Monday, 9 July 2012

Global Packaging Industry Survey 2012: Trends and Opportunities in Packaging, Budget Allocation, Procurement and NPD

Most important trends for innovative packaging

In 2012, suppliers will assign more importance to “more customized packaging,” “tracking and trading requirements” and “new labelling and coding technology,” while buyers consider “consumer convenience” and “new packaging materials” to be more imperative. The “cost of material” is considered the most important factor driving the development of innovative packaging solutions.

A C-level executive from a packaged goods manufacturer category states: “My company is focused on adopting sustainability practices in the development of new products to help reduce our overall production expenditure, including the cost of the materials procured.” Highlighting this trend, Unilever, a consumer goods company, devised a new policy for sourcing paper and board in 2010 and has made plans to procure 75% of paper and board either from certified sustainably managed forests or recycled materials by 2015.

According to packaged goods manufacturers, the most sustainable packaging materials are “paper and board,” “degradable plastics (such as oxo-biodegradable plastics)” and “glass,” while converters consider “paper and board,” “recyclable plastics” and “glass” to be the most environmentally friendly. Many organizations are actively seeking investment in paper and board packaging materials either through an increase in capacity or through acquisition. Highlighting the trend, A&R Carton, a Swedish carton manufacture, increased its stake by 34% in SP Containers, a food and retail packaging supplier in April 2011.

“Reduced manufacturing costs,” “minimize material use” and “environmental and regulatory compliance” remain the top three advantages

For manufacturers, the top three advantages of new packaging include “reduced manufacturing costs,” “minimize material use” and “environmental and regulatory compliance,” while converters consider “environmental and regulatory compliance,” “minimize material use” and “increased shelf life” of products to be important. In terms of new packaging solutions, the main objective of manufactures is to reduce costs. This can be achieved through reducing the weight of bottles and boxes, decreasing the thickness of packaging materials such as extra plastic on pouch packets and lessening the size of containers. For example, in February 2011, Kraft Foods reduced the size of its Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars from 140 to 120 grams in the US and the UK and also announced plans to reduce the size of packaging for some of its products in November 2011.

Suppliers assign relatively more importance to “consumers” and the “government” as key drivers influencing their organizations’ sustainability efforts, than buyers who referenced “self-regulation: individual companies,” “clients” and “self-regulation: trade bodies” as their key drivers. Companies are becoming more consumer-centric and are actively investing in developing products according to market research. For example, in September 2011, Sainsbury’s changed the packaging of its peanut butter range from glass to plastic jars, an initiative that helped the company to cut packaging material volumes by 83% or 882,000 kilos.

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    Packaging technology has been undergoing rapid development over the past few years,because consumers depending on packaging for food safety and transportability. Recent advances in environmental friendly packaging are helping packaging manufacturer meet demand for recyclable products as consumer seek to reduce waste and limit harmful impact of living on environment..

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