6 CPG Packaging Innovations

Sustainability, culture and QR code usage are among the trends driving brands and retailers (including Heinz, Boxed Water and Persil) to rethink packaging designs.
Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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Consumer goods packaging continues to serve as an avenue for brands to communicate their values and address consumer trends and preferences.

For example, in the era of the socially conscious consumer, sustainability tends to dominate the conversation. But that isn’t the only consumer trend driving new packaging innovations, as pop culture, celebrity endorsements and the increase in QR code usage are also pushing new unique and engaging packaging designs to market. See a sampling of recent innovations below.


Heinz Ketch-Up & Down Bottle

Kraft Heinz’s namesake ketchup brand recently addressed what it calls an age-old problem for consumers with a new bottle design. On March 31, Heinz introduced a double-ended ketchup bottle with two lids on opposite ends, intended to make it easier to access every last drop no matter which way up the bottle is stored. The concept, created by a team at Kraft Heinz that studied ketchup consumers’ varying preferences, builds on the success of the brand’s upside-down bottle that debuted in 2010, according to media release.


Cleancult’s Carton-Packaged Cleaning Products at Walmart

Sustainable cleaning brand Cleancult in March revealed its biggest retail expansion to date, bringing paper-based refill cartons for hand soaps, dish soaps, all-purpose cleaners and laundry detergents to 3,100 Walmart stores in the U.S. and

The digital-native brand says its unique refillable model transitions “seamlessly” to brick-and-mortar due to its refill system. Instead of consumers repeatedly buying single-use plastic bottles, Cleancult offers a refillable glass dispenser along with soap refills in recyclable, paper-based cartons, reducing the “never-ending cycle of plastic consumption when it comes to conventional cleaning products,” according to a media release.

In tandem with the Walmart launch, Cleancult also unveiled a fresh look and feel to its brand through a new premium packaging design and scent portfolio. (Strategic branding agency Robot Food was hired to revamp Cleancult’s branding, visual identity and packaging design.) Over the next few months, the brand will also incorporate “new and improved” formulas for fragrances across dish soap, hand soap, laundry and all-purpose cleaners, including “Wild Lavender,” “Lemon Verbena,” and “Sea Minerals.”


Boxed Water’s "Jurassic World"-Inspired Cartons

Boxed Water is Better is also taking a bite out of plastic usage with its newest rollout of sustainably packaged water  "Jurassic World"-inspired cartons to grocery retailers across the U.S. and its brand website. Starting in April with its first wave of releases, Boxed Water is rolling out special cartons depicting six “fan-favorite” dinosaurs from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s blockbuster "Jurassic World" franchise, including T. rex, Stegosaurus, Mosasaurus, Carnotaurus and Blue (the famous Velociraptor). Meijer will be the first grocer to offer the dinosaur cartons.

“The fun designs help us bring an increased awareness to the very real fact that plastic recycling is on a decline, with only 5% of U.S.-made plastic getting recycled," Robert Koenen, chief revenue officer, Boxed, said in a media release. Boxed Water’s cartons are 92% plant-based, 100% recyclable, refillable and BPA free.

o organics

Albertsons’ O Organics Redesign

Albertsons Cos. recently introduced “bright and vibrant” packaging designs for its O Organics private label to celebrate its growth and evolution and appeal more to Gen Z and Millennial consumers, according to a media release. To draw attention to the updated packaging, the private label brand designated April as “Organic Breakfast Month” and is encouraging consumers to share their favorite breakfast routine on social media using #WakeUpOrganic.

“As the brand has grown with the ever-evolving needs of our customers, we felt its visual identity should, too,” said Brandon Brown, senior vice president of own brands, Albertsons. “We modernized theO Organics design while preserving our bright, multicolored logo and the easily identifiable ‘O.’ O Organics will continue to maintain its fun, yet familiar, aesthetic accentuated by vibrant, clean and modern elements reflecting the fresh, bold impact O Organics has made on the organic industry.”


BeatBox’s Special-Edition Avril Lavigne Cocktails
As part of the ready-to-drink cocktail brand’s “Creator Series,” BeatBox partnered with singer Avril Lavigne to launch its existing pink lemonade flavor in special-edition collectable packaging. The packages reflect Lavigne’s punk-rock princess persona that made her famous in the early 2000s, depicting a pink and black electric design. The special packages roll out to tens of thousands of locations nationwide, including 7-Eleven, Kroger, Circle K, Casey's and QuikTrip.

The BeatBox Creator Series taps globally recognized musicians and influencers to create exclusive, uniquely designed flavors and packaging.


Persil's Packages for the Visually Impaired 

Unilever’s Persil is adding accessible QR codes (AQR), developed with augmented reality solutions provider Zappar and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), to a range of packages. The aim is to create a more inclusive experience in-store and at home for the U.K.’s two million blind and partially sighted people, according to a media release.

As of the end of March, Persil’s capsules in plastic-free packaging and its Ultimate Liquids range now feature the enhanced AQR code on their packaging, and the brand plans to add the codes to its full range by end of next year. Scanning the code with a smartphone provides product, usage, safety and recycling information in a structured way that was designed visually impaired consumers in mind. The AQR also interacts with the device’s configured accessibility features to display information in larger text or in audio-described and voice-guided formats.