With 2019 well underway, we're seeing some definite packaging trends play out in the industry and with our customers. Here, I've compiled a list of the most influential packaging trends for 2019 and beyond.
Disruptive Sustainability Initiatives
A report by Researchandmarkets.com predicts that demand for sustainable packaging will grow about 5.1% annually by 2025. And with many retailers like Walmart and Amazon mandating strict sustainability requirements of brands, you should expect to see: brands continued shift from rigid to flexible packaging; expanded use of the ‘How to Recycle program’; continued innovation around recyclable or compostable materials, additional use of thin-film label structures, and a reduction of single-use plastic.
Packaging the new “CPG”… Cannabis Packaged Goods, that is
The cannabis industry is growing like a weed - pun intended - and looking for creative and sophisticated packaging solutions that also comply with child resistance (CR) and labeling regulations that vary state to state. Meanwhile, cannabidiol (CBD), an extract from the cannabis plant, is spreading throughout the food and beverage industry as a popular functional ingredient alleged to help with pain, anxiety and depression.
Transparency in Packaging
Not only do customers desire see-through packaging to view the actual product; they also demand transparency in disclosing ingredients, sourcing and production practices. Many companies are looking to blockchain technology to bring more transparency to the food chain to ensure authenticity, security and quality of their products and the ingredients used to make them. Packaging will need to incorporate unique barcodes and/or smart technologies to support this.
Convenience and Ready-to-Eat Keeps Growing
Prepared foods, meal kits, and healthy snacking are seeing a continued rise in popularity. Grocers are dedicating more retail space to grab-and-go foods. 2019 will see innovations in ease-of-use, tamper indication, and enhanced freshness, along with portion-specific sizes and formats for semi-homemade cooking.
Increasing Importance of Customer Experience Packaging
2019 and beyond will see continued pressure on brands to rethink packaging for e-commerce and the un-boxing experience. Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) program is now in its 11th year and a new Vendor incentive program is rewarding brands that rethink and redesign their packaging for e-commerce. Emphasis is on eliminating unnecessary packaging components for greater supply chain efficiency while ensuring the contents of the package remain undamaged.
Craft Foods and Flavors Craze
As the success of craft beer plateaus, watch for the explosion of craft creations joining the marketplace in other food and beverage categories including spirits, coffee, deli meats, snacks and virtually every other category as brands attempt to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
What packaging trends are you seeing? If you have others to add, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
Author – Joel Schmidt
Director of Market Development
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