The drive toward sustainability has caused new upheaval in the packaging sector. The changes though no rapid but are unarguably transformative. New directions have come to the fore for packaging manufacturers. Industry 4.0 among other factors are leading transformative changes. A case in point is growing shift toward zero-waste in retail packaging. Exciting new ideas have come to the fore. Packaging-free products have been attracting cosmetics manufacturers and retailers. Two initiatives by cosmetic brands that are worth mentioning are by Lush and The Body Shop. The former unveiled the concept of packaging-free products in a Naked store in Hong Kong in September 2018. The latter has launched a test refill station for body shower gels. It intends to add more products as they go along the sustainability path.
Technology to Help Meet Expectation of Growing Class of Aware Consumers
Another fundamental change the industry has perceived is in the area of growing class of aware consumers. Technology has helped consumer brands to quench the thirst of their consumers. This has paved way to new formats. A prominent case in point is connective packaging—the idea of connecting with consumers at multiple levels. Growing adoption of QR codes and augmented reality is leading the change. Smartphone has become the normal empowering consumers, opine industry experts. Their use has unlocked new potential in engaging consumers.
Not only an interactive packaging, have technologies also helped brands reduce the instances of counterfeiting. This is increasingly evident in pharmaceutical packaging. Moreover, the trend of experiential consumerism has caught some momentum. Coupled with connective packaging formats, this will fuel new smart packaging for generation Z.
Interestingly smart production lines will shift their attention from premiumisation to use of greener materials. Players will increasingly leverage the potential of digital production technologies to reward their consumers. Stridently, next-generation packaging formats will combine sustainability, speed, and consumer engagement. All these trajectories will emerge from the adoption of agile packaging to emerge across the onslaught of changing regulatory requirements.