Updated: Jan 30, 2019
2019: 2 years remaining before ending the present decade: what are the packaging drivers from here?
This should not be the end of the world (hopefully), just the end of this decade: so, what will packaging look like in the coming one? below 5 drivers which played a role these last years and which will impact the future of packaging :
1- Global consciousness for better waste management solutions and society urges companies to develop more susatinable raw materials : at the beginning of the decade, waste problem was focussed on reducing food waste (1/3 of food is globally wasted) and 2018 was concentrated on packaging waste issues : choosing packaging which will reduce both food and packaging waste is the solution for the coming decade. In parallel, the 2 last remaining years should focus on avoiding invisible waste (air gap in transport packaging, retail or ecommerce products).
2- Requirement for a new supply chain is emerging: it comes from the people needs for a different and better way of consumption. This will involve products less transformed, more locally sourced, more ethical, safe, traceable & trustable, driven by a better health demand and lower impact on planet resources. Smart communication on packaging should support the new supply chain.
3- Nudge marketing is replacing classic marketing to gently influence consumers to take the right decision for themselves and for the planet. Packaging is playing 2 important roles regarding health (eg. Portion, use) and sustainability (eg. communication enabler, easy to recycle, reuse etc.)- But companies would need to be careful with wrong spin-off messages.
4- Affordable packaging customisation for small businesses: we saw many news entrepreneurs, news small business creating news products and requiring bespoke packaging at a lower scale. This will necessitate an adjustment from big packaging companies who use to produce at large volume and do not have capability yet. At the same time, we could see news small packaging businesses appearing.
5- Anticipation of the next global financial & social crisis and consequences: what will be the likely scenarios? for instance: in case of a protectionism increase linked to a global crisis, how to source packaging? Indeed, most of the raw material as paper fibres, plastics, metal etc are globally sourced and crisis will impact their availability and pricing. Developing local recycling/recovery or reuse solutions should reduce impact. This crisis could be connected to climate change too and in this case, using packaging & product with the lowest impact on fresh water availability or/and arable land will be crucial.
Understanding these packaging drivers should give a competitive advantage to companies which will adapt their packaging strategy.