Home Business Insights & Advice Understand selling custom packaging and boxes in the UK market

Understand selling custom packaging and boxes in the UK market

by John Saunders
29th Jul 22 3:41 pm

When we talk about packaging, UK is revolutionising the market in terms of innovation. Not only are UK brands and customers pushing the sustainability envelope, but they are also leading the world towards it with various packaging trends and material innovation.

To provide you a brief picture of the current UK packaging and boxes market, here are a few facts that are gathered during various recent surveys:

Some noteworthy facts revolving around the UK Packaging market:

  • United Kingdom Packaging Market is poised to grow at CAGR of 3 % by 2027.
  • E-commerce platforms in UK are opting for customised and minimal packaging options
  • Brands and customers are looking to incorporate FSC certifications for their products
  • With the SUP directive coming into force from July 2021, the demand for green packaging will increase substantially (Source)

Reforms are leading to industry disruption:

The increasing e-commerce adaptation of “customised packaging” for their platforms and the trend of “frustration-free” packaging is leading to many different trends in the market. Right from minimalistic packaging to the use of stylish, sustainable, brand-centric and Instagram-worthy packaging trends, the e-commerce platforms are not only boosting the demand for custom packaging but are also inspiring marketers across all industries to look for sustainable and innovative packaging and boxing options.

Although it might seem that the demand for sustainable and custom packaging is increasing due to the new norms of the governing EU bodies, the actual need for innovation and creativity is because of the customer demand for innovative and sustainable packaging.

In a recent survey of 2021, it was found that 80% of customers from North America, Asia and UK think that it is “important or extremely important” for brands to design environmentally conscious products. (Source) Apart from that, innovative and attractive packaging is influencing the purchase decisions of Gen Z as they wish to show the packaging on the social media profile because of the unboxing trends.

While all these trends lead to the increasing demand for customised packaging and boxing of products, these trends are also creating many challenges. To help you understand the other side of this trend, let’s understand a few challenges of customised and creative packaging for printers and brands.

Challenges of creative and customised packaging trends for printers and brands


One of the reasons why cardboard boxes are used globally is because as a packaging material it is one of the most cost-effective, sustainable and protective options to choose from. But, with the increasing demand for different materials and designs such as biodegradable plastic, paper and other such packaging materials and styles, the cost of packaging increases and in the cost-competitive e-commerce market, it is not feasible for every brand to switch to such materials and packaging styles.

Design and print turnaround time:

With the increasing design requirements, design areas and innovative brand approach, brands ought to spend considerable time and effort in getting their custom packages designed and printed. Not only do brands require a creative design, but they also want to personalise the packaging based on the promotions, brand elements and brand message that they wish to convey and they can lead to increased turnaround time.

Shipping problem:

While creating packaging designs that are different in size and shape is already a challenge for the printing industry, shipping that package to the customers can also create a problem in terms of product space utilisation as well as safety.

Due to these challenges and problems, brands are now looking for printing partners that can quickly design and execute their orders at a pocket-friendly rate. Due to this necessity, there came an increasing demand for online packaging design and printing platforms. The reason for this trend is because of the following capabilities:

Capabilities of online printing businesses

Packaging design software:

Many successful packaging design service providers have integrated packaging design software that empowers business customers to design their own custom packages and boxes without the need for design or technical proficiency. Not only is the software user-friendly, many software for packaging design also provides live-quote and design templates for quick and informed decisions!

Check how online packaging box design software works: https://youtu.be/2S_8ezuggXo

Automated processes:

Since the entire design process is online and that the packaging design software gives out a print-ready output file for the printers to print, the need for human representatives reduces significantly and thus, brands can deal with streamlined processes and have a delightful user experience.

Cost-effective and quick deliveries:

One of the best advantages of having an online print business with custom packaging design software is that the software allows businesses to create virtual designs and the ability to adopt a print-on-demand business model. So, not only can printing businesses automate the entire process, they can do it the need of huge administrative staff and an inventory stock which can lead to increased expenses or even losses if the inventory leads to dead stock.

Based on all the factors stated above, the organisations that are disrupting the packaging market with custom and sustainable packaging options are:

  1. Lam’on- a start-up providing 100% biodegradable and fully compostable laminating film and packaging foil made from corn.
  2. AD studio- a full-fledged packaging and printing service provider
  3. TEM group- a UK based professional printing service provider

Parting notes

If you are planning to enter the UK packaging market, the industry is led by innovation, sustainability and technology. As Philip Kotler said that from a marketing perspective a Packaging material must provide protection, economy, convenience and promotion to a brand product.

If you think you can bring all that into your products and cater innovative printing services, you can become a successful custom packaging service provider in UK.

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