When discussing innovation, it’s likely the conversation will turn to technology, which has revolutionized and disrupted every industry, including the food industry. But the real innovation is currently occurring in packaging design. Let's take a look at the latest in packaging innovations and how these techniques and technologies are changing the food industry — for the better.
Technology and Packaging Innovations
Increasing demand for consumer products is driving production innovations. These “think outside the package” strategies are fueling stronger production techniques and more environmentally-friendly reusable packaging.
The first change in packaging innovation comes from the technology behind the products and the packages that house them. Manufacturers use a combination of software and hardware to increase the productivity of their processing procedures. This is particularly true for CPG product lines, including food. Forbes says there are more than 30,000 types of robots currently being used to produce food in Europe today.
3D printing has also revolutionized packaging design and is currently being used by NASA for some exciting experiments in food, such as building a pizza in space.
Packaging design has also grown more innovative, including:
1. Late last year, Dow’s Packaging Innovation Awards recognized a new line of packaging design by Dai Nippon Printing, producer of an alternative bottle that replicates container glass. The product is a clear film that goes over the heavier and breakable glass bottle to make it more durable and recyclable.
2. An award also went to Henkel for a new paper-based shipping packaging design that is entirely recyclable, lightweight, but also durable.
3. P&G is a name that has been in the CPG marketing space for more than five decades. Last year they received a packaging innovations award for the reinvention of their 50-year old detergent packaging. The new Eco-Box uses 60% less plastic than the prior packaging and is ready to ship to consumers without an additional bubble or plastic wrap.
More packaging innovations are coming from the food industry. Forget farm to table, the reality today is that food travels about 4,200 miles to reach the average consumer. Some of the packaging innovations to watch in this space include:
4. Sealed Air’s Cryovac modified atmosphere packaging, which can customize the levels of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen surrounding container foods to maximize the product lifecycle.
5. In India, Parakh Agro Industries created a packaging design using an inexpensive film pouch that is sustainable but also keeps milk or other perishable liquids fresh for 90-days without refrigeration.
6. Amcor created a paper-based packaging design for processed meat and cheese. The packaging looks rustic, with a natural feel and the recyclable materials that consumers increasingly seek. It also has a resealable flip closure that keeps these products fresher longer.
While these packaging innovations focus on perishable foods, skin and hair products are also breaking new barriers. L’Oreal and ProAmpac have redesigned skincare packaging from rigid to a new flexible pouch that makes these products more portable.
PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!