Forecasting Trends

By: Becky Nelson Dahl

When trying to build a brand that will connect with today’s consumer, a lot of people will immediately go to the internet and search for design trends. They’ll find elements that arguably align with the Brand Positioning and feel as though they have cracked the code on developing the ultimate on-trend brand ID or package or marketing campaign sure to succeed within months of launch.

We avoid focusing on design trends at Bex.
I know this sounds crazy, but hear us out.

At Bex, we look to cultural trends to forecast design trends that will ring true with consumers as we develop brands. Not only does it provide a canvas for original visualizations, but it also gives longer runways for brand identities, since these trends move a slower rate than design trends. There are a few notable cultural trends that we consider timely and have begun to pop-up on shelves.

A Simpler Life

This trend isn’t totally new, but it’s definitely still going strong. Over the last few years there have been massive changes in how we work, play, and interact. As a reaction, consumers look for peace and quiet as they shop. We see this showing up in brand identities that celebrate negative space, with legible fonts & easy going layouts.

Hand holding three food packages, matcha, tea, potato chips and ice cream.

Artificial Intelligence

The massive proliferation of AI creation is impossible to ignore, with people recreating themselves as quickly as characters come and go in Westworld. As a result, we’ve begun to see outrageous, fantastic visuals coming together at Superhero speed on shelves—particularly in snacks and ready-to-drink beverages, which makes sense since consumers are looking for short breaks in reality to enjoy these types of food & drink.

Hand holding food packaging in grocery store, pancake and waffle mix, Classic Meatballs made from real whole plants. O.G. Vanilla ice cream sammie

Revenge Travel

We’ve all got the itch to get out & see the world, but let’s face it, we can’t all roam the world. We can get a taste of travel though with the wave of more exotic flavors coming to grocery stores near you. Packaging that’s reflective of these new flavor experiences resonates with those consumers with a strong sense of wanderlust.

Hand holding food packaging in grocery store. Black garlic chicken ramen soup, oyster and seafood products, light and fluffy tiny grain gluten free

Positive & Unifying

Politics and an impending recession have arguably got some of us feeling more stress these days. Brands that embody a sense of positivity and common ground goodness connect with these consumers and give them a big bear hug.

hand holding food packaging in grocery store. cassava, coconut, coconut oil, himalayan salt, unsweetened grain free organic cereal. Chipotle veganaise, unsweetened flaxmilk protein, 0g sugar

Show us your Values

As consumers become more interested in supporting brands that align with their values, we see brands begin to push values more to the forefront — specifically in packaging. Certifications and charitable contributions were just the start. The products themselves need to embody the values they flaunt.

hands holding food packaging in grocery store. neutral organic whole milk, climate friendly crackers sourdough sea salt, chewy dark chocolate chip granola bar


So you’re probably asking yourself — what does all this mean? How do I use this information?

We’re not suggesting you take all of these cultural trends and try to jam them into your brand. What we would recommend is to first consider how your brand positioning naturally aligns with these trends. We always tell brands they need to live authentically to their position — you can’t fake it. Second, see how you can emphasize this common ground through visuals or copy. Sometimes this comes to life in a dramatic shift, sometimes it’s more subtle. It’s also not an easy task, so chatting with outside sources can be helpful.

If you have questions on how to evolve your brand to relate more closely to your consumer and cultural trends, don’t hesitate to reach out.