Plain white beauty packaging products

Global Beauty Packaging Trends

March 13, 2024
4 min read

Beauty packaging has long been synonymous with opulence and sophistication, even ancient perfume bottles were manufactured in a variety of pleasing shapes from glass or terracotta. Most agree that if a product claims to make you beautiful, it should at least look appealing. Now AI technology is expanding the limits of what’s possible with beauty packaging design. Already, The House of Guerlain celebrated its 170th anniversary by using AI prompts to create a digital exhibition of the iconic bee bottle from its establishment in 1853 into the future, the year 2193.

Transparency and Technology

AI will help streamline many aspects of the beauty packaging manufacturing process and help customers get the most out of their products. For example, we’re predicting that AI and sustainability will go hand in hand, creating a trend of quiet sustainability where environmental credibility is a given, not a bonus or the be-all and end-all of a product. We found that, in 2023, 41% of fragrance launches included ethical and environmental claims, up from 18% in 2019. The quiet aspect of the trend comes from consumers not wanting sustainability to compromise the look of a potential luxury product, therefore, packaging manufacturers must be smart about embedding sustainability into a whole product without having to make a compromise on aesthetics.

Bastille Parfums is using AI and RFID technology to achieve non-negotiable transparency with its fragrance products. Their Paradis Nuit Eau de Parfum now features a QR code on the bottle that users can scan to find the full lifecycle of all the ingredients in the bottle, including their origin, the names of the companies that produced the packaging and the date of bottling.

Clean and Sophisticated Packaging

Hand in hand with the trend of quiet sustainability in the BPC industry is clean, simple and sophisticated packaging, where consumers are prioritising efficacy and functionality in their purchases. Some stand-out quiet beauty packaging examples can be seen with Malin + Goetz, a cruelty-free skincare brand with a mission to ‘uncomplicate your regime’. Their uncomplicated packaging has been continually innovated to remove any unnecessary material and the design is elegant and contemporary. This way customers are more likely to buy the product based on the tangible results it can deliver, instead of superficial fluff.

Recyclability Incentives

One key element of packaging growing in popularity is recyclability incentives. Charlotte Tilbury has introduced easy recycling schemes for selected products. Customers simply access the recycling portal online, fill in the form to be sent a free returns label and they’ll receive a 20% discount off a new refillable moisturiser once the process is complete. Many of Charlotte Tilbury’s direct competitors are yet to implement an efficient product recycling scheme with sufficient incentives to customers. Charlotte Tilbury’s competitors include Glossier, L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Hourglass.  These brands must take into account not only the manufacturer and composition of their products but also the fate of the product beyond its usefulness.

Heritage-Inspired Packaging Designs

The last trend we’ll be looking at is a step beyond the well-known psychological trend of nostalgia into a revival of heritage-inspired packaging designs, particularly in fragrance. Alongside a call for quiet and simple beauty packaging, there is a concurrent trend speaking to designs that appeal to societal nostalgia, perhaps a nostalgia that consumers are too young to personally connect with but that is synonymous with decadence and exaggeration. Officine Universelle Bully positions ancestral beauty at the heart of its brand and its packaging features delicate classical paintings with gold accents, truly a beautiful addition to any vanity. Additionally, they use ingredients inspired by ancient techniques and recipes, meaning there is still an element of that quiet beauty that we’ve previously touched upon. These ingredients have worked for generations and still work today.

Thinking Ahead With Mintel

Consumers are seeking proof of efficacy more and more from their beauty products and the packaging is the most straightforward means of conveying this marketing message. We’re predicting a step back to the basics with many brands, perhaps with a strategic shift in budget allocation towards more important things, like improving the lifecycle of their product. However, it’s important to note that simplicity does not have to mean unappealing. In the upcoming months, we’re sure to see many gorgeous beauty packaging designs using AI imaginings and heritage-inspired designs.

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