12 October 2023

With over 15 years of experience in the packaging market, I’ve had the opportunity to attend major industry conferences in the past year such as the Interpack International Conference, Pack Expo Chicago, and Fabtech. These events have given me a deeper understanding of the current trends, changes, and innovations shaping the packaging industry, now worth over $1 trillion.

Key Trends Reshaping the Packaging Industry

Among the major trends poised to transform the packaging industry in the coming years are:

  • Sustainability, biodegradability, and recyclability of packaging materials
  • E-commerce, direct-to-consumer, and custom packaging solutions
  • Digitalization, automation, and IoT in packaging
  • Creative, simple, humorous designs and fonts
  • Interactive and active packaging that tells a story or connects with consumers
  • Smart packaging

The Power of Smart Packaging

For me, the smart packaging trend stood out significantly. Smart packaging refers to the amalgamation of several emerging technologies in the packaging industry that enhance consumer and business utility. These technologies simplify the process of accessing and tracking information about the products and companies.

Advantages for Consumers and Businesses

For consumers, the increased utility comes from the detailed information tracking and sharing capabilities, permitting a deeper understanding of the companies and products they patronize.

For businesses, smart packaging offers insights into consumer behavior and market trends, while providing a personalized and unique brand experience for the consumer.

Economic and Environmental Benefits of Smart Packaging

Smart packaging can also be more economical due to its durability and lightweight nature, helping to reduce shipping and supply chain costs. This gives brands, particularly those with national or international reach, a competitive edge.

Moreover, smart packaging represents a new development that extends the shelf life of products, reduces food waste, loss, damage, and cost in the supply chain. Advanced sensors and indicators in packaging can monitor a product’s condition throughout its journey from production to consumption, enhancing quality control. The combination of numerous tools promoting safety, convenience, product information, and brand protection makes smart packaging a powerful tool in the packaging industry.

Market Projections for Smart Packaging

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global smart packaging market size was estimated at USD 6.65 billion in 2015 and is projected to reach USD 35.79 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 8.91% from 2016 to 2024. Meanwhile, Allied Market Research reports that the global smart packaging market size was $22,257.6 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $38,662.0 million by 2030, with a CAGR of 5.5% from 2021 to 2030.

The Future of the Packaging Industry

As with many other sectors, the intense technological development and application in the packaging industry is driving the future of this market. Packaging is no longer just a means to protect or present a product; it has evolved to offer much more.

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About the Author:

Bernardo Entschev, Managing Partner AIMS International US

Bernardo originally comes from the Life Sciences Industry. He graduated as a Physician when he was only 21 years’ old and post-graduated in Head & Neck Surgery and Craniofacial Surgery at University of São Paulo (USP). He followed the medical career successfully for more than a decade, starting up his own residency program and managing four emergency services. In parallel with his medical career he also did drug R&D for big pharmaceutical industries,  trained sales reps, acted as the ambassador of new products and technologies for multinational medical devices’ companies and supported healthcare procurement and auditing.