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Once again, the HOLIDAYS are here! While shoppers may be focused on the season at hand, retailers are already planning two (even three!) seasons ahead. With that in mind, there’s no time like the present to think about what your packaging design for holiday will be in the year to come.

Holidays are challenging for retailers and buyers alike because both want to make lasting impressions and build memories, all while managing costs.      

If you are a retailer, attractive and relatable packaging will help your brand stand out in the crowd. With so many packaging options, it can be difficult for any retailer to comprehend individual choices. This is where understanding the 2023 consumer and corresponding packaging trend forecasts can help.    

In this post, we explore a few popular retail packaging trends taken from 2022 that we anticipate being carried into 2023.

Retail Holiday Packaging Trends 2023 – Sustainability, Aesthetics, Inspiration, and DIY

1. Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Sustainable packaging is catching up fast because of obvious reasons and this trend is only estimated to grow – exponentially. A market research study by Zion states that the sustainable packaging market was worth $265.9 Billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $358.3 Billion by 2028. Many businesses are set to embrace 100% sustainable packaging in the next few years. This eco-conscious decision is inspired by changing consumer preferences and trends. For instance, the 2022 Global Buying Green Report published by Trivium Packaging based on a survey concluded that 86% of customers below the age of 45 showed a willingness to buy from a brand that provided sustainable packaging.  If you are considering sustainable packaging materials for your brand, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Use Recycled or Recyclable Packaging Materials: You can use recycled or recyclable materials that are environmentally friendly. Some examples include: non-laminated paper bags and boxes, paper or poly compostable mailers, plastic bags or poly bags made with BDP®, and bagasse apparel/accessory bags.
  • Reduce Waste: Give the gift that keeps on giving – reusable giftwrap! The more retailers can think beyond single use for their gift packaging, the better for the planet. (Visit our blog on Reducing Packaging Waste for more ideas to implement year-round!)
  • Use Eco-friendly Ink and Dyes: Talk to your packaging supplier about using dyes and inks are made from natural ingredients, as they are considered earth friendly, even if the packaging is discarded.
  • Claim Credit Where Credit’s Due: If you’re making strides to make your packaging sustainable, talk about it! Incorporate your eco-friendly claims in your packaging design so customers can feel good about their purchase and the packaging it came in.


Packaging Translation

Lush, a body, skin, and healthcare brand, has introduced a reusable knot-wrap for gift packaging, which creates a win-win situation for customers. This zero-waste gift solution is inspired by Furoshiki and appeals with its bright colors. First, these wraps help reduce paper waste, and next can be reused in multiple ways as future gift wrap, headband, scarf, drawstring bag, and kitchen towel.

Image courtesy of Lush

Uncommon Goods, an online retailer for quirky and quality gifts, offers recyclable packaging with belly bands. This eco-friendly option helps reduce waste and is an operationally efficient way for retailers to gift wrap.

Image courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Knack, an online retailer for curated gift boxes and personalized gifts, offers gift boxes made of 100% recyclable material, inside and out.

Knack E-Commerce Packaging
Image by Creative Retail Packaging

2. Unconventional Holiday Color Palette:

We all know the holidays are coming when store windows shift from warm fall tones to the telltale holiday palette of red, green, white, silver and gold. In 2022, we saw many retailers break the convention – either in the form of neutral black & white color schemes or bright, unconventional colors such as teal, lime green, fuchsia, and yellow. Also, with Viva Magenta as Pantone’s 2023 color of the year, we anticipate this trend to continue well into 2023.

 Color has the power to trigger strong thoughts, emotions, and feelings about your product, and directly impact the buying decision. Research by WebpageFX states that 62-90% of purchase decisions are made based on the subconscious judgment of the product and within the initial 90 seconds of viewing it. This assessment is solely based on color. Appropriately, 85% of the consumers worldwide consider the color factor while purchasing any product.

Packaging Translation

Tory Burch uses bold patterns and colors, and spruces them with coordinating elastic bands. This unique packaging is simple, yet impressive, easy to assemble, and assures maximal impact without compromising style.

Image courtesy of Tory Burch

MoMA Design Store, New York’s famous museum store specializing in modern and contemporary home décor, offers gift wrapping that reflects the brand’s bold, yet minimal interpretation of the season in an icy blue and teal combination.

Image courtesy of MoMA Design Store

Tuckernuck, a growing retailer specializing in classic American clothing, is offering a marbled teal patterned gift wrap, accentuated with black grosgrain ribbon. This packaging is eye-catching and appealing – a refreshing departure from the regular white, red, and green color palette.

Image courtesy of Tuckernuck

Kendra Scott, an Austin-based retailer specializing in jewelry and personalized gifts, offers a colorful collapsible rigid magnetic gift box and satin ribbon complimentary with purchase. This signature yellow box is bright and optimistic and evokes a sense of anticipation when placed under the tree.

Instagram post featuring Kendra Scott product, highlighting social media promotion and product visibility.

3. Packaging that Inspires:

Providing thoughtful gift wrap is a great way to attract customers to purchase from you over your competitors. Word of mouth always works. Make your customers look like heroes (and do the talking for you) by offering gift wrap that has the opportunity to go viral. After all, which brand doesn’t crave some great user-generated content?

Packaging Translation

Louis Vuitton made a strong statement this year with their Lego-inspired holiday packaging. On their 90th anniversary, the luxury retailer supplemented the use of their signature orange gift boxes with the addition of a highly giftable, coordinating suite of brightly colored gift bags. Their holiday window display incorporates the same theme, “celebrating the art of creation and imagination through the construction of festive scenes” made of Legos. The result is a program that inspires customers to not only purchase from them, but also spread the word through viral unboxing videos.

Image courtesy of Creative Retail Packaging

4. DIY Gifting:

We know finding staff during the holidays is tough. Expecting them to spend time gift wrapping is even tougher. To address this, many retailers are encouraging online shoppers to wrap their own gifts by including DIY gift wrap kits in their shipment.

For in-store packaging solutions, some retailers take this a step further by utilizing designated gift-wrapping stations within stores. This not only helps encourage brick-and-mortar traffic but can potentially boost additional sales while customers wait.

Packaging Translation

Nordstrom offers bold black and white gift wrap without their brand name for in-store purchases. Customers can pick their own gift wrap patterns to make their gift stand out under the tree. This adds an individualistic touch to gift giving.

Image courtesy of Nordstrom
Image courtesy of Nordstrom
Image courtesy of Nordstrom

OshKosh B’Gosh (a subsidiary of Carter’s) offers a gift box with a tissue inside. The box comes with a gift tag and a pre-tied ribbon, which makes orders gift ready

Oshkosh B’gosh Holiday Gift Packaging
Image by Creative Retail Packaging

Wrapping Up

There are several parameters for buying retail gift packaging, such as cost, functionality, utility, quality, consumer trends, and so on. All these parameters can be accomplished by working with a packaging supplier who knows how to address these needs while maximizing your operational goals. With a focus on sustainability, inspiring aesthetics, and operational efficiency, we believe it’s safe to say these are trends that packaging buyers and designers can carry well into 2023 and beyond.

If you are looking for ways to enhance your retail packaging to create delightful brand impressions, then look no further. At Creative Retail Packaging, we are ready to help your retail brand become a trendsetter in unique packaging solutions using sustainable materials, impressive designs, and on-budget solutions.