The packaging industry has undergone significant changes in the last few years. Changing consumer preferences, rising environmental concerns, and the COVID-19 pandemic have shaped how the packaging industry operates today. However, some recent trends are expected to impact the industry even further.
There is no denying that packaging waste is one of the major reasons for land and water pollution. And now that consumers are more aware of the environmental impact of such waste, they prefer sustainable packaging alternatives over conventional ones. This trend is expected to drive packaging innovation in 2023 and beyond.
We are already witnessing the growing use of recyclable or reusable packaging by giants like Samsung, Puma, and Zara. But across the board, companies now heavily invest in sustainable packaging materials that generate minimal waste. As the trend gains momentum, more brands like Ambrose are expected to join the revolution and change the industry forever.
- Smart packaging
2023 has already witnessed the use of smart packaging options for improved functionality and packaging performance. And by the looks of it, the trend is here to stay. Such packaging options usually come with sensors to monitor various factors (temperature, humidity, etc.) that can affect the quality and freshness of the product.
These smart packaging options often include QR codes that provide product information to consumers in a blink of an eye. The details may contain source information, nutritional value, or other crucial information. These are primarily used in food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. In 2021, to mark its 10th year as the Super Bowl Halftime Show sponsor, Pepsi launched special cans with QR codes that could be scanned with a smartphone camera for an AR experience on Instagram.
- E-commerce boom
E-commerce was already booming in 2020, and the pandemic has only played the catalyst role. With the growing popularity of e-commerce, there is a significant demand for unique packaging requirements from online shoppers. Consumers are now looking for more durable and tamper-evident packaging that can withstand the rigorous steps of handling and shipping.
E-commerce retailers are also looking for ways to reduce waste from packaging materials. So, they have massive scope to incorporate sustainable packaging for the products. E-commerce giant Amazon has introduced several innovative packaging ideas over the years. Replacing inflatable plastic pads with recyclable paper padding was certainly a brilliant idea. We may also see some innovative packaging options specially designed for shipping efficiency.
In 2023, consumers will be spoiled for choice when buying a product. That is why companies are packaging their products in a way that appeals to the individual preferences of consumers. While the use of personalized messages or graphics on the packaging is attracting customers for brands, some are using different packaging designs to stand out from the competition.
We all know how Coca-Cola successfully used packaging for “Share a Coke” and other marketing campaigns. Brands like Skittles, Cadbury, and Kellogg’s have followed the same path. While the packaging of products has been used for marketing over the years, personalization is a trend to watch out for in 2023 and beyond.
- Digital printing
Traditional labeling methods, such as offset printing, have remained an industry standard for decades. However, they are comparatively more expensive and more likely to damage the packaging. Digital printing, however, can cause less damage to the packaging and is more affordable. This is why food and beverage companies like Kroger are shifting towards digital printing for their packaging.
With the growth in e-commerce, we are already seeing a major shift toward digital printing over conventional labeling. Also, digital printing offers faster labeling, allowing retailers to meet the rising demand for products on e-commerce platforms. While digital printing in packaging is not new, the trend is gaining momentum in 2023.
The packaging industry has transformed over the past couple of years. The trends mentioned in the article are only steering the industry in a particular direction. Whether you are a consumer or a manufacturer, these changes are going to impact us all in a significant way.