Top Packaging Design Trends for The Holidays 2023

We’re starting to see Pumpkin Spice and Christmas trees already. They’re selling greeting cards and holiday packaging.

Yes, the 2023 holiday season is nigh.

But though it might be too early to think about what you’ll cook for Thanksgiving, it’s absolutely time to plan your holiday packaging.

In 2023 holiday packaging design trends offer your brand a unique opportunity to stand out and connect with your audience. 

From minimalistic aesthetics to intricate, detailed designs; and from evocative color schemes to compelling holiday messaging, these trends serve as a creative playground for your brand to captivate consumers. 

But whether you want to evoke nostalgia, convey luxury, or underscore your commitment to sustainability, the packaging becomes more than just a container—it becomes a critical part of the holiday narrative, shaping perceptions and influencing purchasing decisions.

Importance of Packaging Designs During the Holidays

Packaging design takes on particular significance during the holiday season for several reasons. 

Whether your company specializes in food, beverages, consumer goods, or any non-food items, well-designed holiday packaging can offer various advantages. 

Here’s why packaging design is so important during the holidays:

Capture Consumer Attention

During the holiday season, retail shelves and online marketplaces are inundated with products. 

Eye-catching, festive packaging can help your product stand out among a sea of alternatives, capturing consumer attention and potentially boosting sales.

Seasonal Branding

Custom holiday packaging offers an opportunity to present your brand in a seasonal context, connecting emotionally with consumers. 

You can showcase your brand’s creativity and adaptability, building stronger brand recognition and customer loyalty.

Encourages Gifting

Special holiday packaging can make a product more giftable. 

People are in a hurry, and if your product looks ready for gift-giving you’ll make it easier for your consumers to purchase your product rather than a competitors’.

Whether it’s adorned with holiday-themed imagery or simply looks more upscale and festive, a well-designed package can itself be a selling point.

Increase Perceived Value

Quality, special edition, or festive packaging can make a product seem more valuable, allowing for potential price premiums. 

Many consumers are willing to pay a little extra for a product that looks like it offers a unique or premium experience, particularly when it comes to gift-giving.

Enhance Retail Partnerships

Retailers appreciate products that fly off the shelves, especially during the high-stakes holiday season. 

Offering products in eye-catching holiday packaging can make your brand more appealing to retailers, possibly leading to better shelf placement or promotional opportunities.

Limited Edition Appeal

Holiday-themed packaging often comes across as limited edition, creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity, which can encourage quicker purchasing decisions.

Emotional Connection

The holidays are a sentimental time for many people. Packaging that evokes warmth, nostalgia, or other positive emotions can form a deeper connection with consumers, encouraging brand loyalty long after the holiday season has passed.

Holiday Packaging Design Trends 2023

The right combination of color, texture, and messaging can transform ordinary packaging into a festive work of art that not only stands out on crowded store shelves but also resonates emotionally with shoppers. 

Read on to explore the key trends that are shaping the landscape of holiday packaging this year.

Color Trends

Holiday packaging design trends often evolve to reflect current cultural shifts, consumer preferences, and technological advancements. 

But there are recurring themes and trends that are particularly pertinent to the holiday season. Let’s delve into the specific color trends you mentioned:

Color Pairing

During the holidays, color pairings often go beyond the conventional red and green to include complementary colors like blue and gold or purple and silver. These pairings can evoke specific holiday themes or feelings, such as elegance or festivity.

  • Seasonal Color Pairings: Another trend is the use of winter colors like icy blues paired with whites or grays, which evoke a sense of winter serenity rather than focusing exclusively on holiday festivities.
  • Non-Traditional Pairings: More brands are opting for non-traditional color pairings to stand out. Think pink and mint or orange and brown, especially for brands aiming for a hip, modern vibe.

Classic Black and White

Black and white designs often convey a sense of elegance and sophistication, which can make a product feel luxurious and high-end—attributes that are particularly appealing during the gift-giving season.

Black and white also  aligns well with minimalist design, which has its own set of devoted followers. It emphasizes the product over the packaging, putting focus on quality.

Black and white designs can also serve as a canvas for other design elements like shimmer or texture, offering a balanced contrast to more vibrant features.

Bold Colors

Bold colors can help a product pop out on crowded holiday shelves. Bright purples, electric blues, or vibrant oranges can grab attention quickly.

These colors often evoke feelings of energy, excitement, and modernity, appealing to a younger or more adventurous demographic.

And sometimes, bold colors can be used to reflect specific cultural or regional holiday celebrations, making the product appealing to specific consumer groups.


Shimmer, often achieved through metallic inks or foils, adds a touch of festivity and glamor to holiday packaging. 

Gold or silver shimmer is often used to imply luxury.

It also adds a layer of visual texture to packaging, making it more engaging and dynamic. It can catch light in a way flat colors cannot, drawing the eye.

If you want to provide an accent to your design, shimmer can be used with other colors or design elements to accent and elevate the overall design.

Similar to bold colors, shimmer often implies a limited edition or special holiday run, enhancing the product’s desirability.

Design Trends

Here’s how each trend may manifest in 2023:

1. Minimal Design

In a world where consumers are often bombarded with information and visuals, minimal designs offer a breath of fresh air. 

Clean lines, simple color palettes, and uncluttered layouts make the product easy to identify and focus on.

Often, minimal design is associated with luxury and premium quality. It suggests that the product is so good it speaks for itself without needing elaborate packaging.

Minimalist packaging often uses fewer materials, aligning with a more eco-friendly, sustainable approach, which is an ever-growing concern for consumers.

2. Detailed Design

Storytelling: Detailed designs can be used to tell a story or convey a specific message about the brand, creating a deeper emotional connection with the consumer.

Visual Engagement: Highly detailed packaging can engage the consumer for longer periods, allowing for more time to communicate brand values and information.

Collector’s Item: Some detailed designs are so intricate and beautiful that they become keepsakes, extending brand presence and emotional connection far beyond the initial purchase.

3. Custom Packaging Tags

Custom tags can include holiday messages, the story behind the product, or even personalized notes, adding a layer of personalization to the gift.

Tags can include serialized QR codes that lead to holiday promotions, recipes, or exclusive online content, bridging the physical and digital experiences.

The tags can also be designed to be repurposed as bookmarks, recipe cards, or ornaments, adding a sustainable or practical aspect to the packaging.

4. Embossed Design

Embossing adds a tactile dimension to packaging, creating a more immersive consumer experience.

And similar to shimmer, embossing can give the impression of a high-quality, luxury item.

The shadows and highlights created by embossing add visual depth to the packaging, making it more attention-grabbing without necessarily adding more colors or complexity.

5. Festive Illustrations

Whimsical or traditional festive illustrations, whether they be snowflakes, reindeer, or holiday ornaments, instantly evoke the holiday spirit and are universally recognizable.

For that nostalgic feel, include classic holiday illustrations to evoke feelings of nostalgia, enhancing the emotional connection to the product.

Now if you want a more exclusive feel, just like shimmer and detailed designs, festive illustrations often signal that the packaging is a limited edition, increasing its appeal.

These design trends offer an exciting playground for innovation. 

Brands can mix and match design elements based on their target audience, product type, and marketing goals, creating unique, compelling holiday packaging that resonates with consumers.

Holiday Messaging

Holiday messaging on packaging can be a powerful tool to connect with consumers, foster brand loyalty, and ultimately drive sales during the festive season. Here are some key considerations for incorporating holiday messaging into your packaging for 2023:

Emotional Resonance

Returning to the nostalgia theme we mentioned earlier, messaging that evokes memories of past holidays can create a strong emotional connection with consumers. 

Phrases like “Home for the Holidays” or imagery reminiscent of classic holiday scenes can be effective in this regard.

There’s nothing like that magical feeling of joy & togetherness during the holidays. 

Messages emphasizing family, friendship, and community are particularly compelling during the holidays.

Sentiments like “Season of Giving” or “Family, Friends, and Festive Cheer” can evoke these feelings.

Brand Consistency

However creative you want to be, it’s always a good idea to keep brandin consistency in mind.

Any holiday messaging in packaging should be in line with your brand’s overall tone and voice. 

A luxury brand might opt for more sophisticated language, while a youthful brand might use more playful and informal messaging.

If possible, incorporate your regular brand taglines or slogans into holiday messaging for seamless integration. 

For example, if your tagline is about happiness, your holiday message could be something like “Spreading Happiness This Holiday Season.”

Calls to Action (CTAs)

Any marketer will tell you that urgency sells.

Messages like “Limited Edition” or “Seasonal Offer” can create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

Combine your serialized QR code with an interactive CTA by encouraging consumers to visit a holiday-themed landing page to capture their contact information. 

A good incentive is to get them to participate in a holiday giveaway, a fun way to engage consumers beyond the point of purchase.

Sustainable Packaging

If your brand values sustainability, this can be highlighted in your holiday messaging. Phrases like “A Greener Holiday” or “Eco-Friendly Festivities” can be effective.

Bringing back serialized QR codes to the discussion, include these to emphasize your commitment to the environment. 

By getting your customers to scan it, you can give them detailed sustainable information such as:

  • The materials used for the package.
  • The energy-saving route their package took.
  • Instructions on how to recycle.
  • How to compost the leftovers from the product they didn’t use. 


Combining these messaging strategies with the design trends discussed earlier can create a memorable and effective holiday packaging campaign. As customization and short runs are strengths of companies like ePac Flexible Packaging, brands have ample opportunity to experiment with different approaches to find the one that resonates most with their audience.