A Message from our President, North America and SVP, Marketing, Design & Engineering

Your packaging represents your brand’s identity, and it must also deliver on the product, packaging features, and functionalities that consumers care about most. Achieving this begins with research—and understanding the consumer and market insights that help brands consider what inspires, motivates, and drives (different) people to make buying decisions.

Welcome to TricorBraun Beat. In this issue, we’ll examine the four megatrends that can help you develop—from concept to commercialization—your perfect package. We will identify what’s driving these trends, the implications for your business, the demographic nuances, and the packaging implications you must consider to maintain and grow your market share. We appreciate and care about your business—and we’re here to help you with packaging that delights consumers and drives brand loyalty for long-term sales success.


 The Big Picture


Today’s consumers want everything all at once. They want value—and sustainability. They’re cost-conscious—and willing to splurge for the right experience. They want wellness—and also indulgence, from bite-sized snacks to pretty lipsticks. McKinsey calls this A Matter of And—not Or, and notes that these dichotomies mean that consumers “don’t want one thing or another—they want both, but in different ways.”

Welcome to the year of AND—and the four megatrends that will dominate the consumer landscape in 2024. We’ve talked about three of these megatrends—value, sustainability, and wellness in previous issues of The Beat, and they’re not going anywhere. The newest megatrend is experience. We’ll look at how these four megatrends are shaping the marketplace and how the right packaging choices can drive both brand loyalty and sales—and resonate with what consumers want and need.



While it might seem as though consumers are all over the place in how they’re making purchasing decisions, there is a throughline: value. That’s because the mixed economic news, with inflation down but prices for everything from food to energy remaining stubbornly high, has people both willing to spend and more intentional about their spending choices. For example, while unemployment is down, younger workers are concerned about job security—and yet many of these same Gen Z and Millennials will pay more for responsible brands. Indeed, one McKinsey study found that “while 88% of Gen Z respondents are trading down, 64% are splurging.” Boomers, meanwhile, retain strong brand loyalties and are willing to  pay more for perceived value.

In other words, consumers are consistently looking for value—whether they’re trading up, trading down, or staying loyal to a favorite brand. That’s where your packaging choices can make a difference. A recent Wall Street Journal article notes, for example, that consumers view simple packaging with a less-is-more lens (e.g., clean ingredients and healthier-for-you food and drinks, personal care). The big exception is private-label brands, where consumers perceive more value in more complex packaging. When appealing to value shoppers, it’s also critical to have strong on-packaging messaging that communicates your brand and product value.



Consumers want to do business with companies they like—and that means being a responsible brand when it comes to the planet and its people. And this cuts across all generations: from Gen Z who face a lifetime of living with the consequences of climate change to Baby Boomers who’ve gradually become more environmentally conscious after hearing a lot about sustainability from their Gen Z and Millennial grandkids.

And while consumers are looking to see sustainability front and center in both corporate policies and packaging, they’re not alone. Legislators are increasingly mandating everything from post-consumer recycled (PCR) content to single-plastics bans; and retailers are rewarding companies that walk the walk when it comes to sustainable practices. As sustainability becomes a business priority, decisions on everything from materials to circularity to optimization can enhance your path to sustainable packaging. Some companies have even started reformulating their products for a more sustainable future. One Washington Post article, Shampoos and Soaps are Mostly Water, looked specifically at plastic-packaging-free shampoo bars and toothpaste tablets.



Consumers’ perceptions of wellness have shifted from physical health to total health. And they’ve gone from being anti-aging to pro-aging—embracing life while being proactive about their health and wanting to look and feel their best. A recent NPR series explores the health span, as consumers seek not longevity per se but years of healthy life. Wellness consumers are balancing their mental and physical health and looking to sleep better, reduce stress, and discover small ways to indulge. In the spirits market, for example, low-alcohol and nonalcoholic beverage sales have increased significantly, with Internet searches for non-alcoholic drinks rising 20.5% year over year. During dry January 2024, alcohol sales dropped significantly as younger consumers shifted from spirits to cannabis products; meanwhile, specialty mocktails are increasingly popular all year round, from seasonal specials to Halloween to holiday punch. And it’s not just younger consumers—Baby Boomers and Gen X are also looking for ways to live their best lives.

As the definition of wellness expands, consumers are looking across categories for ways to look, feel, and be healthier. From cosmetics to household products, this offers packaging opportunities to highlight everything from better-for-you ingredients to product efficacy in keeping you healthier and your home clean. And retailers are already taking note. Target, for example, announced its 2024 plan to launch more than 1,000 wellness products within a new in-store experience. Beauty Inc reports that the retailer is creating “an in-store experience where customers can mix-and-match their go-to wellness products—think, leggings that match with Stanley cups and weights.” Think also nonalcoholic beverages, supplements, personal care and beauty items, and women’s health—and how your packaging choices and on-pack messaging can tell your wellness brand story.



Every day is made up of multiple experiences—from the simple to the extravagant, the ordinary to the extraordinary. And every touchpoint with a product is an opportunity for your brand to make an impact. From convenience (e.g., on-the-go spirits, meal kits, dosing closures) to personalization (e.g., supplements, customizable beverage dispensers), consumers value products that make their lives easier, impact their wellbeing, and or evoke an emotional response (e.g., nostalgia, premiumization). As overall trust in institutions continues to decline, brands that can meet consumers’ perceptions of value will outpace the competition.

Indeed, Global Consumer Trends 2024 notes that consumers have “reconsidered what matters most to them, affecting not only what they want and need from the things they buy, but their perception of what constitutes value.” It’s “more than money”—it’s experience. This holds true whether your target market is brand-fickle Gen Z, Millennials looking for convenience, higher-income Gen Xers, or Boomers strongly loyal to what they perceive as value.

From a packaging perspective, experience is everything. That’s because consumers engage and interact with packaging throughout the day—from brushing their teeth and taking their vitamins, to grabbing coffee on the way to work, to delivery kits, dinner, and their nighttime routines. Experience isn’t just about finding the right nightclub or taking a luxury vacation. It’s about how consumers engage every day with your product. And while packaging that fails in quality or function fails consumers, the right packaging can create a meaningful experience that drives brand loyalty. 



Value, sustainability, wellness, and experience—four megatrends on their own and even more impactful when taken together. That’s because all four deeply resonate with consumers and offer multiple opportunities across megatrends and categories for your brand to make an impression.

Packaging is always the first point of contact, and that first point of contact is first and foremost about experience. London-based Foundry calls it Mastering the Moments of Truth, from the Zero Moment of Truth when a consumer discovers your product to the Ultimate Moment of Truth, when they share their opinion about your brand with others. In between: the first moment, when someone sees your product online or on the shelf and the second moment, when they experience your product and form their first impression.

How do consumers experience your product on the shelf and in their lives? From materials to design, your packaging decisions create the experience you want—and the value you want to project. Similarly, color palette choices and on-pack messaging can speak to everything from living well to being a responsible brand.

Packaging done right draws on today’s megatrends and incorporates your brand’s identity to ensure that your package reflects what consumers want.

At TricorBraun, everything we do starts and ends with our customers. We provide you with solutions for your most challenging problems to help your business grow. We can help you identify stock solutions that address consumer aesthetic and functional needs and we can create custom packaging to reduce your carbon footprint while protecting your product and showcasing your brand sustainability story. We can design on-pack messaging to highlight your total wellness story. We’re continuously exploring the world of packaging, and investing in new materials and formats, to bring you both tried and true options and packaging innovations from the US and around the world to create memorable experiences that drive brand loyalty and sales. 


The TricorBraun Beat is the companion newsletter to The TricorBraun Pulse. Our newsletters are designed to keep our customers abreast of industry shifts and consumer trends—and the opportunities these shifts create for packaging—in order to help you navigate the challenges and seize on opportunities to grow your business. Gleaning insights and behaviors from these trends helps us identify and deliver packaging solutions that protect and preserve your product, resonate with consumers, and boost sales. From supply chain and operational challenges to economic and market opportunities, we are here to help you understand what’s happening and how we can work together to win.  

For more, contact your TricorBraun packaging consultant or marketing@tricorbraun.com.

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