There was no stone unturned at last week’s major industry event – Paris Packaging Week 2023.

It brought together leading experts and innovators from around the world; all sharing a passion, niche interest, and new insights in the world of luxury packaging across industries.

As we know you’re busy doing great things, it’s important to us that we keep you, as our readers, informed with this learning out in the field, so you can confidently build trailblazing brands and collections that deliver a powerful return on your investment.

So let’s delve into some of the key takeaways from Paris Packaging Week 2023 with a particular focus (for obvious reasons) on premium drinks packaging. You ready? Let’s go.


Sustainable packaging for luxury drinks brands 

The conference echoed the growing need, pressure and urgency for sustainable packaging solutions that reduce waste and minimise the industry’s impact on the environment.

Large brands like Diageo or Pernod Ricard have already announced their escalating commitment to ESG goals; releasing strategic plans that reinforce their ambitious drive to a more sustainable world by 2030. So it came as no surprise that this topic continued to take front and centre stage at Paris Packaging Week. The key takeaway being that customers are increasingly inclined towards luxury brands they perceive to be responsible, which we forecast will see a further surge of innovation in premium sustainable packaging as this demand escalates.

And that’s the point to dwell a little longer on. Sustainable packaging is one thing… But creating sustainable packaging that delivers a high-end look, feel and experience is another skill entirely. For example, some of our like clients Glengoyne and Barra Atlantic Gin, showcase how ultra-premium brands can creatively achieve recyclable bottle designs while also elevating their brand aesthetic; the latter now available across 120 Waitrose stores at the beginning of this year and entering 20 new markets as a result of its refreshed look. So it’s definitely possible to achieve a distinctive, sustainable and premium look.

© Signet

Circular economy – the role of regulation

What we found interesting is that the event recognised the need to include input from wider systems at play – welcoming policy advisors, non-profits and regulatory bodies like CITEO, Comité National de l’Emballage (Chamber of Commerce), Fédération Française des Spiritueux (FFS) and EUROPEN. These panel discussions put the spotlight on wider considerations of the reusability of bottles, and how to improve the recycling and waste management processes, including the development of new materials and the implementation of better collection and sorting systems.

It’s a good takeaway: that changes in regulation around these public services will enable more embellishment applications to be recyclable.

Gen-Z’s and changing perceptions of luxury

We’ll be deep diving into this subject in our next edition of our newsletter (have you subscribed?). As more Gen-Zs enter the labour market, the way your position your brands to still be relevant to these audiences is critical.

We are already seeing disruptive brands incorporating bold colours and ‘adorkable’ pop culture graphics (more on that another time). But what featured in a few of our conversations at #PPW2023 was the increasing importance of neuromarketing. Why?  Luxury brands don’t play with consumers’ emotions; they cater to them – and the younger demographic are definitely triggered by emotional issues like the environment and humanity. We think neuromarketing data will help brands play a more advanced role in understanding, and securing these emotive sales.

Finding a way to genuinely relate to this need for evolution and positive change could garner better brand loyalty and long-term return.

Gen Z changing perceptions of luxury

Collaborations are here to stay

This is a nice segway to Butterfly Canon’s talk on ‘cultural collabs’ and how the right collaborations can capture the zeitgeist and elevate your brand from just a product to a cultural icon. It was an excellent talk, and Paris Packaging Week coincidentally offered a great example of this with various designs of Lady Gaga’s Dom Perignon featured on multiple stands.

Of course, you can also see the same successes in brands using this approach, for example: Bumbu Craft Rum’s long-standing collaboration with Lil Wayne, or indeed Johnnie Walker collaborating with VeeFriends in its move to grow its web3 initiatives.

Brand collaborations and luxury packaging

© Dom Perignon

Smart packaging for more immersive experiences

While we’re on the subject of meta, let’s declare this another takeaway. The use of smart packaging technologies, such as QR codes and NFC, underpinned a lot of conversations around connected packaging and storytelling.

This intrigued us as we’ve been helping our clients implement NFC technology in their embellishments, and of course since COVID the barriers of using QR codes have been significantly lowered across all demographics – making it a cost-effective way of engaging consumers digitally.

We were lucky enough to catch Jenny Stanley’s talk, Founder and MD of Appetite Creative, where (based on audience participation) we were reminded how difficult it may be for clients to think creatively when incorporating this technology into their packaging. The reality is that it offers brands the ability to track behavioural data and consumer interests, while also giving the customer an elevated, digital experience. You can use to interact with customers through gamification, storytelling, loyalty tracking, or giving assurance of authenticity and traceability.

It’s an exciting field, applications are endless, and it could be just what your brand needs to position itself as superior to competitors. Yes, there will be an element of experimentation, but we know pioneer thinkers like yourself aren’t scared by that.


Paris Packaging Week and Signet


To wrap this up, Paris Packaging Week 2023 was yet again, a fantastic platform for industry experts to discuss the latest developments in packaging and sustainability. This year certainly highlighted the need for continued innovation and collaboration to create a more sustainable future for the industry. As ever, we’re happy to jump on a call and help you scope some ideas.


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