“Recyclable by design” tops Innova Market Insights’ Packaging Trends for 2019
13 Mar 2019 --- Innova Market Insights identifies “Recyclable by design” as its number one trend in packaging for 2019. Widespread bans on single-use plastics, the implementation of China’s “National Sword” policy and increasing media attention around the environmental scourge of plastic pollution have intensified the demand for recycle-ready packaging solutions. Innova Market Insights labeled 2018 “a sustainability tipping point for packaging” and fully expects the industry to respond with innovative, recyclable designs in 2019.
Innova Market Insights highlights that industry alliances between food manufacturers, packaging suppliers and waste management agencies will be key in achieving ambitious circular economy and sustainability goals set forth by governing bodies and businesses alike in 2019.
It is already evident that the global packaging industry will continue to be dominated by the sustainability debate in 2019. Yet the question remains as to what the most viable and effective routes for a more sustainable future are exactly? Trends in paper-based packaging, recycling collaborations and circular, designed-in recyclability in NPD will try to find the answer to this.
Click to EnlargeFast out of the blocks in 2019 is Mondi with the landmark launch of its BarrierPack Recyclable. This innovation finds a solution to the long-standing need for recyclable plastic laminates and can be recycled in existing industrial recycling streams.
Mondi’s Stijn De Wit, Head of Marketing and Communication for Consumer Packaging, tells PackagingInsights that the public attention around plastic is actually an opportunity for suppliers because it gives visibility to an issue that will drive more collaboration within the industry.
“It is an opportunity for us, but also for FMCG companies and retailers, to collaborate in the value chain to solve the problem that we have with packaging waste. We really see this media and public attention as a gift to stimulate further development of sustainable packaging solutions,” he says.
A recent notable example is Tetra Pak’s partnership with recycling specialist Veolia. While the paperboard component of Tetra Pak cartons could already be converted into cartons and paper towels, Veolia’s systems will also enable the polymer and aluminum (PolyAl) mix to be converted into industrial applications such as oil canisters and pots (HDPE) as well as crates and plastic pallets (PE Alu).
Increased sustainability in packaging is a growing concern for consumers. Innova Market Insights reports strong average annual growth in food and beverage launches with an ethical packaging claim, by region (2014-2018). Latin America (33 percent), North America (19 percent) and Europe (10 percent) lead in the popularity of these claims.
At the same time, paper-based and hybrid plastic alternatives are on the rise, largely as a result of growing anti-plastic sentiment. Innova Market Insights reports a 40 percent global rise in new product launches with paper-based packaging (2018 vs. 2014).
For example, at the end of the last year, Sonoco began supplying rigid paper containers to German manufacturer mymuesli. Unlike the previous supplier, Sonoco’s containers feature a carton-based bottom, further facilitating the recycling process. Sean Cairns, Vice President and General Manager at Sonoco Consumer Products Europe, tells PackagingInsights that it is not just about being sustainable but also about appearing sustainable through packaging design. Paper-based packaging appeals to consumers for its “natural aesthetics,” he explains.
Innova Market Insights notes that, despite the race for increased sustainability, convenience remains key. The number of food and beverage launches with a recloseable or resealable closure has risen exponentially, with an average annual growth rate of 92 percent in the past three years (2016-2018), according to new product data from the researcher.
Coming in second place on Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Packaging Trends for 2019 is “E-Commerce Ready.” With more and more consumers shopping online, the landscape for online retail is changing rapidly. Developing packages that provide product protection and tamper evidence along the supply chain, while reducing the environmental impact of shipping materials in the e-commerce supply chain will prove vital. This is especially true after the implementation of Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) program.Click to Enlarge
A prominent example of “E-Commerce Ready” packaging is provided by UK start-up Garçon Wines’ February launch of the world’s most compact wine transit case: the 10 Flat Bottle Case. “In this case, we package eight bottles like books and two bottles in the airspace around the neck, thereby cutting the space required for products. In a traditional wine pallet, you’d have around 450 bottles – on our pallet you have in excess of 1,000 bottles,” Santiago Navarro, Co-Founder at Garçon Wines, tells PackagingInsights.
In third place is the trend “Nature’s Appeal”: Anti-plastic sentiment and the rising demand for designed-in recyclability have fueled a resurgence in paper and paperboard packaging. Paper is not only by nature renewable, recyclable and compostable but can also add value via its “natural” appearance in an increasingly eco-conscious society.
Next up is “More Convenient Convenience”: Consumer convenience continues to be one of the most important attributes to consider while designing the optimal packaging for a product. Innovations within this area focus on facilitating on-the-go consumption and ease-of-use.
At number five is “Pack to the Future”: With increasing consumer demand for transparency along the supply chain, IoT technologies such as QR codes and blockchain have come to the forefront. There has been a rise in the use of Near-Field Communication (NFC) and Augmented Reality (AR) as tools for increasing brand loyalty through consumer engagement.
NFC in particular is readying for full-scale deployments across multiple markets in 2019, industry experts are predicting. The increased cost-effectiveness and standardization of connective mechanisms such as NFC tags means that brand owners are now able to integrate connective technologies in packaging into existing production lines.
The remaining trends identified by Innova Market Insights are:
6. “Less is More”: Innovation in lightweighting across different packaging formats. For example, the increasing popularity of vacuum-packed paper trays (skinpacks) and lightweight beer kegs.
7. “Bio-Plastic Booms”: Bioplastics continue to achieve steady global growth, particularly in Asia. 1 in 3 consumers is willing to pay more for food and beverage products packaged using compostable or biodegradable packaging, according to a global 2018 Innova Lifestyle Survey.
8. “Packaging for Me”: Growth in novel closures and digital printing innovation is facilitating the design of bespoke, personalized packaging.
9. “Inclusive by Design”: The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 15 percent of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. In 2019, the packaging industry will be looking to embrace this market with more tailored packaging designs.
10. “Reusable Innovation”: The drive to eliminate waste management problems through the development of reusable packaging solutions will continue to gather pace in 2019.
By Joshua Poole
This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst.com's sister website, PackagingInsights.
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