Over recent years, the food packaging industry has experienced significant changes due to shifting demands in consumer buying behaviour. Areas such as food safety, shelf-life and convenience have become key considerations for people when purchasing food products and have forced technologies to advance and new trends to make their way across the industry.
Developing further eco-friendly solutions is at the forefront of the packaging industry and has played a crucial role in the movement over previous years. Consumer demand for sustainable packaging options is driving businesses to progress with innovative solutions using biodegradable and compostable materials.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest trends and innovations hitting the food packaging industry so far this year!
One of the most exciting trends moving into the food packaging industry is biobased packaging, which is packaging that has been produced using natural resources. Biobased packaging is often produced using plant-based materials such as bamboo and seaweed, meaning it can effectively biodegrade and have a positive environmental impact. Plant-based packaging is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8% between 2021 and 2028, with growth most prominent within the takeaway packaging market.
Sustainable packaging company Notpla launched its new seaweed coated takeaway packaging at the end of 2022 and has recently secured a listing with wholesale giant Bid food Catering Supplies, with plans for their biodegradable containers to be sold to thousands of food companies across the UK. Manufactured to have similar characteristics to plastic, Notpla’s seaweed coated packaging can be recycled or composted. Produced alongside UK takeaway company JustEat, this new sustainable solution has the potential to replace over 100 million plastic containers across Europe in years to come.
Smart Food Packaging
Another packaging development within the food industry that is expected to take off this year is smart packaging. Organisations are beginning to implement digital communication channels in their packaging strategy to help drive consumer engagement, provide product information and improve the overall customer experience. Smart packaging can also improve the safety and traceability of food products, which is now crucial for many consumers.
Food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak has introduced smart packaging for one of their European suppliers of fruit juice. The smart packaging comes in the form of a QR code that when scanned, takes users to an interactive personality test to help them choose their favourite beverage concoction, which includes product preferences and suggestions. This is a great way of increasing user engagement, as well as promoting other drinks from their product range.
Flexible packaging has always been a prominent trend when it comes to food packaging and is projected to continue thriving throughout 2023. These solutions allow for more optimum storage due to their flexibility, freeing up more space and reducing packaging waste. This form of packaging also allows for greater customisation and design, allowing manufacturers to implement convenient features such as sealable closures for cups.
As many countries begin phasing out single-use plastic solutions, Hong Kong based sustainable packaging startup ChoosePlanetA manufactured the ‘Good Cup’, a recyclable compostable paper cup that folds on top of itself, eliminating the requirement for plastic lids. The company designed this innovative solution to help advance the traditional paper coffee cup and help reduce overall cup disposal. Read more about the latest trends across the world of food packaging.
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