The packaging industry is evolving as fast as the world around it, and three key packaging trends are driving this change today, according to PMMI Business Intelligence’s “2023 World Packaging Machinery” report.
Sustainability to Drive Innovation and Collaboration
Sustainability continues to drive innovation and collaboration in the packaging industry, underpinned by changing consumer expectations and the shift in willingness to pay for sustainable products.
Packaging companies are increasingly developing products with circularity in mind, designing products to be recyclable, compostable, and/or reusable.
Regulation will also play a key role globally, increasingly pushing for circularity and the use of more environmentally friendly solutions like plastic substitutes.
Climate legislation contributes heavily to the industry’s sustainability focus. Companies are targeting ways to reduce CO2 emissions, find reliable sources of clean energy, and focus on management of water resources.
Materials and waste are also top of mind for regulators. Concerns over food contact materials and chemicals and a drive to reduce plastic use are prompting change.
Also driving change is a focus on product security for regulators. This includes inflationary pressures across packaging markets, food supply chain disruptions, and ensuring food and pharmaceutical product security.
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Digitalization to Support New Business Models
Digitalization will become a key enabler for the packaging industry to deliver on growth and productivity ambitions.
Digitalization refers to more than data and technology. It’s also about creating measurable value by transforming the way the packaging industry operates, from the factory floor to customer interaction.
Common focus areas of digitalization include:
- Improving business transparency
- Driving performance improvements and more effective integration across the value chain
- Enabling new business models
- Effectively supporting and driving innovation and sustainability
Packaging machinery OEMs can optimize machine performance and leverage more intelligence and data from the machine with edge and cloud-based digital solutions.
As machine builders gradually move to sell maintenance services, these solutions enable them to gain revenue and introduce new subscription models.
End users also increasingly expect access to quick and reliable data to support their production processes.
Key Focus on Smart, Sustainable, and Customized Packaging
Digitalization also touches on the design of smart packaging. Increases in the uptake of printed tags and codes enable packaging to have a true digital identity and provide substantial added value.
One of the key values in smart packaging is easy access to information on the raw materials used in the packaging. This facilitates easier recycling, customer engagement with content, and traceability of the product origin.
Smart packaging can also unlock sustainability and contribute to circularity. Today, leading packaging producers are actively exploring their roles in providing these types of digital services to their global customers.
Source: PMMI Business Intelligence: 2023 World Packaging Machinery Report
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