Keep Your Packaging On-Trend With API

Stuart Pritchard September 14, 2018

Trends and innovation are front of shelf when it comes to luxury packaging growth. DAVID PETERS, Creative Development Manager at API Group, explains why…

The global luxury packaging market is growing, fuelled by an increase in sales of luxury goods which are expected to grow by six to eight percent in 2018. In today’s competitive market, it is essential that luxury brands differentiate themselves to consumers. The first point of contact many consumers have with a brand or product is its packaging and on shelf presence. Packaging is a powerful tool for creating an engaging brand story and ensuring that products consistently outshine the competition.

Trends are a key driver for this rapidly growing luxury packaging market and key current and future fashion and cultural trends are the main influences on print and decoration choice. API commissioned an independent survey of senior decision makers within the packaging industry and found that 82% of those surveyed believed that packaging which reflects current trends can have a positive effect on consumer buying behaviour. It is therefore little wonder we are seeing luxury brands emulating the latest cultural and fashion trends in their packaging decorations.


API has used its global network and specialist technical expertise to identify key creative trends

API has used its global network and specialist technical expertise to identify key creative trends and showcase how an intelligent use of foils, laminates and holograms can empower premium brands to capitalise on market changes in the coming year.

The 2018/19 API Trends Folio showcases the four strongest trend drivers per year that will appeal to a wide audience within the luxury product sectors. This year, these include:

  • Neon Storm – taking inspiration from natural phenomena such as sunbursts
  • Diamond Luxe – encapsulating high-end luxury through diamond finishes and facets
  • Primary Matrix – capitalising on light manipulation through technical finishes
  • Ethereal – using API’s unique Holonique™ technology to create soft hues and lustres

API’s interpretation of the global trends has proven to be invaluable, coming from an understanding of where a particular brand sits within its category in the luxury market space and what its unique identity is.


Get the smell of sales success with API

Our independent industry survey revealed nearly a third of brand managers believe packaging design is most important for increasing sales, with almost 20% stating that materials and finishes have an important role to play.

The increasing trend in the luxury packaging industry towards particular effects and finishes such as holographics ensures brand strength and differentiation – which are key factors for sale success.

As brand managers grow more sophisticated within their market segment, holographic and diffractive patterns are becoming key to this differentiation, delivering luxury effects, increased customer perception and premium impact as part of the overall packaging design.

An example of API innovation, which is helping create an extra dimension for luxury brands is Holonique ™ Boutique, which was developed following demand from customers for holographic finishes, and those looking for a new way to use the effect to elevate their brand to the next level.

By working with brands at the very early stages of packaging development it allows us to identify and develop decorative holographic patterns which create luxury shelf appeal and are unique to a particular brand.

API recently worked with Christian Louboutin to provide the perfect packaging finish for its range of premium cosmetics. Influenced by the key trends, the packaging has been elevated with ripple effect lens technologies, foil finishes and holonique elements. The final effect reflects the luxury essence of brand, create a high-end premium and limited edition feel, and ensure that products shine on-shelf.


PI’s Holonique Boutique is boosting luxury brands with holographic finishes

In line with the growth of the sector, the luxury gifting category is also on the rise, as premium brands look to invest in new ways to maintain a point of difference across the retail space. 60% of those asked in our survey believed that it offers a significant opportunity for their brand, with 72% stating they would consider adding a luxury gifting range to their product portfolio.

Gifting provides a way for brands to introduce buyers to a number of new ranges. It also encourages pack retention as gift packs tend to be kept or stored by consumers. Through the power of design luxury packaging items become keepsakes in themselves, increasing customer retention and prolonging the impact the brand has on a consumer.


As the luxury goods market continues to expand, brands will invest in new ways to maintain their presence and relevance in the market space, as well as ensure their products engage and motivate customers to make that all important purchase.

Its physicality and ability to communicate a brand message or value, therefore makes packaging a powerful marketing tool. By capitalising on the key trends and innovations which are driving this sector, luxury brand owners will be able to create an engaging brand story which outshines the competition both on shelf and beyond.