6 best practices in packaging design for Millennials

5 min readDec 9, 2022


After the first part of this article when we found out what defines the Millennials generation, what are their expectations and the relationships they define with brands, we will further present 6 good practices identified by us in terms of packaging design for millennials.

1. Packaging design for Millennials means experienced design.​

They are excited about new packaging concepts that convey emotions or offer cool experiences that can be shared. These can range from augmented reality to pick-your-own-packaging via the internet.

Through the online application Colorfilled, the Oreo brand has allowed consumers an integrated online-offline experience, through which they can customize their own packet of cookies with a graphic theme, a color palette and their own personalized message.

Such packaging personalization approaches, loved by millennials, have been found, in various forms, in other brands such as Share a Coke, Nutella, Airways, etc., brands that have effectively combined personalized packaging, social media and word-of-mouth.

Absolut Vodka collection, called Absolut Unique, has over 4 million unique bottles, each with its own personal identity. This packaging concept offers consumers a unique brand experience, allowing them to choose the bottle that matches their unique personality.

2. Brands personification through packaging design

In a world full of screens, which is becoming more and more anonymous, millennials are looking for the human element in brands, they want to have an interpersonal relationship, ideal one-to-one, with them, to discover their personality, to offer them instead their attention and loyalty.

Chipotle is an example of a brand that embraces human qualities such as storytelling through the glasses and bags used to interact with its consumers.

Each package creates a unique experience because it tells a unique story that highlights the brand idea “food with integrity”, adding a touch of humor, personality brand.

3. Responsibility becomes a necessary practice in packaging design​

Millennials not only appreciate social responsibility (whether we are talking about social-humanitarian causes, environmental protection or transparency in terms of ingredients, production or labor), but they also consider them mandatory for a brand to be authentic and involved in their world.

In response to the constant concern for the environment and the growing consumption of plastic, Method, a brand of natural cleaning products, appreciated by millennials for innovation and transparency, created the first recycled plastic bottle from the oceans, a glass that also won Dieline Package Design Awards for sustainability and aesthetics.

An example of a brand that combines the limited edition strategy, appreciated by millennials, with social responsibility efforts is the famous Campbell’s brand. He released 3 versions of soup cans in pink and white, as a support for the World Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

A similar action has certain water brands from us, such as Dorna or Bucovina, which have developed bottles with a percentage of recycled plastic and soft, biodegradable plastic caps.

4. Packaging design in response to the millennial’s lifestyle

Millennials are fast, impatient, hate queues (except for Apple launches) and want brands to adapt quickly to their needs. A Euromonitor statistic tells us that 79% of millennials want more affordable, easy-to-use and on-the-go products.

Heinz has embraced this trend with the launch of a dual function, Heinz Dip & Squeeze Ketchup, facilitates on-the-go eating by packaging innovative, functional and easy to use.

Campbell’s reacted similarly by introducing their famous soup in a new concept, Go Soup, for millennials, in an airtight bag-like package, with a graphic design and recipes / ingredients specially addressed to them.

Rebbl, a brand of drinks and healthy snacks, promises lifestyle and dietary changes through products with ethically obtained ingredients.

Not only brand packaging design uses expressions such as “ethically sourced” or “craft brewed” denotes transparency, but includes visible information on the nutritional benefits to the consumer, that this generation strongly pursued.

McDonald’s McBike is a functional package, adapted to the needs of cyclists, designed to safely carry a menu, burger, potatoes and a drink. Its launch was an adaptation to the habits of the Millennials generation, for whom the bicycle is one of the preferred means of transportation.

Beefit Snacks is an example of a brand that has adapted to the lifestyle of the modern consumer — it is about his need to eat on the run something consistent (super food) to help him not to interrupt his daily activities and at the same time to give him energy. Beef snacks are gluten-free, high in protein, etc., and all this information is effectively communicated in the design of the package.

5. Democratization of quality reflected in packaging design​

The Millennials generation, while cost-conscious, expects easy access to quality, innovative products.

They are also known as prosumers, looking for products with an above average level of quality and open to always try new flavors and recipes.

Puristry is an organic cosmetics brand for Millennials, which combines high quality product with a minimalist design to deliver a premium product in an affordable way. The brand did not innovate in terms of packaging, but leaving the quality of the product to speak for itself.

Store chain Kroger, the third largest in the US, launched a private label called HemisFares brings firsthand products in various parts of the world, carefully selected for a dining experience truly authentic, yet affordable.

This time, unlike Puristry, packaging is intended to highlight the quality of the product, telling about the culture and character of a place from where the recipe ingredients and about their quality and how they were obtained.

Another example of minimalism at the packaging level, to make quality products more accessible, is the Lush Cosmetics brand, which introduced Little Green Bag, proclaimed “the greenest gift / greenest gift”.

The package includes 5 unpackaged cosmetics and a recyclable brochure with instructions, and the packaging itself is a scarf / wrap that can be used later.

6. Engaging Millennials in brand story

Millennials are more open about everything new, innovative, embracing paradigm “New is the new new.”

At the same time, they want to express their opinions and insights in brand development.

Concepts such as co-creation, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, shared learning have exploded in recent years and are very popular among millennials.

Starbucks, through the My Starbucks Idea program, has created an environment that actively involves consumers to take part in improving the Starbucks experience, from the ambiance of the cafes to the packaging and materials that are used. The platform allows discussions and feedback between fans and voting for the best ideas.

Since the launch of the program, 5 years ago, over 300 consumer ideas have been implemented, including ideas for packaging design, whether we are talking about a glass, coffee capsules or a mixing stick.

Also with the idea of involving Millennials in the brand’s story, Coca Cola has launched a Taylor Swift collection to celebrate individuality nationally in the United States. The bottle was in a limited edition, with the singer’s logo and some of her popular quotes.

Originally published at https://www.brandfusion.ro.




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