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:
Alternate Bottle Design
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.
Lightweight and Durable Design
An award also went to Henkel for a new paper-based shipping packaging design that is entirely recyclable, lightweight, but also durable.
Reducing Plastic Packaging
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:
Maximizing the Product Lifecycle
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.
Energy-Efficiency by Design
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.
Natural and Eco-Friendly Design
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.
The field of packaging design is changing rapidly, with new technologies and materials that bring innovative packaging to the forefront. Technologies such as 3D printing and materials such as lightweight plastics, durable and recyclable materials are transforming the way companies use packaging. They’re also changing the ecological impact of the packaging industry.
While packaging design is changing through all industries, one of the greatest changes is occurring in the food industry. CPG packaging for food is transforming the way companies ship products and protect them from damage. Eco-friendly food packaging is leading the way into a new era of packaging change.
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What is driving the innovations in packaging design?
An increasing demand for consumer packaged goods is driving innovation. Increasingly, consumers are shopping online, which adds another layer to the need for durable, eco-friendly packaging design.
How is technology affecting packaging design?
From robots that process and package food, software that assesses the impacts of new packaging, and 3D printing, technology is shaping the way packaging is designed.
How are packaging innovations helping the environment?
Custom packaging allows companies to create more efficient packaging that is designed to suit each product. Durable packaging allows companies to reduce the layers of packaging needed during shipping. Finally, packaging innovations also help companies use lightweight materials that make it easier to
Are packaging innovations restricted to food packaging?
There is packaging design innovation across all markets, not just food packaging.
What is modified atmosphere packaging?
Modified atmosphere packaging slows down the growth of microorganisms and oxidation using a specific controlled mixture of gases.
How are packaging innovations affecting the average consumer?
Packaging innovations help product consumer packaged goods, preventing breakage. They also reduce shipping costs. Both have price benefits to the consumer. CPG innovations also lead to customized packaging design that communicates more effectively with the consumer.
What is the impact of packaging innovations on shipping and logistics?
Packaging innovations are allowing companies to create more material-efficient packaging that allows your business to reduce the size and weight of packaging, thereby reducing shipping costs.
How does PKG Brand Design fit into this landscape of packaging innovation?
Working with PKG Brand Design allows your business to work with a company that’s experienced in the intersection between packaging materials and brand design. Create packaging that is meaningful, durable, eco-friendly and cost-effective.