Today, it’s clear the latest innovations in food packaging design focus attention on the end-user with more options increasingly considering customization, convenience and enhanced ergonomics when designing product packaging.

Asked to cite the latest trend in packaging design, the judges in the 28th DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation reported seeing sensitivity to environmental impact and a heightened focus on addressing consumer needs across all economies, improved functionality and smaller portions. The judges discussed the trends in a six-part video interview series released this month.

“The latest trend in today’s packaging design and execution is innovation, bringing it at a cost-effective manner, while embracing sustainability goals,” says Brian Rivers, engineering fellow, strategic sourcing, Sealed Air Corporation. Fashion Institute of Technology Associate Chairperson Marianne Rosner Klimchuk cited material reduction, sustainability and e-commerce, sharing that the packaging industry is “thinking about ways to reduce our impact on the environment.”

Pepsico Brazil’s R&D Packaging Manager Eduardo Yugue, identified ergonomics, inclusive design, recloseability, ease of opening and readability, as well as small and single portions as some of the latest treands. Lead Judge David Luttenberger, CPP, Global Packaging director for the Mintel Group, says essentialism is giving consumers enough on-pack information to make an informed, enlightened purchasing decision while not overwhelming their shopping experience.

Amazon’s Senior Manager of Supply Chain Packaging Suzanne Fisher said, “as a brand owner, you want the consumer to be delighted with your package and your product. Whether it’s a package that has your favorite baseball team or a local high school, customization is huge, and it’s making the supply base figure out a way to offer lower quantity items [at a] cost-effective point.”