forward.