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13/12/2019 – Packaging / Design / Recycling / Augmented Reality / Germany

How is packaging evolving for German consumers?

How is packaging evolving for German con

In many ways, packaging design is the most important feature of a product. First impressions are vital in everything, and poor packaging can as easily drag down a good product as great packaging can lift a mediocre product. Combining a strong offering with fantastic packaging is vital to make your mark on the market, says market research firm FMCG Gurus, which surveyed German consumers on their packaging preferences.


Although there are many long-accepted trends in packaging, it is also important to consider how new factors – like environmentalism, health-consciousness, and developing technology – can influence purchasing habits, and what this means for companies.


Colours and concepts


It has been generally accepted in design for decades that consumers form strong associations between colours and concepts, and this is proving as true for environment and health as it is for ideas such as ‘premium’ products. 69 per cent of consumers link green with environmentally friendly food, with a lesser group (40 per cent) also considering blue as a relevant colour. 74 per cent of consumers also associate green with healthy ingredients and products, while 39 per cent would say the same for red.

While these could be considered newer trends due to an increased awareness of these issues, more traditional connections still hold true. When searching for premium products, 76 per cent of consumers suggest that gold and silver have clear associations with quality, with 51 per cent saying that this holds true for any metallic colour.   


Ready to recycle 


One of the major trends that can be seen is the overwhelming desire to recycle in Germany. FMCG Gurus research shows, 81 per cent of consumers expressed a desire to recycle as a pro-environmental action. These consumers express a concern about the state of the planet and see recycling as a positive step towards improvement. However, there is a general consensus that recycling guidelines and information is unclear, overly complex, or simply non-existent. 70 per cent of consumers – almost as many as want to recycle – would like brands to make information about recycling simpler and easier to understand, feeling put-off by the current situation. Indeed, more than half of consumers say that they lack awareness about the issue and would like more information to be provided on the subject. There is very obviously a strong demand for clearer messaging from companies on how best to recycle their products, and a general feeling that current measures are inadequate. 


Ease of access


Another common issue that consumers have with packaging is frustration over poor design. 40% of customers say that packaging is too difficult to open most or all of the time, with 67 per cent suggesting that it is important or very important for packaging to be easier to close. Most importantly for companies looking to adjust packaging design, these consumers also suggested that improved packaging would be something they would be willing to pay a premium price for. 


Augmented reality


Another advanced feature of product design is the inclusion of augmented reality features: elements that can be scanned with an app to unlock specialised digital features. A recent example is 19 Crimes wine (pictured) – winner of Market Watch’s ‘Wine Brand of the Year’ and one of the fastest growing brands in their parent company’s portfolio – which can be scanned to unlock points in a reward scheme, and also to reveal a video telling the story behind the mugshot on the label. These features are currently a strong selling point for consumers, with 51 per cent finding it appealing or very appealing and 49 per cent willing to pay a premium for it. 


Progressive packaging


These statistics highlight the continuing need for innovative, cleverly designed packaging. In the eyes of consumers, the ideal packaging is: easy to access; easy to recycle, with clear instructions; attractively and relevantly coloured; and incorporating innovative design elements, such as augmented reality features. Done correctly, a product that fulfils these criteria could confidently charge a premium price and expect a positive response. As with many things, the world of product design is changing rapidly, and companies must change to capitalise on this.


For further insights, visit:

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