3 Trends that will change the packaging industry before 2028

Long term forecasts for the packaging sector suggest the industry will enjoy continued growth of up to 3% per annum. That will bring this industry’s worth to a staggering 1.2 trillion dollars. This is according to the research compiled and interpreted by Smither’s Pira.


The packaging industry’s growth trends

What substantiates these forecasts? The five-year period between 2013 and 2018 shows us 6.8% growth, predominantly as a result of westernisation spreading to less developed regions which have increased their demand for packaged goods. It is predicted that these emerging economies, along with more demand from consumer markets, will continue to drive the growth of the packaging industry.

The primary catalysts for change, which will ultimately give the industry a facelift, are as follows:

1. Consumer trends

The move from store-based purchasing to online retail has grown exponentially. Convenience, the primary advantage of online purchasing, is one of the notable deciding factors in purchases – to the extent where it’s almost a commodity of its own.

It’s no wonder then that packaging demands have increased. Following every online purchase is a product that needs to travel securely. It is predicted that online purchases will continue to increase through to 2028. Some of the packaging trends that will likely become a favourite include corrugated cardboard and other sturdy containers.

Along with online purchases, there are more people living single-person lifestyles. This increases the demand for individually packaged products. Consumers are also more aware of their health now than ever before. Packaging solutions that promote well-being and steer away from BPAs will also see an increase in demand.

2. Earth-friendly demands

Building on the previous point, another consumer demand is earth-friendly packaging solutions. It’s not only a consumer demand that will bring about change in this sector. Governments and municipal regulations are also weighing in, making it more difficult to manufacture items that are single-use or dangerous to the environment.

Along with phasing out plastics and other single-use materials, there is concern around food wastage. Up to 40% of the food worldwide is not eaten – wastage that is deemed unsustainable. Packaging innovations could help to curb this by extending the shelf life of many products.

“Modern flexible formats like high-barrier pouches and retort cooking add extra shelf-life to foods and can be especially beneficial in less developed markets where a refrigerated retail infrastructure is missing. Much R&D is going into improving packaging barrier technology, including the integration of nano-engineered materials”.


3. Economic and demographic growth

Urbanisation is spreading fast in emerging countries like India and China. Along with that, the world economy is predicted to continue its trend of growth. This means we will continue to enjoy rising packaging demands.

“Rising life expectancy will lead to ageing of the population – especially in key developed markets, like Japan – will increase demand for healthcare and pharmaceutical products. Simultaneously there is a need for easy opening solutions and packaging adapted to the needs of elders.”

What will packaging look like in 2028?

It’s difficult to say but an educated guess would lead to an assumption that all packaging will be environmentally-friendly. Perhaps improved quality for easier transportation and better food preservation. If you want to stay on top of these trends, chat with us. Let’s find you the most effective solution to labelling and packaging.