Packaging Innovation
3 trends in packaging
April 1, 2022

3 trends in packaging and how to overcome their challenges

Never content not to be bang on trend? Of course not! Discover what’s happening in packaging right now, what your peers are up to, and what you should be exploring to ensure future business prosperity.

Read on to see what’s going on and how you can stay ahead of the curve (hint: it’s time to start automating!).

Premium packaging, please

A quick stroll down any supermarket aisle will reveal packaging of every color, texture and shape. And you’ll see that packaging is becoming increasingly colorful and experimental, with brands using it as a key differentiator in saturated markets. As they should – it’s a key driver for today’s consumer purchasing decisions.

Companies are no longer satisfied to stick with a great packaging design for several years, either. Instead, they’re looking to update, refresh and improve often. 64% of consumer packaging SKUs are refreshed every year, in the form of new designs or simple changes including text and barcodes.

64% of consumer packaging SKUs are refreshed every year.

The demand for personalized and promotional packaging continues to grow, too. With brands following in the footsteps of highly successful personalization campaigns, including Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, which launched in Australia in 2011. The campaign saw the logo replaced by popular names, with consumers rushing out to find the Coke bottle sporting their moniker. Its award-winning success has now been replicated in different forms, across different markets and brands around the globe.

Many companies are also making a commitment towards more environmentally friendly packaging – without compromising on attractiveness. This has created demand for increasingly colorful and experimental corrugated and folding carton packaging.

As this trend continues to grow, companies rise to the challenge of shorter innovation and packaging production cycles. 82% of businesses like yours say this trend will only continue to grow – with pressure mounting on them to deliver right-first-time jobs as quickly as possible.

82% of companies say more and more customers will refresh packaging yearly.

Click-to-buy – Covid19 and beyond

Nothing could have better highlighted the power of the internet than the Covid19 pandemic and the unique set of challenges it threw at every individual, household and business.

It fueled the ever-growing demand within the ecommerce sector, making the way we order, pay for, track and trace our goods, including groceries, homewares and even pharmaceuticals, more internet driven that ever before. Of course, this is a trend that will not simply revert as normality returns.

The need to adapt to a ‘new normal’ (sorry!), combined with fragile supply chains, and a changing retail landscape, has put additional pressure on packaging printers to improve operational processes, lower costs and earn client loyalty.

Digital printing is growing up

As we saw a few years ago in the flexographic world, and more recently in the folding carton and corrugated sector – digital printing is starting to mature.

With this comes the expectation of shorter lead times and quicker turnaround times, with no compromise on quality. Essentially, customer expectations will only grow – with those businesses quickest to adapt gaining the advantage.

How these trends contribute to your day-today challenges

One, all or a combination of these trends create multiple challenges for you and businesses like you to overcome. These are the top five challenges packaging convertors are facing today:

Can’t keep up with demand:  The biggest pain point? Throughput time. 31% of our customers cite throughput as their greatest challenge. And this isn’t surprising.

Attempting to turn around a higher number of smaller jobs efficiently, with shortened production times, while maintaining high quality may seem impossible. Thankfully, it’s not.

Can’t get the staff: 22% of you have difficulty finding skilled people with the right attitude or culture fit to take on all this additional work. Retaining staff is an issue, too, with repetitive, unfulfilling tasks causing a lack of job satisfaction.

If only you could keep up with additional demand without increasing headcount, and keep staff engaged by reducing repetitive, non-value tasks.

Can’t get it right first time: 14% of our customers cite customer complaints, revisions and reprints as one of their top five challenges. All normal when human error comes into play.

Perhaps you could find a simple way to avoid these mistakes?

Can’t make it personal: The demand for personalization is a challenge for 14% of our customers, who are simply finding it a stretch too far to complete the print cycles needed. Running a workflow for each print cycle is just too expensive and labor intensive.

Can’t make enough money: 11% of yousay your prices are being driven down by increasingly price-conscious customers. Which, while not a surprise given the economic struggles of recent times, is something for which a solution must be found to protect your profitability.

How to overcome these challenges – because you really can

We’re sorry to have brought the mood down. We know things haven’t been easy recently.

The good news? They’re about to get easier.

For a moment, imagine a world where you could handle more jobs, save time and money and boost your profitability. Imagine you didn’t need to increase headcount to do this. Yes, really.

Visualize freeing up your operators from those mundane, time-consuming tasks you wish didn’t exist, by integrating hundreds of packaging prepress tasks into your workflow.

Consider the possibility of increasing your press capacity, minimizing errors, and reducing complaints, reprints and revisions considerably, without the need for manual intervention.

Consider automation.

Achieve more with automation

Speed up the ordering process, reduce labor and administrative costs, and leave no room for human error with a prepress workflow solution tool.

Avoid increasing headcount or allocating resource for non-value-add tasks. By automating you can produce more jobs and achieve a better profit margin. Not sure if you’re ready to automate? If your business is big enough? Or where to start? Use the workbook ‘Is automation right for me?’ to find out. Or contact us.