What does the packaging industry predict for 2020?

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The trends within the packaging industry that we can expect in 2020 are focused around sustainability, customer experience and wider use of ‘smart packaging’ which uses augmented reality (AR).

As we enter a new decade, businesses are working towards a much more digitalised business model. The technology that has been introduced within the packaging industry over the last decade has enabled packaging distributors to deliver high-performance solutions can be produced at lower costs.

Wider use of augmented reality (AR)
This continuous innovation has seen the adoption of augmented reality (AR) to the packaging industry. A report by PwC highlighted that “Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) could add £62.5bn to the UK economy, a 2.4% boost to GDP, by 2030”. In simple terms, Augmented reality (AR) within packaging is used to turn the design of a package into an experience for the end-user. Nowadays, instead of just receiving an item in the post, you can open a smartphone app and point it at a box this will bring an interactive piece of content to life. Brands such as Kellogg’s have used augmented reality (AR) to inspire and educate children in the preparation for going back to school.

It is apparent that packaging has come a long way over the last 10 years. Although traditional packaging methods are still leading the way, AR packaging solutions are becoming increasingly popular amongst leading brands as they significantly improve the user experience.

Customer experience is key!
The fundamental purpose of packaging is to protect items in transit. However, over the past decade retailers have introduced packaging that is more convenient and increases customer experience. Our recent unboxing survey found that many retailers use too much packaging, which tends to have a negative effect on the overall customer experience. Major online retailer Amazon introduced the concept of ‘frustration-free-packaging’ in 2008 and since 2017 their program has “eliminated 215,000 tons of packaging materials and avoided 360 million shipping boxes”. The need for efficient, strong and sustainable packaging is fast becoming the norm as retailers explore key initiatives to further improve customer experience.

Sustainability needs to be the heart of decision-making

Increasingly, businesses are rethinking the materials they use, especially the role of plastic in their operation and how this impacts their overall carbon footprint. Sustainable packaging can have a positive impact on a business’s Corporate Social Responsibility objectives as well as their brand image.

  • The right choice of materials and packaging design can reduce material usage and waste throughout the supply chain, contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions.
  • Our Unboxing survey outlined that “29% of participants were very likely to pay for more products with environmentally friendly packaging” Therefore, making an informed choice when it comes to sustainable packaging is becoming increasingly important for retailers. By switching to sustainable, lightweight packaging retailers can reduce packaging transport costs. Most importantly, it promotes corporate responsibility in a positive light and will increase brand awareness for the right reasons!

At Macfarlane Packaging, we can help you find the optimum packaging for your products. Contact us today to arrange a free, no-obligation packaging review.

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