Packaging – Think beyond ‘Must have’

Think beyond Must Have in Packaging

Next couple of years packaging will experience a sea change and the manufacturer/brand owners must think beyond the basic functions of packaging, i.e., protect the product and deliver it to the consumers in a sound condition with an optimum cost.

Focus will be on more innovative and personalized packaging instead of mass production, e-commerce ready packaging, elderly friendly packaging, and environment friendly/sustainable packaging.

Focus will also be on safety and hygiene of the consumers.

The various factors that will influence the future trends of packaging are:

Consumer’s behavior

  1. Over the years, consumer’s behaviour has shifted from supermarket shopping to online shopping, especially after the pandemic, consumers are more focused on safety and hygiene. 

The e-commerce is gaining popularity.

Hence, the focus is on e-commerce ready packaging, i.e.,

  • Ready to ship directly to the consumer
  • More robust packaging
  • Easy to unpack
  • Easy to return
  • Easy tracking throughout the supply chain
  • Effective communication 
  • Tamper evident packaging
  • Supply chain security
  • Authentication
  1. These days, consumers are more interested on personalized packaging.

Digital printing can be used to print name of the people/face/personalized messages on the pack.

Aging population
As per the survey, all regions will see an increase in the size of the older population between 2020 and 2050 Globally, the share of the population aged 65 years or over is expected to increase from 9.3 per cent in 2020 to around 16.0 per cent in 2050.

It’s important to design packaging keeping in mind the aging population.

These elderly population may forget to take the medicine or refill the medicine. 

Hence the packaging must be intelligent enough to remind the patient that it’s time to take their medicine or communicate to the pharmacy for refilling.

They may also find it difficult to read the instructions printed on the tiny label. Packaging can be developed in such a manner that it can be magnified while reading.

Also, make the packaging so as to prevent excess dispensing of the drugs. 

The world has already generated huge amount of non-biodegradable packaging waste. These wastes are eventually going into the ocean and impacting the marine life. In the process, it’s destroying ecological balance.

Focus is on to reduce the usages of packaging materials, use recyclable or reusable packaging materials.

Single use plastic is a big NO for the industries.

Trend is to use biodegradable packaging materials.

The manufacturing, operations as well as distribution channel will also witness changes which will affect the packaging. 

Manufacturing & operations
There will be a shift from mass production to more innovative and customized packaging.

3D printing technology can be used to manufacture ‘Print to order’ /customized packaging.

Distribution channel
Driverless delivery van, drone delivery is going to be a reality soon. Amazon has already conducted pilot on drone delivery.

The packaging has to be smart enough to be identified on its own. 

Hence to sustain the business, the manufacturer/brand owner must think beyond ‘Must Have’ while design the packaging.

Packaging professional with more than 25 years of experience in packaging designing, development and commercialization, vendor development, project management and execution.

Skilled in process improvement with a focus on cost impact, process improvement and sustainability.

Presently associated with Fresenius Kabi Oncology Ltd for more than a decade. Heading Packaging development functions, e.g., packaging development and commercialisation of pharmaceutical formulations, projects, productivity initiatives, vendor development, process improvement, leadership, and mentoring.

I am also the project leader for Serialization (Track and Trace) for the site with a global exposure.

Prior to joining Fresenius, I was associated with pharmaceutical majors, viz., JK Drugs and Pharmaceutical Ltd. (presently Teva Pharmaceuticals), Win Medicare Ltd., Nicholas Piramal India Ltd. (presently Abbott), Alembic Ltd.

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