The ‘Ten-Year Forecast of Disruptive Technologies in Flexible Packaging to 2023’, looks at technological, economic, consumer, sociological, environmental and regulatory changes and talks about the 25 highest ranking developments, see below, for further study.
Chandra Leister, marketing and production manager,Smithers Pira, told FoodProductionDaily it released the report as part of efforts to check what’s happening within the market every two to five years, depending on growth trends.
She said intelligent (smart) packaging and recyclability will be the top two most disruptive technologies in flexible packaging. The others include ‘openability’, biobased polymers and digital printing.
“Due to a consumer focus on convenience and sustainability, flexible packaging has been growing rapidly worldwide,” she said.
“It is gaining market share from other packaging formats such as rigid packaging. This growth is projected to continue because flexible packaging, particularly pouch packaging, uses less energy and materials and has lower transport costs, environmental impact and carbon footprint than its rigid counterparts.”
The study claims flexible packaging products will be developed for new markets in Europe and North America, as well as Asia and Central and South America.
Drivers include savings in materials, manufacturing and transportation costs and increased line filling speeds for pouches to match those for rigid bottles.
Next 10 years
It says ‘the innovation in and implementation of smart and active packaging over the next 10 years will be the top disruptive factor affecting the flexible packaging industry’.
Current technologies have been effected by high cost, consumer resistance to items such as sachets in packaging, and concerns about excessive packaging. However, it says the deployment of intelligent packaging will become more frequent with decreasing cost, increasing emphasis on food safety, anti-counterfeiting, new regulations and brand owner/consumer demand.
Together with printed electronics and digital printing, this will lead to better perceptions of the function of packaging, beyond the traditional containment, preservation, protection and identification to include a monitoring, tracking, warning, remediation, authentication, communication and brand protection.
According to the report, the second most disruptive technology in flexible packaging is recyclability.
It said because of the small amount of material used in a flexible package, it generates less waste. But, it is not currently feasible to mechanically recycle postconsumer flexible packaging because of its thin film structure, multi-layered composition and often contamination by food waste.
The Top 25 developments:
- Intelligent (smart) packaging
- Packaging openability
- Biobased polymers
- Digital printing
- Barrier structures
- Increasing government regulation
- Shelf life extension
- Active packaging
- Pouch packaging
- Brand protection, identification and anti-counterfeiting methods
- Consumer issues and preferences
- Polymers, blends, composites and multilayer structures
- Internet shopping and online revolution
- Biodegradable polymers
- Reclosable and resealable packaging
- Concentrates and refillable systems
- Consumer demographics and eating habit changes
- Tamper-evident and resistant technologies
- 3D printing
- Coatings for paper and paperboard
- Sealing materials and processes and adhesive bonding
- Shelf-ready packaging
- Paper-based packaging
- Shelf life sensors
Click here to download the report.