Packaging World magazine partnered with DuPont to identify trends shaping the packaging industry today and in 10 years. Responses reflect the insights of nearly 500 industry professionals predominantly in Europe and North America working for consumer goods manufacturers and converters in marketing and packaging development roles. Food, healthcare and beverage markets ranked the highest, but nearly every industry that uses packaging was represented.
There was significant alignment in the views of respondents in Europe and North America and throughout the results, the top trends identified as driving today, are predicted to change in 10 years. Trends in the second tier tend to maintain the same level of importance.
Poised on the brink of change:
- Sustainability concerns, ranked behind cost and food safety/security as today’s driving trends, will dominate packaging industry work in 10 years in both Europe and North America.
- Cost, today’s top driver, drops in importance in 10 years.
- Food safety/security remains a top factor driving packaging work.
- Today’s emphasis on “right-sizing” gives way to strategies to use renewable materials, recyclable materials and smart packaging in 10 years – a clear call for innovation and collaboration throughout the value chain.
- Though rarely selected as a “top” trend, convenience factors are identified as very important today – and that importance is expected to be maintained in 10 years.
Maximum value. Minimal Impact:
- The packaging industry believes consumers will have increased value for recyclability and perceived
- “greenness” of packaging in 10 years – at the same time, demand for proof of sustainability claims will grow exponentially, for instance in the demand for life cycle analysis data.
- Right-sizing packaging in terms of efficient package shape/size, downgauging of package material and minimizing package failures dominate both the North American and European packaging landscape today.
- Materials play a critical role in these objectives.
- Plastics will continue to replace glass and metals and flexible packaging will continue to replace rigid structures.