Food & Drink Packaging Trends for 2024

Christmas decorations are up and Mariah Carey is back on the radio at full blast. That can only mean that 2024 is fast approaching. In an industry that is forever evolving, where brands are fighting for prominence on the shelf, what can we expect from the new year?

We sat down with Tim Croxson, Paul McGrane, and George O’Brien to discuss how they think the market will change in 2024 and what food & drink packaging trends will be for 2024.

What changes do you see for the packaging industry in 2024?

Tim Croxson, CEO

Next year I think there will be more differentiation in standard bottles – brands not opting for a bespoke bottle will chose bottles which have design elements, namely surface treatment, shaped walls, vertical lines etc. As brands compete in a competitive space, and as supermarkets reduce their ranges, brands in very standard bottles will struggle to retain shelf presence.

Paul McGrane, Sales Director

I think food packaging is going to step up its game. Supermarkets will embrace premium jars with deep twist off lids. Brands will need to set themselves apart from the budget brands and take their game to the next level. Whether that be through bespoke jars or creating eye-catching closures with custom printing, I think the design of packaging is going to step up.

George O’Brien, Commercial Director

My thoughts are with an election looming in 2024 that we will see a positivity push and resurgence of craft spirit sector. This will create a level of one-upmanship when it comes to the packaging design for these brands as they look to incorporate their brands story more and more into the design.

Will sustainability become even more prominent?

Tim Croxson

Brands will have sustainability embedded into their packaging. Whether the use of 100% PCR, higher PCR content through using different coloured glass, or sourcing bottles closer to source, sustainability is going to be a key factor in new brands, and those that are re-branding, to stay ahead.

Paul McGrane

Glass manufacturers are already conscious of sustainability goals and I can see more weight behind carbon zero targets and development of more sustainable processes. This will all be pushed forward from government pressure and future survival. There will be a fear of future levies coming into play if they don’t start making that shift for environmental responsibility.

Do you see any other major changes in the Food & Drink industry coming to the forefront?

Paul McGrane

It has already started to happen, but the younger generation are less likely to go out for a drink. With a more health-conscious approach to life, people are opting for 0% alcohol beers and spirits, or soft drinks when they do go out. Brands will need to consider this change in culture, and I can see a rise in the sales of the soft drink industry.

George O’Brien

We will see a shot in the arm for the hospitality industry, with the Euros and Olympics to keep us entertained, I think more people will head out to local bars and there will be more demand for on-trade.

Author Josh Webster

Header image by Paolo Bendandi