The packaging industry undoubtedly faces several challenges, but it is also a space for creativity and innovation. The ability to connect with consumers using digital technologies and creating customized packaging solutions is reshaping the landscape of packaging designs. Packaging design is no longer just about aesthetics, but also about integrating intelligent and smart technologies to create personalized experiences for consumers.

As consumers continue to demand personalized experiences and sustainability becomes a key consideration, packaging manufacturers are embracing modern technologies to stay at the top of their game. The rapid pace of modernization within the packaging industry is revolutionizing how businesses package their goods today, creating an environment where anything is possible when it comes to designing personalized packaging without compromising on quality or cost-effectiveness. The future of packaging industry is exciting, with endless possibilities to create unique, interactive, and sustainable packaging solutions.

There's no longer just talks about sustainability of packaging. Numerous companies walk the talk by emphasizing on recycling, using biodegradable materials, causing as little impact as possible on the environment... Take for example, the Electrolux Group launched a new and more sustainable packaging in March 2023. The new recycled and paper-based packaging was launched to improve the quality of consumer health packaging across AEG and Electrolux small appliances, thereby reducing the overall environmental impact.

Reimaging packaging is a key strategy that helps several businesses expand. Packaging producers have an immediate need to replace commonly used plastic PE layers in packaging. It is imperative to say that development of sustainable barrier coatings paves way for businesses to scale. For instance, an Israel-based sustainable coating products supplier, Melodea Ltd., launched VBseal in March 2023. The new launch is designed to replace single-use plastics in fast food, fresh food, cereals, and confectionery packaging. The company also launched a pilot project to contribute to their customers’ sustainable goals, in addition to this debut.

Over the years, the packaging industry has witnessed transformational changes and is still undergoing disruption on a large scale. Although it may not seem apparent, there is a lot of thinking that goes into conceptualizing a packaging design. The parameters and criteria to be considered to create the right design differ among products and target consumers. Well-established packaging manufacturers have been largely able to leverage the growing use of internet and social media to connect with their consumers.

This has been made possible by the increasing penetration of digital in the packaging industry, which has impacted the entire supply chain. Digital marketing is crucial to have access to large quantities of real-time data on changing consumer behavior. The ability to connect with consumers where they are, provides the opportunity for several brands to develop long-term omni-channel relationships with their consumers. Small scale packaging companies rely equipment configured for mass production of packaging formats with pre-set designs. In an industry where the key lies in mass-production, personalization sounds counter-intuitive. However, it has been found that with advancement in packaging design abilities, new solutions can be made which allow room for further tweaks. The trick lies in establishing an agile production unit.

Staying Connected

Consumers in general have been observed to appreciate smart and intelligent packaging and are willing to pay more for the added features. Manufacturers are looking at integrated packaging solutions which incorporate multiple smart and intelligent technologies in combination with active systems. Smart packaging systems are expected to take IoT in the packaging industry to the next level. A plethora of opportunities are gradually being explored for IoT and packaging formats to work together, and their implementation have been largely successful. For instance, the launch of Near Field Communication (NFC) bottles by Malibu enabled the brand to add communication content in its caps. As packaging gets more interactive, so does the demand for more personalized solutions. Leading consumer goods companies are now spending more on creating a personalized experience for their consumer through packaging to stay ahead of the competition. This has compelled packaging manufacturers to innovate and create integrated solutions for their clients.

A significant percentage of retailers are optimistic toward adoption of IoT in packaging formats, which is a telltale sign of positive outlook during the next ten years. The internet will bring about a revolution in ways in which consumers and packaging can interact.

The Road Ahead

The amalgamation of modern technology with breakthrough in connectivity will help create a more personalized experience for the consumer of today and tomorrow. One interesting nature of demand for personalized packaging is that it is not limited to specific age groups. Companies are expected to enhance their custom offerings and focus on environment-friendly and lightweight packaging materials. Small scale packaging manufacturers will need to step up their game to stay in the competition as their Tier 1 counterparts rely on smart and intelligent packaging to meet the demand of modern consumers.