On the Pulse of Packaging: Manufacturing at the Forefront of Change

Ask anyone to identify the industry experiencing the greatest innovation right now and you’re likely to hear a very long list of possibilities before you’d hear “packaging”  – that is, if you ever did.

Yet, if you look closely at what’s happening in the packaging industry (food packaging in particular), you’ll see something interesting:

Packaging innovation is a reflection of virtually every global, economic, safety, social and environmental trend and challenge occurring today.

What’s behind this? Here are just a few of the drivers and areas of packaging innovation:

  • The fact that between 73% and 85% of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale, often making packaging the final deciding factor for end users.
  • Off the charts competition on grocery store shelves that forces manufacturers to find ways to stand out (and to simply be seen at all – for example, have you been in the yogurt isle lately?).
  • Continuing advancements in psychology, neuroscience and the resulting ability to better understand consumer behavior.
  • Product safety regulations and the extremely fast action required when a crisis is related to food or over-the-counter medications.
  • Prevention of migration of contaminants through packaging – in particular, cartonboard, which is inspiring a race to develop a protective barrier.
  • Economic challenges related to spoilage and shelf life.
  • Sustainability/environmental efforts (as well as the economic factors) influencing the “less is more” packaging movement.
  • Increasing numbers of single-person households and the disappearance of family mealtime that’s behind the single serving craze.
  • Printing innovations driven by the need to differentiate and leading to the addition of QR codes, personalization, holographic images and more.
  • The combination of consumer needs and shifts in demographics (for example, the need to help increasingly aging populations better manage medications), economics and legislation that demand continued development of smart packaging track and trace technologies.

And these are just a few.

Following is a round up of the most interesting information we’ve collected in the packaging arena – again, with a spotlight on food packaging:

GENERAL TRENDS

Top 5 Packaging Trends 2014

The Latest Food Packaging Trends (In this article, the president of DINE marketing, discusses the ways consumers are driving innovations in the packaging industry)

Five Trends Driving Folding Carton Growth

Top Five Flexible Packaging Trends

See-Through Food Packaging Boosts Sales

The Psychology of Small Packages

SUSTAINABILITY & ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCERS

5 Sustainable Packaging Trends to Look Out for in 2014

Sustainable Packaging Market to Reach $244 Billion by 2018

New TBF Nano-Film to Challenge Aluminium a Low Permeability Barrier

Reducing Our Way Out of Recycling: Flexible Packaging is Here, but is this a Good Thing?

CONVENIENCE INFLUENCERS

Convenience Drives Food Packaging Innovation

Packaging for Convenience: On-the-Go’s the Way to Go

SAFETY & REGULATION

Opportunity in Reducing Uncertainty: Manufacturers Advance Track-and-Trace Capabilities in Light of Pending Food Safety Regulations

Rethinking the Ban on EPS: Study Shows EPS is Good for Environment

FDA Regulation of Food Packaging Produced Using Nanotechnology

PACKAGE DESIGN

We also wanted to include a section showcasing packaging design, where what’s being done is not only inspiring by highly predictive of the future:

31 Mind-Blowing Examples of Brilliant Packaging Design

Packaging Design Inspiration Gallery: READY MEALS

Packaging of the World: Showcase and Discover Creative Packaging

We hope you enjoyed our industry insights round up on packaging and, as always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts. You can share your perspective on what’s happening in the packaging industry in a comment below.

Don’t forget that in preparation for the 4th quarter and 2015, we’re scheduling highly focused, one-on-one conversations with our community members who want to take advantage of an outside perspective in planning next steps for their company.

To schedule this conversation with EFI Group, email Jim Solich at js*****@ji****.com

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