Festive seasons are often prime opportunities for marketers and designers to showcase their creativity and innovation, as people are more inclined to shop and spend during these highly celebratory periods. Lunar New Year, often dubbed the largest annual human migration in the world, is no exception and serves as a key season for creative marketers and product designers alike.
Read on to discover consumer trends during the Lunar New Year based on past statistics and explore some imaginative packaging ideas centered around the season’s popular products.
Key consumer trends during Lunar New Year
Consumer buying trends throughout the Lunar New Year over the past few years appear to be largely similar across Asia, especially in East Asian nations like China and in countries with significant Chinese cultural influence such as Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia, where the Lunar New Year is most celebrated.
Results of multiple studies revealed that the majority of the top seasonal purchases during the Lunar New Year are placed on food, with nuts and snacks topping various charts as the most emphasized food items. For example, a 2021 Statista survey indicated that 76% of consumers put nuts and snacks as their main shopping priority, and about half of them would splurge on wines and spirits during the Spring Festival in China.
Meanwhile, a more recent research in 2023 revealed a somewhat similar purchase preference during the Lunar New Year, with 69% of shoppers indicating their plans to include roasted seeds and nuts, 64% intend to buy snacks, whereas another 63% are expected to select a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
In the Southeast Asian market, a study showed that despite variations in food purchasing preferences during the Lunar New Year period across different countries, snack items and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages consistently remain at the top of the list. On average, 50% of consumers in the region choose snacks, 44% opt for non-alcoholic drinks, and 36% select alcoholic beverages, making these the most commonly purchased items for Lunar New Year celebrations across the region.
The fact that nuts, snacks, and beverages are among the most purchased items during the Lunar New Year highlights the importance of related packaging such as beverage bottles, paper boxes, paper bags, and plastic bags. Creative and attention-grabbing packaging for these products can almost certainly influence their popularity, presenting an opportunity for these popular products to stand out on shelves, appealing to customers looking for special treats or gifts during the season.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with creative packaging ideas
Beverage container packaging
Alcoholic or not, beverages are a top necessity for Lunar New Year as festival observers often host open houses for friends and family, making drinks a fundamental courtesy to offer all guests, yet it’s noteworthy that amidst the flurry of innovation in product marketing, beverages for Lunar New Year celebrations can be far from dull.
Indeed, they have the potential to be transformed into the center of attention or discussion-worthy highlights amidst the festive gatherings and chatter. For example, the bear-shaped juice bottle depicted below is surely eye-catching enough to capture the attention of young ones and those young at heart, evoking a sense of fun and fond memories.
In fact, beyond the bear-shaped beverage bottle, the possibilities for packaging design are endless! Take, for example, a gingerbread man-shaped or a dog-pattern container (sample in the following picture), which are both practical and charming with their friendly smiles and soft color schemes. Furthermore, these distinctive shapes offer room for customization, allowing visionary brands to stretch the boundaries of creativity in both style and utility.
At the same time, the bottle design can also go a step further to contribute to both aesthetics and functionality. The “layered” design of this uniquely shaped beverage bottle, for example, reminiscent of a staircase, is certainly captivating and not only adds visual interest that makes it stand out on the shelf but also allows for a more secure grip, making the bottle easier to hold. The contours provide natural hand placement points, enhancing the practical aspect of the design.
Paper box packaging
Creative packaging ideas can even turn ordinary, rather plain paper boxes into the elegant, luxurious-looking red Lunar New Year paper gift box featured in the image above. This box is not only graced with golden Chinese calligraphy and landscapes but also versatile enough to present an array of premium gifts with its rigid, robust quality made of thick, durable grayboard material. Beyond wine or beverage bottles, it may also elegantly hold high-end tea sets, luxury confectioneries, or fine artisanal goods.
The metallic handle is literally the striking centerpiece that manages to attract the most attention, while the golden ribbon opening in the middle offers a unique unveiling experience, emphasizing the box’s dual function as both a sophisticated container and an integral part of the gifting ceremony.
On the other hand, innovative approaches to paper boxes extend well beyond the shape but also in terms of their opening mechanisms. For example, as shown in the picture below, a paper box tailored for the Lunar New Year celebrations by reimagining the traditional packaging with its top-to-bottom opening. Adding more distinctiveness to this is its unique arch shape, which is reminiscent of traditional Chinese architecture, with a mix of vibrant red hues and gold accents to accentuate the festive spirit, making it a practical, ideal option for a standout gift presentation.
Additionally, creative designs in paper boxes may feature adornments on the top surface, as exemplified by the Lunar New Year gift box made of corrugated board in the picture below, which is adorned with an intricate pattern that mirrors the finesse of traditional Chinese weaving. Overall, the vibrant latticework against the rich red backdrop creates a stunning visual texture, while the centrally placed yellow hot stamp logo adds a touch of opulent branding.
Paper bag / plastic bag packaging
Special occasions and festive seasons command attention with their packaging, meriting designs that are as celebratory as the events themselves. The good news is that such essence can be captured even in items as commonplace as paper bags and plastic bags. For instance, this remarkable drawstring candy pouch is infused with designs full of Lunar New Year elements. What’s more, it is made of PLA non-woven fabric- an environmentally friendly, biodegradable material. Though technically a plastic, PLA offers a more sustainable option, with a texture akin to cloth or canvas.
Meanwhile, as per the above illustration, paper drawstring bags emerge as another creative packaging solution defying traditional expectations, offering the same convenience and closure functionality as their fabric counterparts but at a significantly lower cost—potentially five times less expensive. This offsets the fact that while they may not offer the same long-term robustness as cloth bags, paper drawstring bags are an excellent eco-friendly option for lighter items, striking a balance between cost-efficiency and practical use.
In addition, aside from design, shape, and closure style, innovative Chinese New Year packaging often also differentiates itself through unique sealing methods. For instance, the Kraft paper bag set displayed below showcases two unique designs embodying the Lunar New Year spirit: a dynamic lantern and a firework theme. To enhance this festive feel, each bag can be securely and charmingly sealed using the included round sticker sheets. Each of these stickers is emblazoned with auspicious symbols and greetings, such as “Happy New Year” and traditional motifs that resonate with the Lunar New Year’s celebration itself.
Finally, the Lunar New Year packaging designs may even transform the otherwise standard rectangular or square profile of an opened paper bag into a lantern-like shape. For example, this Lunar New Year-themed paper gift bag is adorned with a creative ribbon closure. Its ribbon is threaded through two central holes and accompanied by robust hand strings, allowing for convenient transport. This design endows the bag with a distinct festive look, making it highly appropriate for the Lunar New Year season.
Prosperous innovative new wraps
The landscape of Lunar New Year consumer trends has consistently highlighted a preference for traditional festive treats such as nuts, snacks, and an assortment of beverages. With these items dominating the seasonal shopping lists, the importance of innovative packaging solutions that resonate with the festive spirit becomes apparent.
By integrating creativity into the packaging of beverages and snacks, businesses can tap into the festive psyche, making their products not only a part of the celebration but a highlight. The innovative packaging ideas for beverage bottles, paper boxes, and bags, as well as plastic bags, are turning these mere containers to embody the spirit of the festival with prosperous, innovative new packaging.
Discover how creative packaging ideas can elevate related offerings, and for additional insights about festive packaging, keep abreast with Alibaba Reads for creative ideas, industry information, and the latest business updates.