Packaging Innovations 2017 review

The world of packaging design is moving fast and where better to pick up the latest trends and practices than Packaging Innovations 2017?

Hosted at Olympia, London, the event is a host to a whole load of innovative packaging designs, wraps, materials and boxes, all of which serve the purpose of containment.

There were scented papers, walls full of textured materials and all sorts of bottle tops and pouches for touching, smelling and feasting your eyes upon. Packaging innovations 2017 does seem to be the place to be if you are a packaging designer or a packaging company looking to sell to some of the big name department stores.

Luxury Packaging

Alongside the regular packaging innovations event, there also sat Luxury Packaging 2017. It was nice, but You know that feeling you get when you walk into an empty shop on a London high street to ask for directions and you immediately know you don’t belong? That was the feeling I got walking around the “Luxury” part of the packaging design show. Flogging velvet carrier bags with unicorn hair tassels, this part of the show was less about innovation and more about pretension. Still there were some really interesting things to see such as the huge amount of options for a “skin” a champagne packaging designer can put around the box he places his bottle in. Or the magnitude of paper one can put into their carrier bag to add airs of opulence to your customer’s most recent purchase, or wafty pink cotton wool that increases the perceived value of a recently bought bottle of perfume.

While all of the luxury stuff was great, the amount of black and gold was starting to make me feel dizzy so I wandered over to the real “meat” of the show.

Now, it’s not to say I was disappointed at the lack of “innovations” at Packaging Innovations 2017 but…I was disappointed.

Packaging Innovations?

No one seems to be doing anything interesting anymore.

Other than Innovisions who are doing some really cool stuff with polymers and labels, the whole event just felt a bit…stale.

London Product Design


Maybe with our digital age of online shopping, there just isn’t the same market that used to exist in the packaging space. What all the exhibitors need to be looking at is where there is an opportunity to do something new with current packaging solutions:

Packaging design that reduces waste?

Packaging design that uses innovative design to allow ease of transportation, reducing carbon footprints?

Packaging design that recycles old packaging and turns it into usable, attractive, functional packaging for other products?

Great Packaging Design

Great packaging design doesn’t have to make companies money just by getting more stuff sold; the marginal improvements on reducing packaging and waste disposal costs can offer a far more predictable increase in margins just by some clever design work (done by some clever product designers in Bristol no doubt)

Sustainable Packaging Design

It’s moving there, with visionary companies such as Futamura pulling out some super-cool starch based cellulose-plastic-a-likes but perhaps 2017 wasn’t the year for sustainable packaging innovations in Kensington this year…