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  • Atit Gandhi

Top 4 Evolving trends in Sustainable Packaging

From wooden boxes to glass, paper, tin, metals and aluminium, packaging can be traced to the beginning of human life. Production, consumption, supply and innovation saw an insurgence during the mid 18th and 19th centuries. This time all marked the introduction of plastic packaging for food. The greatest innovation in this trend is Flexible packaging; a combination of mechanical and physical features of multiple layers of different polymers to create equilibrium in performance, nature and business deliberations. Flexible packaging, like its name, is highly flexible with product solutions. With several features likes seal and resealable pouches, gusseted bags, stand-up pouches, microwavable pouches, spouted pouches, zipper and vacuum bags, it has evolved as a second skin for most food and FMCG products. Yet, evolution is the key and with changing consumer and business dynamics, flexible packaging is also constantly innovating.

1. Smart Packing and Retail by Technology

With technology getting smarter, packing is also becoming increasingly efficient. Stand-up pouches with improved sealing properties are an outcome of a better production process, packaging materials and innovations in plastic packaging.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Evolution has given birth to concepts; smart packaging for smart storage, product and sales tracking and improved inventory management with less physical handling; smart retail for automated processes to gather product information recording customer purchasing patterns through barcodes and intelligent labels.

Such codes and smart tags support data analytics and allow brands owners to monitor real-time metrics on the supply chain.

2. Changes in lifestyle and shopping patterns

With evolving lifestyle the demand for convenience packaging has sky-rocketed. From light-weight to on-the-go, smaller pack sizes to responsible packaging, there is a new demand satiating shifting trends. Especially in the food category, there has been tremendous innovation like microwavable pouches, environmentally friendly packaging, smaller portion sizes and new product features like zip closure, valves and other resealable features. These are all mindfully created to reduce food waste and save costs. Moreover, the rise of e-commerce has generated a need for packaging that reduces logistical challenges and the risk of damage, puncture and contamination. Increasingly, better innovation in flexible packaging offers resistance to puncture, adulteration and damage to the exterior, safeguarding the contents inside.

3. Marketing & Competition Management

With cut-throat competition in all categories of FMCG and packaged food products, flexible packaging is playing a crucial role in the marketing of the product. Marketing campaigns are being built to augment consumer engagement and increase market share. Flexible packaging has become the first point of contact in creating an exciting user experience for the customer. With personalised designs; glossy exteriors; bright colours and appeal, the customer is lured to buy the product. Today, packaging has become a tool to communicate the product Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and achieve customer loyalty.

4. Going the Green Way

The younger generation; especially millennials and Gen Z have changed attitudes towards consumption, cost and environment. ‘Reduce, reuse and recycle’ as the new business model is a catalyst for sustainable packaging. Packaging experts are facing pressure to reduce packaging costs, improve material use, and ensure environmental safety. Good flexible manufacturing companies are innovating new packaging designs, building collection mechanisms for plastic waste and re-structuring their processes to optimize and upgrade multi-material structures.

At the Montage Group, we use multilayer barrier materials in flexible packaging designs to make it a perfect choice for food and FMCG packaging that reduces waste, cost on materials and energy use, fights climate change and ensures a sustainable future. We are committed to ensuring flexible packaging trends will continue to evolve with technology and transform to address business, environmental and social needs.

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