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Trying to review the top 2015 packaging trends in only 488 words sounds like an impossible task but we decided we’d give it a go. But first, a little background

The packaging industry in general is expected to continue with a very healthy 4.1% annual growth rate, according to the World Packaging Organization. The strongest drivers of this growth are food packaging in developing nations and increased urbanisation. And now, the top 2015 packaging trends and a couple of our predictions.

Eco-friendly packaging

Throughout the entire packaging market the interest in either biodegradable or more easily recyclable packaging gained momentum in 2015. We think its adoption in many different forms will only grow stronger. Customer demand for this kind of packaging is manifest. Already in 2014, a worldwide Nielsen study found that 55% of customers across 60 countries were willing to pay more for products and services from companies committed to positive environmental impact. At the United Nations Conference on Climate change (COP21), an unprecedented environmental agreement between 186 countries points the way to stricter environmental regulations in many industries, including packaging. The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) also cites environmental issues as a top 2015 trend.

Flexible packaging

The Flexible packaging market is absolutely huge and growing. Smith Pira a global marketing research company expects it to finish off the year at 210 Billion dollars. The advantages of flexible packaging are numerous (material cost, shipping costs, variety of applications and customer demand) and too good to pass up. We believe more and more manufacturers, mostly in the food and beverage industry will continue to convert to flexible packaging in the future. One caveat: although requiring fewer resources to make, it’s main disadvantage remains it’s non-recyclability, specifically in the multiple film category. Research is currently ongoing in this field, but still a long way off practical applications.

Shrink Sleeve packaging

Stretch and shrink sleeve labelling has been growing in line with the packaging industry as a whole, with more manufacturers embracing its security and marketing strengths. Heat shrink labelling, is the fastest growing segment according to AWA market research. Other studies mention its strongest market growth in developing countries.

Smart Packaging

Although not adopted on a large scale throughout the packaging industry, Smart packaging is definitely one of the top 2015 packaging trends. It has seen some success in limited applications such as specific promotions, security applications and food freshness. In a previous blog post on this subject we identified advances in three categories of smart packaging: technology improving the customer experience, technology improving the manufacturer’s /distributors experience and technologies improving the longevity of the product. 2015 saw many companies preparing for the full-scale adoption of smart packaging which will unquestionably happen. It is just a matter of when.

That’s it for our take on 2015. How did you see the past year?