PMMI said that its new Secondary Packaging Market Research Study involved the participation of 67 companies in a lengthy, guided discussion about their secondary packaging and how it is changing now and over the next three years.
The companies were comprised of beverage, food, dairy, electronics and personal care manufacturers including four of the top 25 food manufacturers and three of the top five beverage companies.
Those surveyed also included material suppliers and contract packagers, said the analysts.
Sustainability is top of all the companies’ agenda, claim the researchers, with 70 per cent of respondents noting it as a goal in improving their secondary packaging.
The analysts said that cost savings, customer requests, strategic initiatives to go green and reducing transportation costs are other leading drivers for changing secondary packaging.
Increased costs of corrugate material have led companies to seek other options, claim the analysts.
“Nearly half of the companies interviewed predict that the future trend of corrugate usage will decrease and be replaced with more specialty designed cartons,” states the report.
Packaging methods trends
Those surveyed also forecast the decreased usage of regular slotted containers (RSC) with the trend toward other packaging methods such as over wrap trays, bliss boxes and half slotted display ready containers.
“The primary reasons to reduce RSC usage and move toward other methods of packaging are to reduce corrugate which reduces labour, weight, materials, and ultimately lowers transportation costs,” said the analysts.
The participating companies said they are moving toward trays with over wrap, or to shrink wrap only, or bliss box usage, according to the report.
“If liquid products move toward more rigid packaging or self supporting packaging, less secondary packaging would be required, but if flex packaging is selected the need for secondary packaging would increase in the future,” claim the researchers.
The study notes alternative packaging methods such as chipboard partition, thin-seal polypropylene, removing wax from corrugate to make it more recyclable and folding boxes in new ways to reduce corrugated fibreboard.
The report states that modifications to end-of-the-line packaging equipment is currently under consideration by 55 per cent of the companies participating in this study, due to changing methods in secondary packaging and the search to implement cost effective strategies.