The world population is still growing at a rapid pace. By the year 2050, there will be some 9.7 billion people living on Earth (2 billion more than the current world population), according to a UN population report. All these people are going to need healthy and safe food that is packaged well enough to properly distribute and store it.
Unfortunately, there is still a lot wrong with the way modern food distribution operates. Currently, around 30% of the food produced worldwide is not consumed and gets lost somewhere between the farmer and the consumer. It’s a huge waste and a major, daily, and potentially life-threatening problem for many people in poorer parts of the world.
The positive news is that good packaging techniques and materials have the potential to tackle and solve food waste. Ageing populations, smaller households and the need for convenience mean that the demand for smaller (and therefore more) packaging is increasing, especially in the western world. In developing countries, the growth of the middle class, modern supermarkets, urbanisation and the need for safe food are driving a growing demand for packaging materials. The need for more and better packaging is thus fed from various directions. Economists expect the global use of the largest packaging segment, namely plastic packaging, to grow by 18 to 20%between 2017 and 2021.
The aforementioned developments mean that the packaging industry is currently in full swing. Packaging materials have to be more durable and beautiful than ever, while also serving as increasingly valuable marketing tools. Changing marketing and customer demands shape the following trends.
Retail packaging is increasingly being equipped with technical gadgets, such as chips, QR tags and interactive elements. Technology allows brands to connect directly with consumers, thus creating new marketing opportunities. This phenomenon is also referred to as “connected packaging”. Connected packaging allows you to offer consumers something extra after their purchase. Think of it as a reward for choosing you. Another advantage of the multimedial nature of modern packaging is that you make it easier and more attractive to enhance or expand the usage of certain products.