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Packaging Industry Trends to Monitor
Just like any industry in the world, the packaging industry is constantly evolving. In order to stay current, manufacturers and brands need to embrace the changes and roll with them. Some of the industry trends are due to changes that must be made because of new rules and regulations regarding packaging. Other changes in the packaging industry that are being made are to help better the environment or to improve the lives of consumers.
Without a doubt, the biggest trend shaping the future of the packaging and labeling industry is the move to digital printing. When it comes to the manufacturing and the distribution of consumer packaged goods, digital printing saves a lot of money since it makes it much easier for manufacturers to adhere to strict label guidelines. It is also much more efficient to print with and cuts down on waste. For labels and package manufacturers that have not made the switch to digital yet, it just boils down to a matter of when they make the inevitable change. Digital printing will soon be the standard and will help ensure compliance with both national, and international regulations.
With a great shift towards greener living in society, it also makes sense that the packaging industry would be following suit. In recent years there have been many big changes to product packaging to eliminate waste, increase efficiency, and reduce material use. These changes are being applied to many next generation packaging materials and extends right on down to the manufacturing process. Manufacturers and suppliers are already seeing an increase in recycled material products, and sales continue to rise which helps give product packaging more than one life.
One trend that we will see really start to take off in the coming years is biodegradable packaging. Due to the cost of biodegradable packaging materials it has not been widely used just yet. With costs predicted to drop considerably you can expect to see the market demand for environmentally friendly packaging to sky rocket.
Since computers have become an essential part of everyday life, the use of smart technologies in the packaging industry has been another trend that will continue to grow. The use of RFID (radio frequency ID) tags and QR codes has been on the rise in recent years, but as these technologies evolve the use of them will also take off. Smart technologies can be beneficial for the manufacturers right on down to the consumers since tracking will be smarter and more efficient and consumer engagement can be a lot more personal.
Another very cool technology being used in the packaging industry is Baxter the Robot, check him out!
Here is another cool example of robotic technology being used in packaging in this video.
The demand for lighter, stronger packaging has been on the rise and with new foam technologies this trend is quickly becoming a reality. The films created during this process are used in both food and medical product packaging, which are two of the largest markets in the world for packaging and labeling. This operation not only creates lighter and stronger packaging materials, it also helps cut costs since it cuts down on the raw materials being applied.
Increased Safety Measures
In an attempt to start ensuring that the industry is working towards safer product packaging, many companies are setting forth to explore the migration of chemicals from packaging into food. Researching the amount of chemicals being transferred to the food now will help them find better and safer ways to package products in the future. Current packaging processes have been tested and the chemicals are not harmful to us, but finding better ways to package products to eliminate migration is still beneficial.
Another trend that has already been picking up steam is multi-purpose packaging. Due to ease of use and environmental concerns, this is a trend that will continue to grow as more and more packaging manufacturers and brands embraces it. The current trend in manufacturing these multi-purpose packages is to make them useful for consumers besides their intended purpose. Since packaging products are already being produced, it seems only logical to make the package a functional aspect of the product.