There are six developments expected to take place in 2014.
Flexibles rule– Data suggests that this is the year flexible packaging will become the primary packaging choice for food, personal care and pharmaceutical products. It’s estimated that Americans will be using (32.85 billion) more rigid plastic and flexible packs in 2017 than in 2012. Flexible packaging is the fastest growing segment in the United States packaging industry.
Retail ready packaging advancement– The move out of peg-displayed pillow pouches by cheese shredders will transform supermarket dairy cases into a more European (i.e., “pegless”) model.
Fewer one trick ponies– There will be a development in more interactive packages. Some of the developments include time/temperature indicators, regimen-compliance indicators, near field communications (NFC) and freshness/efficacy monitors.
Biopolymer packaging– Expect economics and performance shortfalls vs. petrochemical polymers to slow the advance of bio-derived polymers for packaging. Don’t expect packaging for bio-derived polymers until around 2020.
Leveraging technology– Five years ago a group of scientists and US regulators met to discuss nanotechnology and the packaging health and safety implications of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) that are minuscule enough to migrate through barrier membranes that couldn’t be penetrated by larger materials. Nanomaterial applications have quietly expanded since then. This year we could see nanomaterials replacing foil in the classic paper/poly/foil structure to improve recycling and sustainability.
Beefing up for e-commerce and m-commerce- The explosive growth of consumer online and mobile transactions is going to trigger a surge of protective packaging to meet the more demanding, higher package-to-product ratio needs of single items traveling by USPS or carrier vs. conventional pallet load transport packaging of goods to brick and mortar retailers.
Source: Packaging World