Although challenging for business globally, the pandemic of 2020 is unlikely to affect the future growth of the industrial packaging solutions’ marketplace.
Goods still need to be shipped. Indeed, in many countries the restrictions on people’s movements and shopping mean increased demand for packaging solutions.
The industrial packaging solutions market will continue to grow, driven by global growth and demographic changes. As the marketplace grows, it continues to innovate.
Some researchers predict that the market for global industrial packaging will increase in value to $66 billion by 2024. (Currently, the value is around half of that.)
Exciting innovations in industrial packaging solutions
Innovations will be driven by growth, but also by environmental and sustainability concerns.
Companies want their goods to arrive safely and speedily, but face consumers’ calls to avoid over-packaging, as well as packaging which can’t be recycled and ends up as landfill.
Let’s look at some of the predicted future trends.
1. Clever packaging: everything’s getting smarter
“Smart” industrial packaging solutions are becoming the norm in food production.
Last year, JBS Australia, the global red meat exporter, reported on trials it conducted with CSIRO. In its paddock to plate initiative, JBS Australia uses tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and sensors, which it believes will transform the global supply chain.
Printed electronic circuits and sensors are used in transporting medical supplies. But soon, PARC (the Palo Alto Research Centre) believes that printed electronics will appear on industrial packaging solutions for many different products.
2. Packaging solutions and innovations: edible packaging
A year ago, an article, “Eat your food, and the package too” appeared in National Geographic magazine.
The article reports not only on edible packaging, but on melt-away food packaging too: that’s the kind of packaging currently used for dishwasher pods. Yes: developers promise that the pods will be safe for foods meant for human consumption.
3. QR codes will be replaced with Bluetooth and NFC technology
Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLW) and Near-Field-Communication (NFC) technologies will soon be used in industrial packaging solutions.
They promise to allow their customers’ smartphones to communicate with companies via a product’s packaging. Get ready for a slew of new marketing initiatives.
However, beyond marketing, there’s a definite benefit for companies. Each product will have its own NFC serial number; not only do these numbers offer dates of manufacture and more, they can also prove that a product is genuine. This will be a boon for pharmaceutical and other companies fighting against pirated products and brands.
4. Growth and innovation in “flexible” packaging
Bottles, tins, cardboard… For some products, rigid packaging is essential. However, for many products, especially food products, rigid packaging is wasteful and bulky.
Flexible packaging is offered in various forms: most commonly bags and pouches. In the USA, according to the flexible packaging industry’s association, flexible packaging has grabbed 19% of the packaging market.
The many benefits of flexible packaging include: an extended shelf life for foods, lower weight, easier shipping and easy storage.
Practical or silly, industrial packaging solutions will continue to innovate
Whatever the future holds, it’s certain that providers of industrial packaging solutions will continue to innovate. Some innovations will be hits and many will be startling.