Published 10 months ago.
About a 5 minute read.
Image: Sektkellerei OHLIG
The balance between luxury and sustainability has set a new bar for luxury packaging, making us all stop and think about how we can do things differently.
The luxury industry is often characterized by high price points, excessive
consumerism and guilty pleasures; but in a post-COVID world, luxury has changed.
Sustainability is now one of the leading concerns amongst shoppers with younger,
affluent audiences seeking brands that align with their ethics and
Here are the trends shaping the luxury goods industry in 2023:
One of the most exciting trends we’re seeing is the reappraisal of what luxury
means and the move towards sustainable luxury packaging that delivers to the
expectation and the experience needed for a premium product. A great example is
Sektkellerei OHLIG, a German family winery which, in
collaboration with creative agency Ruska Martín
developed a whole new beverage experience called RE:INCARNATED
SPIRITS — a
100 percent circular spirit and packaging design. With a focus on demonstrating
a new circular approach to spirit making, selecting 100 percent recycled
packaging was a must. The label is adhered to the bottle using Avery
Dennison's Fasson® rCrush Grape FSC® — an uncoated, self-adhesive paper made
from 15 percent grape waste, 40 percent recycled pulp, and 45 percent virgin
fibers. The bottles are made from 100 percent recycled post-consumer glass
developed by Estal. Topping them off are corks made exclusively from recycled
sparkling wine corks. Lastly, the bottles come packaged in uncoated cardboard
boxes that are perfect for transporting and feature recycled padding made from
shredded Euro banknotes that did not meet quality criteria for public use. This
balance between luxury and sustainability sets a new bar for luxury packaging,
making us all stop and think about how we can do things differently.
2023 will see an increase in greenwashing
and fines, which will increase consumer skepticism that brands are exaggerating
their environmental claims. To help navigate this trend, we will see more
premium brands look to substantiate their positioning through certification and
Digital identification solutions such as near-field communication (NFC) labels
help brands to communicate their ethical credentials, offering customers an
interactive experience with a brand via their smartphone. This will create
exciting opportunities for high-end brands to get closer to their customers with
engaging packaging that builds trust and allows for interaction.
There is much debate about which materials are the most environmentally
friendly. We are seeing many high-end brands adopt materials that can be reused
and recycled; some are experimenting with compostable and bio-based materials —
there is no one-size-fits-all approach. For an attainable approach to
sustainable packaging, brands and converters need access to a diverse range of
label solutions. Avery Dennison has invested in recycled materials with a broad
range of structure, thickness and pattern complexity to ensure companies can
find a sustainable label solution that fits their product positioning. For
example, Our Sustainable ADvantage
includes papers made with 100 percent recycled fibers suited for wine, spirits,
craft beer, premium food and beverage, and cosmetics. Coming soon is a product I
am very excited to bring to market: Fasson® rPaper Black FSC® is an uncoated
paper made from 100 percent recycled fibers. Its intense black color is
pulp-added to avoid the unpleasant white edge and backside of the label. It has
a matte, smooth texture and features wet strength and fungicidal treatment for
labels that must resist humid environments.
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Brands are now expected to address important social
that shape today's society; and we’ve seen brands start to weave those stories
and principles into their branding — including their packaging and labels. For
example, Avery Dennison and design agency Supperstudio won several prestigious Pentawards for a project called “Build Your
— showcasing eight designs that address specific social and conservation
challenges. For example, the “Only for your eyes” design — developed exclusively
in Braille for a cold brew coffee drink — received the prestigious cover of the
Pentawards catalogue last year. Printed on paper made of 100 percent recycled
pulp, the label is embossed, hot-foil stamped, and silkscreen varnished to
include braille, making the label accessible to people with visual impairment or
low vision — a beautiful and necessary dedication to the visually impaired
community, which is often overlooked by brands.
Make a Mark, our annual design collaboration
platform in partnership with ESTAL and KURZ, aims to accelerate innovation
and sustainable solutions in luxury packaging design. Many of the design
concepts tackle environmental and social issues such as climate change, water
scarcity, and diversity and inclusion. For example, Butterfly
Cannon created a design
concept in 2021 that won a 2022 Pentaward. The design follows its Conscious
Design™ process, which turns wasteful into usable and beautiful.
is a premium wellness aperitif — alcohol-free and created from an uplifting
blend of natural adaptogens and nootropics to enhance a positive mood at the
start of the evening. It features a reusable design made from 100 percent
recycled wild glass and waste by-products, while the bespoke Labrenta
Sughera cap is molded from 100 percent recycled cork dust taken out of the
waste stream. The label uses an Avery Dennison Fasson® MarbleBase stock, made up
of 80 percent calcium carbonate. Strong and durable, it was specifically
designed for the bottle to be washed and reused.
Traditionally, designers focused their attention on improving the look and
functionality of products; but in 2023 we will see some designers broaden their
approach to deliver a more meaningful message and social statements through
There are notable differences in design trends across the world. Typically, we
see northern regions be more minimalistic while southern countries lean towards
more descriptive, embellished designs. However, in light of all the trends
mentioned above, we will start to see more brands take advantage of subtle
branding and minimalistic packaging design. The impact of materials on the
environment will take center stage as luxury brands build
circular principles including
using more recyclable materials (and less extracted materials) and designing
waste out of their product design briefs. If done correctly, minimal packaging
can strike a great balance between environmental concerns and the need for
refinement and elegance that premium brands desire.
One thing is certain: Luxury brands are role models in their industry — setting
trends that designers follow globally. If the luxury industry makes
sustainability its top priority — balancing the beautiful with the responsible —
then many will follow, which is exciting for our industry and our future.
Published Jan 30, 2023 7am EST / 4am PST / 12pm GMT / 1pm CET