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FLEXO Magazine : November 2012
The packaging industry today clearly thinks that consum- ers value convenience, strategists said. Seventy-six percent of those polled rated it as a primary concern in all packag- ing decisions, with shelf appeal following at 58 percent. In 10 years, respondents think this dynamic will completely change, with consumers valuing sustainability features, specifically perceived “greenness” of the materials increasing some 23 percent in importance, recyclability jumping 27 percent, and reusability 13 percent. Conversely, respondents say cost (the top driving factor for 59 percent of packaging decisions today) will fall significantly in importance in 10 years, dropping 28 percent to 31 percent and placing below factors like sustainability that will influence 51 percent of purchases and food safety/security at 37 percent. TREND LINES Researchers indicated that survey respondents envisioned several trend lines. Namely: • 82 percent said regulations will have a greater influence on packaging design in 10 years • 81 percent indicated packaging will play a more impor- tant role in a product’s success in 10 years • 65 percent agreed that plastics will continue to replace glass and metals and flexible packaging will continue to replace rigid structures • Demand for proof of sustainability claims will grow expo- nentially. As economies rebound, onus will be placed on retailers and brands to deliver a packaging message in response to momentum • Public awareness will increase and continual improve- ment of performance will be required • Today ’s emphasis on “right-sizing” will give way to strate- gies to use renewable and/or recyclable materials and smart packaging in 10 years – a clear call for innovation and collaboration throughout the value chain • Product life cycles will grow shorter and shorter, requiring creative versatile machines • Safety and security issues related to packaging mate- rial in primary contact with the food will be paramount. The customer is becoming vigilant on health issues like, acute, sub-acute and chronic illnesses; and realizes that possible chemical migration from the improper pack- ages during different storage can lead to chronic cases. The microbial element is the point of concern driving the development of packages that protect the shelf life of the food product. Health pays • The food sector will be the benchmark for pharmaceuti- cal and cosmetics sectors • Closer cooperation within the value chain to help each partner understand environmental impacts of different packaging alternatives will become essential CRITICAL EXPECTATIONS “A key takeaway from this survey is the driving need to work throughout the value chain to develop solutions that holisti- cally address the needs of the industry,” said Dale Outhous, vice president, DuPont Ethylene Copolymers. “ T his type of approach will be needed to tackle challenges as complex as food safety/security, where many parties are collaborat- ing in order to drive solutions to tomorrow ’s issues. This is evidenced by the recent partnership with The Economist and launch of the Global Food Security Index. ” Shanna Moore, global sustainability director, DuPont Packaging and Industrial Polymers, remarked, “One common theme throughout the survey is the need to maximize value with minimal impact. Interestingly, we see cost sacrificed for sustainability. While affordability underscores everything we do, the message is clear: Sustainability must be considered at the onset, especially in light of expectations that the consumer will place even more value in it.” n www.flexography.org november 2012 FLEXO 15