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2016 has been a memorable year, to say the least. From the presidential election and political upsets to a long list of unexpected celebrity deaths, 2016 will be remembered as a truly unique year. The same goes for the 2016 trends in the packaging industry, which witnessed evolution within the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, ecommerce, and environmental sectors.

Trend #1: Millennials Set the World on Fire

The reputation of millennials precede them, which has propelled companies in every industry to work overtime to attract millennials to their products. Products that appeal to millennials tend to be honest and open to help this younger demographic feel an authentic connection with their favorite brands. This connection is supported by customization that allows millennials to have input into the products they buy. Affordability and a direct relation to social media, like hashtags and QR codes, are also critical components that encourage millennials to grab a product and head to checkout.

Trend #2: Personalized Beauty Care

In its December report last year, Mintel declared, “The line between human and technological device is blurring as smart technology puts people in greater control of their individual health and beauty needs.” This quote captures one of the biggest trends of 2016, as beauty brands are making their packaging smarter than ever before to persuade women to replace their old makeup and skincare products with new, more sophisticated items. The ageLOC Me system by NuSkin is the perfect example because it allows customers to customize their final product formulation based upon individual needs.

Trend #3: Food and Beverage Packaging Evolves

Perhaps nowhere did trends change as much as they did in the food and beverage market. While many companies continue to stick with plastic instead of glass, a large handful are experimenting with new and innovative materials to differentiate themselves from other producers and offer customers unique benefits. Zero waste initiatives are also popping up to encourage recycling and design packaging in the least wasteful manner possible. Convenience is of course a major trend as well, since Americans continue to stay busier than ever.