Packaging trends

What to look out for when choosing packaging for your products


Think about the last time you unpacked a parcel. Maybe it was your latest smartphone, or a new printer for the office. What’s the first thing you see when a product gets delivered and you unpack it? That’s right, the packaging.

Packaging is a customer’s first point of contact with a product. If your packaging looks professional, consumers will associate this with high quality. The main role of packaging is to protect wares from damage during transport, but it also has a representative function – and first impressions are everything.

The following blog post looks at trends in both primary and secondary packaging, illustrated by real-world examples. The article highlights the factors you will need to take into account in order to choose packaging successfully in future. We also provide a look ahead to how the packaging industry is set to develop in the coming years.

The packaging industry at a glance

Globalisation, innovative technologies and increasing consumer expectations are all having a profound impact on the packaging industry, which continues to expand. The total global volume of the packaging market is estimated at almost 900 billion euros (as of 2019). In Germany alone, the industry is worth over 50 billion euros, which equates to around 2% of GDP. The DACH region’s mechanical engineering industry is the world leader in this field. Well over 5,000 companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland operate in the packaging sector.

By utilising new technologies and a variety of materials, retailers can respond quickly to new trends and adapt to customer expectations. The five key trends in the packaging industry right now can be summed up as follows:

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What will the future bring?

Over the coming years, packaging will increasingly be produced from natural materials that are completely biodegradable. The following examples provide an insight into the latest developments.

Smart packaging

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A lot of research is currently going into developing “active packaging” to help in the fight against food waste. This includes food packaging that allows for a later use-by date, so food is less likely to be thrown away.

Packaging may feature intelligent indicators showing data such as freshness, temperature and the date on which the product was first opened. The aim is to help consumers make more conscious decisions.

Mushrooms replace Styrofoam

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Styrofoam is used for the packaging of many tech products, but is difficult to recycle. So researchers have come up with an alternative made from mushrooms. The packaging material is natural and completely free from chemical substances. Software giants such as Dell Computers are already using this new technology to boost their image and look after the environment.

Drinks cartons made from seaweed

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Packaging made from seaweed is an innovation that is revolutionising the drinks market. The new technology allows soft drinks to be sold in a seaweed membrane rather than in plastic bottles. Production is extremely cost-effective, and the seaweed used is fully biodegradable – and edible too.

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Keep an eye on these market developments

In today’s globalised world, the market can evolve at a rapid pace. It is important to monitor and analyse these changes so that you can react quickly to new trends. In future, companies will not only need to be environmentally friendly, they will also have to have a transparent logistics structure. Your customers will want to know where products have come from and how they were transported. Consumers increasingly make decisions based on environmental and ethical considerations, so companies that don’t incorporate sustainability into their corporate strategy will lose out.

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