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Packaging Trends From 2018 That Are Here to Stay

Necessity is the mother of innovation and the year 2018 thoroughly emphasized the need for smart and environment-friendly packaging. The billion-dollar packaging industry thrives to incorporate technology to make the packaging more involving with the consumers. At the same time, the industry’s efforts to use ecologically derived and minimize packaging materials is remarkable. Let’s sum up the packaging trends from last year, which are also going to stay.

Active Packaging Solutions

The term active packaging refers to the system which helps monitor freshness, improve shelf life, and add convenience within the food, pharmaceutical, and FMCG industries. Active packaging is one of the packaging industry trends which is going to prevail. This category of packaging also showcases a lot of developments in recent years.

Color Changing Labels

The color changing labels on Sainsbury frozen meat packaging indicates the food quality while in shelf and after the package is open. This is also useful for the store managers for demand planning and selling of a particular food item.

color changing labels - packaging industry trends

Microprocessor Chip Enabled Packaging

Sensitive drugs, of course, need careful handling. At the same time, it is also a responsibility to make sure the medicine is reaching the patient in time and in the prescribed dose. CerePak® pharmaceutical packaging from Westrock contains a microprocessor chip, which tracks dosage and reminds the patient to take medicine by light and vibration.

microprocessor enabled pharmaceutical packaging
Image Credits - Westrock

Technology Driven Packaging

Technology complies with scale. Packaging requirement is directly proportional to the growing sales. Hence, the manufacturers are keen on adopting efficient technologies and systems for faster packaging. Also, to ensure the package reaches its client in good shape, tracking technologies are well appreciated.

NFC and RFID Technology in Packaging and Labels

With trending e-commerce and accurate data building, manufacturers are increasingly incorporating technology in packaging. The commonly used technologies to track shipping are NFC (Near Field Communication) and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). These systems not only track the package location but also collect relevant data from user and transit conditions.

RFID - innovative label designs

Robotics Automation

The large scale manufacturers are incorporating robotic technology to speed up the packaging process. Robotic technology ensures three main benefits over manual packaging - flexibility, consistency, and accuracy. For example, Vision Guided Robotic Packaging from BrentonⓇ is application driven automated packaging system which requires least human intervention.

Eco-friendly Packaging

With over million-tons of plastic contributing to landfill every year, people realize the need for biodegradable packaging. After all, the least we can do to protect the environment is not add to its misery. Following are of the noteworthy biodegradable packaging innovations.

Cornstarch For Packaging

Winner of the Dieline 2018 Awards, spill-proof biodegradable meal tray from Bizongo Design Square is a step forward in using disposable biodegradable containers over their plastic counterparts.

packaging challenges -meal-tray

Bamboo for Packaging

Manufacturers are keen on using biodegradable alternatives to plastic packaging. For instance, Dell, a technology giant is using bamboo for packaging and shipping sophisticated gadgets. What’s remarkable is, these materials are more or less compete with the strength of plastic packaging.

Dell- Bamboo cushion-sustainable packaging

Similarly, research is going on to use materials like sugarcane and poultry fibers in place of plastic polymers. Making use of the naturally available materials as a replacement to non-compostable plastics is certainly the need of time.

Yet another trend from packaging innovations 2018, which is going to stay in terms of using environment-friendly packaging materials is biodegradable fruits and vegetables wraps. The thin transparent film made from watermelon sugar is completely compostable.

Other than these, there are 13 more unusual eco-friendly packaging materials. Click here to know more!

Reusable Frame-and-bag Crate

This lightweight crate comprises of a reusable frame and replaceable organic biodegradable bag. One can use the frame many times and replace the biodegradable bag after subsequent use. This is a hygienic solution over the traditional crates and one of the best food packaging innovations 2018.

Experience Driven Packaging Trends

When the world approves of minimalism then why not packaging? Companies are reducing the use of packaging material by either making the packaging reusable or reducing the material altogether.

Aiming to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Apple Inc. the tech giant is using minimalist paper packaging for all its products. According to Apple, this initiative will save logistics costs and reduce carbon footprint.

apple minimalist packaging

Frustration-free Packaging

Amazon’s idea for making the packaging easier for both- manufacturer and consumer is the trend that is going to rule. The company’s efforts towards partnering with manufacturers to eliminate the need for an additional shipping box is remarkable. This innovative idea will reduce the packaging material requirement and hence the packaging waste.

Learn more about frustration-free packaging here.

Engineered Packaging

With technology, it is possible to create custom packaging according to individual products requirements. Manufacturers realize that an effort towards custom packaging once can save overall material, logistics, and recyclability cost. For example, the ExPak boxes from Nefab group are individually engineered for packaging automobile parts.

customized - automotive packaging
Image Credits: Nefab

Reusable and Returnable Packaging

A simple cardboard box with two strips of adhesives- one to use while packaging and the other while returning is the packaging innovation from Rajapak Ltd. The simple design and reusability are going to win in the long run.

Reusable and Returnable Packaging

Packaging Innovations 2019

As we have seen the year 2018 conceptualized technology driven packaging and the essence for environmental sustainability. It is foreseen, the upcoming years’ packaging revolution will encompass redesigning retail packaging to make it more environment-friendly and technologically sound to add consumer convenience.

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