2017 Trade Show Packaging Trends: A Mid-Year Recap

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

We love trade shows because they give us the chance to meet you in person and learn about your business. Trade shows also give us the opportunity to scope out the latest trends in products, innovations, colors, materials and, of course, packaging.


Have you ever wanted to go to a trade show to see all the latest, but couldn't get away? Well, we have you covered. Our industry reps have been busy this year and wanted to share some trends they have noticed while attending trade shows. Here's what they discovered:

Food Packaging

Scrumptious snacks, cupcakes and cookies unite! As always, the challenge for food products is to stand out on retail shelves, and the competition is fierce. This year, food packaging is getting a makeover with a change in materials. The industry standard has traditionally been a gloss finish. Exhibitors are changing it up with a minor tweak - a matte or a metallic finish. An extra eye-catching bonus is the use of a spot varnish with a gloss and have it printed onto a matte finish. See for yourself what a shift in materials can bring.

Photo from Brownie Brittle

Stationery Packaging

Stationery trade shows aren't just for paper products anymore. Last year's trend of lifestyle branding has caught on like wildfire. Lifestyle branding takes a singular design or idea and applies it to a whole line of products. On display are journals, coffee cups, coasters, pens, tote bags, pillows, and much more. It can include stationery to homewares and everything in-between.

This collective approach to branding products has lead to a smooth transition to the gift industry. It's not surprising that wrapping paper is making quite a splash at trade shows this year as well. Wrapping paper in floral, marbled and stone designs are a big hit.


Photos from Rifle Paper Co.

Art/Photo Packaging

At art and photo trade shows, people are always looking to improve their presentation in the most easy, quick, and affordable way possible. Slip-in mats and presentation boxes create a finished product without the fuss of glue or tape. They are easy to use and affordable, too. Using a crystal clear BOPP sleeve is still the industry favorite for a finishing touch. Just slide your photos in and it's hello gorgeous!

Photo from Feasting Calligraphy

Craft & Hobby Packaging

Memory making is capturing the hearts of exhibitors at Craft & Hobby trade shows. DIY projects, scrapbooking, and papercrafting kits get a lift with attractive and efficient packaging. Crafters love cute, adorable boxes for holding buttons, enamel pins, sequins, and other supplies. Plastic resealable bags designed for scrapbooking and papercrafting kits keep projects humming along. Popular bag sizes include: 8 x 8, 12 x 12, and 13 x 13. A little organization makes it easier to create those special moments.

Photo from Natty Michelle Paperie


General Packaging

Doing more with less is a common theme driving innovation in the packaging industry. A call for less waste and more sustainable, eco-friendly options is a continuing focus. Stand up pouches are still one of the hottest designs on the market. Efforts are ongoing to develop a stand up pouch made from polylactic acid or PLA, a renewable resource derived from sugarcane or corn starch. Soon, a greener package can be yours without giving up the pouch!

Photo from Naked Sprinkles

We like to keep on top of the latest trends by creating packaging that best highlights and promotes your products. Whether it's fresh colors, materials, methods, or innovating designs, packaging continues to evolve. Have you discovered any other trends at trade shows? Please share with us in the comments.

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