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Sustainability Expected To Surpass Cost as Driver in Packaging Industry
October 29, 2012
Sustainability will become a dominant trend in packaging in 10 years, according to a new study of future packaging trends done by Packaging World and DuPont.
Cost is currently the top driver in the industry, but a survey of 500 subscribers to Packaging World and FoodProductionDaily.com found the importance of cost is expected to drop below the importance of sustainability within ten years.
Other key findings include:
- Food safety/security will remain a top factor driving packaging work.
- Today’s emphasis on “right-sizing” will give way to strategies to use renewable materials, recyclable materials and smart packaging in 10 years
- Though rarely selected as a “top” trend, convenience factors are identified as very important today — and that importance is expected to remain in 10 years.
- The packaging industry believes consumers will have increased value for recyclability and perceived “greenness” of packaging in 10 years — at the same time, demand for proof of sustainability claims will grow exponentially, for instance in the demand for life cycle analysis data.
- Packaging will play a more important role in a product’s success in 10 years, say 81 percent or respondents.
- 65 percent of respondents agree that plastics will continue to replace glass and metals and flexible packaging will continue to replace rigid structures.
- Regulations will have a greater influence on packaging design in 10 years, according to 82 percent of respondents.
"One common theme throughout the survey is the need to maximize value with minimal impact," said Shanna Moore, global sustainability director, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers. “Interestingly we see cost sacrificed for sustainability. While affordability underscores everything we do, the message is clear: Sustainability must be considered at the onset especially in light of expectations that the consumer will have even more value in it.”
The online survey — completed in August — captures insights from consumer goods manufacturers and converters in marketing and packaging development roles. Food, healthcare and beverage markets ranked the highest, but nearly every industry that uses packaging was represented. Two-thirds of the respondents are from Europe, with the remaining in North America.
According to BBMG’s Raphael Bemporad, packaging improvements are already an area of imperative innovation for leading sustainable brands — one of five trends taking shape in 2012.
@Bart_King is a freelance writer and communications consultant.