Shifts in sustainability focus, ecommerce challenges and food packaging issues continue to lead the trends we’ve been tracking this year. With half of 2019 behind us, let’s look at the packaging stories our global packaging community deems most important.
Based on page views from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2019, here are the top seven articles your peers are reading on PackagingDigest.com (in reverse order):
7. 5 packaging trends emerging in 2019
In March of this year, CEO Charles Haverfield of U.S. Packaging & Wrapping LLC identified five predictable packaging movements and their drivers:
• Flexibility: Flexible packaging is set to become more popular in 2019, Haverfield predicts, due to new developments in sustainability and consumer functionality, as well as from its cost benefits.
• Changes in ecommerce: Ecommerce is set to grow faster than ever in 2019, and packaging can help brands stand out, either with personalized packaging designs or by right-sizing packaging to protect products adequately without being excessive.
• Environmental awareness: Sustainable packaging has steadily become more important to consumers over the years—and many brands have changed their packaging accordingly, in various ways, to great success.
• Less is more: Minimalism will continue to maintain its relevance throughout 2019—partly due to minimalist styles being linked with the reduction of materials. But its greatest strength today is clarity. As Haverfield explains, “Consumers are more skeptical of what brands are trying to sell them than they once were; being bombarded with information will make them feel like brands are trying to distract them from a hidden catch.”
• The power of nostalgia: Vintage or retro packaging taps into the consumers’ rose-tinted emotional response to trusted brands, partly because of the package’s air of authenticity.
NEXT: Nestlé’s sustainable packaging vision
For those curious about the top articles from just last month (June 2019), here’s that list:
1. Most food cans no longer use BPA in their linings (SPOILER: also a top article in this half-year list)
2. 8 impressive developments in packaging automation
3. 10 tasting trends: See what’s ahead for snacks and sweets
4. 3 food-packaging matters spring up in early 2019
5. 5 packaging trends emerging in 2019 (also a top article in the half-year list, as you already know!)
6. Nestlé clarifies its sustainable packaging vision
Nestlé USA packaging sustainability manager Walt Peterson comments on the company’s sustainability vision and goals. By 2025, the world’s largest food company plans to make 100% of the company’s packaging recyclable or reusable.
Peterson also talks about their focus on avoiding plastic waste, saying, “Our vision is that none of our product packaging, including plastics, should end up in landfill or as litter, including in seas, oceans and waterways.”
Additionally, Peterson shares more about the company’s participation in Loop, a new circular shopping platform built around reusable packaging, in his 28-minute presentation given at WestPack 2019.
NEXT: Ready for a bunch of sustainable packaging surprises?
5. 10 sustainable packaging surprises in 2018
At the end of the year, Packaging Digest editors compile lists of topic-based top articles. One of our most popular reviews is about sustainability—no surprise considering how ingrained it is in the minds of most packaging professionals today.
Here were the top 10 articles about sustainable packaging from last year:
1. Amazon incentivizes brands to create Frustration-Free Packaging
2. L’Oréal’s paper bottle: Easy on the earth but tough in showers
3. 4 sustainable truths impacting food packaging today
4. P&G’s PureCycle cleans recycled PP to ‘near virgin’ quality
5. How Conagra rewards packaging line workers for cutting waste
6. How packaging recyclability can shift sustainability expectations for startup beauty brands
7. Japan’s Kao Group makes sustainability look raku raku (‘so easy’)
8. 5 factors affecting sustainable packaging moving forward
9. 5 environmental advantages of corrugated packaging
10. Sustainable packaging innovators earn kudos
NEXT: An early adopter of high-end reusable packaging
4. Decadent Delici dessert packaging designed for Costco
An early adopter of reusable, high-end packaging—which is seeing a resurgence of interest these days—Delici engineered its packaging design to best present the visual beauty of these decadent desserts. Even though this article was posted Apr. 19, 2016, it continues to enjoy high readership to this day for its relevant messages about packaging design.
NEXT: Packaging engineers speak out! Again!
3. More ‘packaging engineer’ quips: Gallery
How do you know if you are a packaging engineer? When we asked, you told us! Our original entertaining slideshow revealed insider quirks and pet peeves of you and your peers.
We followed it up with a sequel (which made it to #3 on this list!) and are still getting great new responses. (Do you have one?! Add it here!) Stay tuned for a threepeat!
NEXT: The biggest packaging news of the year…
2. Loop and big brands boldly reinvent waste-free packaging
The biggest packaging news of the year (so far) has been the development and launch of Loop, a new ecommerce shopping site totally designed around reusable packaging. The brainchild of TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky, Loop has the backing of major brand owners like Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Seventh Generation—all of which have created special upscale packaging designed to be refilled.
Packaging Digest also got feedback on the Loop concept from packaging professionals, who are some of the most sympathetic supporters and some of the harshest critics.
NEXT: Are you still worried about BPA in packaging?
1. Most food cans no longer use BPA in their linings
This was the best-read article in May 2019, despite the fact it was originally posted Feb. 20, 2018. Last month I wondered, “Where can it possibly go from here???”
Well, even higher, it seems! It is now our top article of the year.
Honestly, I think people are clicking on this because it has been appearing in our lists of “Top Articles” for several months. However, the underlying interest is valid: Because consumers are still concerned about chemicals in packaging that might migrate into their food (and thus into their bodies), food companies and their packaging departments need to be concerned too.
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