27/05/2021 Andrew Capper

Echo Speculative – The Future of Circular Packaging


Here at Echo, we like to look ahead to the future of brands as part of our Future Visioning offer. Where will brands be in ten, twenty years from now and what is the next step for them in a world that is starting to prioritise sustainable solutions. Recently, France implemented a zero waste policy to phase out single-use plastics by 2040, in an attempt to boost a circular economy. With mounting consumer pressure we predict it won’t be long until other governments and businesses follow suit.

That said, few brands are currently harnessing the opportunities that come with investing in durable packaging systems and are choosing to use off-the-shelf solutions instead. These solutions rarely offer improved user experiences and are sub-optimal for a circular supply chain, nor do they differentiate the brand. The result is few compelling reasons for consumer adoption.

We passionately believe that every category can benefit from circular systems: better experiences, solving usability issues, more compelling rituals and delivering more distinct, on brand equities are just some of the untapped opportunities. We can nudge consumer change as the benefits are clear to see over and above being simply more sustainable.

By considering the complete lifecycle, our 3D team created designs in the categories of Baking, Petcare and Pharmaceutical, but the key benefits of these designs can be applied to any category.

Brand Impact and Desirable Aesthetics

When we need to deliver the next generation of single-use packaging using less than what’s gone before, brands are increasingly at risk of eroding physical equity and poorer quality perceptions. Moving to durable formats allows Echo even greater opportunity to create differentiation and desire for display-worthy aesthetic.

Better Experience

Durable packaging allows a brand to elevate the experience through the consumer journey. Whether it’s functional improvements, like better handles for a large format pack or mess-free or accurate dosing in categories where product performance is key, through to much more pleasurable experiences of unique openings and addictive rituals. It’s here we can connect with consumers, make one-way formats seem outdated and nudge them to behaviour changes.

Designed with Supply Chain in mind

The supply chain complexity is one of the biggest challenges to more companies adopting greater circularity. Through our designs, we merged brand, supply chain, packaging and manufacturing together early and build a brief that works for business, brand and consumer. Understanding the infrastructure behind the packaging allows the pack to be designed to work for the complete system.

To see an example of how we approach developing packaging that balances the needs of brand, consumer and supply chain, check out our Cow&Gate infant formula case study here 

To see the full presentation and hear more about how Echo can help you, feel free to drop Megan Rae an email at megan@echo.hostingarea3.co.uk.


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