The Future of Packaging: Four Key Trends in The Coming Decade

The packaging industry has grown by more than $60 billion in the last few years, keeping a steady annual growth rate of about 2.0%. Currently, packaging plays a crucial role in product positioning, increased customer retention, brand recognition, and getting more sales. However, what about the future? A Smither’s report on the future of packaging gives us long-term strategic forecasts up to 2030.

The information is based on hundreds of interviews with packaging material suppliers, experts, and converters drawn from key markets along with extensive literature analysis of industry reports, published data, official government statistics, company websites, international and domestic trade organisation reports, trade press articles, presentations, and trade event attendance. This article presents the report’s four key findings that everyone in the packaging industry needs to be aware of!


Trend 1 – Demographic and economic growth

Increased population and urbanisation will boost consumer income. A strengthening middle class, eager to engage with modern retail channels, will spend more on consumer goods, stimulating the growth of emerging consumer markets. A higher percentage of the aging population and rising life expectancy will also give rise to the increased need for pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

While this translates into more demand for B2C packaging, manufacturers should prepare for the needs of the aging and single-person households. For example, easy opening solutions, goods packaged in smaller sizes, and convenient, eco-friendly options will trend.


Trend 2 – Conscientious consumerism

While self-centred hoarding has marred the past two decades in consumerism, a younger, more environmentally conscious demographic is said to change buying patterns. They will demand more lightweight and portable packaging that protects their products without harming the environment. In addition, as sustainability becomes a key motivator, brands will increasingly look for packaging designs and materials that demonstrate their commitment to the environment.

For example, the report predicts a significant push toward reducing food waste in supply chains. Over the next decade, consumers will prefer high-barrier pouches and retort cooking capabilities that add more shelf-life to consumables. Packaging that provides more insulation, is easier to recycle, and improves the overall waste processing and recycling will be more in demand. 


Trend 3 – Online shopping requirements

As online consumption patterns continue an upward trajectory, there will be an elevation in demand for packaging formats that ship goods safely through more complex distribution channels. Trends indicate strong demand for packaging solutions that provide convenience and portability for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and supplement markets. In addition, as health-conscious consumers shop more frequently online, brands require packaging that supports the distribution of products in emerging health-related markets like organic foods, gluten-free packaged foods, and more. In general, the demand for strong, long-lasting and recyclable packaging is higher for online e-commerce brands.


Trend 4 – High-tech packaging solutions

With the advent of the Internet of Things, there is currently a trend to introduce smart technology in everything. For example, smart watches, smart home systems, and smart speakers automatically identify and respond to user behaviour patterns. Packaging is not to be left behind. There is an emerging trend in developing smart packaging solutions that increase customer engagement with the brand. For example, customised packaging solutions that integrate with marketing to drive social media engagement, RFID labels and smart tags that protect against counterfeit goods or enable better distribution monitoring.


PET – flexible packaging material of the future

We highly recommend PET plastic for all your present and future food packaging requirements. PET ranks highly for all  key indicators because:

  • The safety of PET for products related to food, beverage, medical, and pharmaceutical applications has been demonstrated repeatedly through extensive studies, regulatory approvals, testing, and widespread acceptance for more than three decades.
  • PET is strong but lightweight, allowing more products to be delivered with less weight, less packaging, and less fuel for transport. 
  • All PET products are recyclable and can be placed in yellow bins for collection. In addition, recycling plants have the equipment to wash and treat PET plastic products. 

Multi-steps – future-focussed products that grow with you

At Multisteps, we offer several solutions to align you with future trends. For instance, we strive toward sustainability in every aspect of our business. We take responsibility for the lifespan of our products – from product conception to usage, disposal and, in turn, materials recycling.

  • We invest heavily to bring premium, sustainable packing solutions to our customers. By doing this, we reduce wastage through breakage and poor quality.
  • We are committed to continuously reducing our impact on the environment. This extends to our strict policy of choosing plastic suppliers that reduce their environmental impact.
  • During our production process, we ensure all unused trimmings are recycled to ensure no wastage.
  • All our packaging is completely recyclable so you can place them in curb side bins for recycling.
  • All our factories are powered using solar energy to minimise our use of valuable resources.

Contact us today to discover how Multisteps can help you in developing products of the future!

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