Evolution of FMCG packaging in the post COVID era

In this article, Jeanette, Manager of Klee Studio US, shares her analysis of the evolution of FMCG packaging. As part of Klee Studio’s business, she and her team regularly visit local stores to collect products for her customers’ categories (P&G among others). This work is essential for updating the product databases made available to category managers and merchandisers to define their merchandising concepts and plans. Jeanette has noticed a strong evolution in packaging since the COVID period and is pleased to share her insights with us.


From product database updates to analysis of packaging trends

“In conducting my assignments for Klee Commerce customers, I have been on the front line of identifying the latest product and packaging trends in the FMCG market. I’ve been observing these trends closely for over 10 years, and recently noticed a huge shift, largely due to COVID-19. As a society, we all experienced some amount of stress, and we had a lot on our minds during the pandemic.  Our CPG industry recognized this, and their R&D and marketing teams have acted accordingly.  Packaging has become more simplistic and even happier and new products have emerged.”

Happy, Straightforward Packaging

High stress levels during and after the pandemic have made decision-making difficult.  Even everyday decisions such as what laundry detergent to purchase can seem daunting.  Consumers want to spend the least time in stores possible and the least time deciding which product to purchase.  CPG marketing teams have responded by “cleaning up” their packaging.  You will find bolder colors, softer lines, larger prints, and oversized graphics on many products today compared to pre-pandemic.  These products are happier, simplistic and our minds are drawn to these less busy products that have a cleaner background.  Only the most important information seems to be necessary on the front of a package.  This minimal approach to packaging makes decision-making easier, faster, and less stressful for the consumer.


CPG Products and Packaging


Environmentally Friendly Packaging on the Increase

What does environmentally friendly packaging have to do with the pandemic you may be thinking?  Well, during the pandemic and in large part due to the shutdown, many of us went out and explored and spent time in nature.  It gave us time to gain an appreciation for our surrounding environment and increased the demand for packaging that is less wasteful and more friendly to Mother Nature.  The CPG industry is meeting this demand to satisfy its consumer’s drive for a healthier planet.  Some products contain only ingredients that are environmentally safe, and some product packaging is becoming “eco-friendly” using less plastic or is made from recycled materials.

New Products have Emerged

It is no surprise to see an increase in liquid hand soap and hand sanitizer products during and after the pandemic because these products directly relate to decreasing the spread of COVID-19.  Other categories also saw an uptick in new product lines such as household cleaning and cold & cough medicine.  But did you know there was an increase in the categories of sleep aids and hair care?  Many people across the globe experienced sleepless nights during the pandemic and still do now.  New over-the-counter medications containing melatonin have made an appearance on our store shelves to help consumers get a good night’s sleep.  The pandemic also forced the shutdown of beauty salons and barber shops causing hair care product demands to surge.  Hair styling, hair color, and ethnic hair care categories expanded as well as men’s facial hair products such as beard oils and conditioners.


CPG Products and Packaging


Klee STUDIO US Manager
"Although the pandemic may be on a downward trend, pandemic-related changes in products and product packaging will continue forward. I expect we will continue to see the trend of happy, simplistic, and bold packaging on our store shelves to entice the stressed-out consumer. Eco-friendly packaging will adorn the shelves and new products will continue to emerge especially in household and personal care and cleaning categories. I look forward to watching these trends evolve in this post-pandemic market."
Jeanette, Klee Studio US Manager

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