At the start of
each New Year, along with the usual all-too-soon forgotten resolutions, many
industry experts make predictions about where their industry is headed during
the upcoming year, usually in the format of trends to watch.
In this article, O.Berk Company a
full-service packaging distributor, offers their thoughts on what they
believe will be five key trends for the packaging industry in 2011.
No longer just a
“buzz word” or a concept, sustainability has moved from periphery to
essential consideration for every packaging project. Consumers are demanding
more socially and environmentally responsible production at every link in the
supply chain and post-use. Reduced packaging material. Reusable
and refillable packaging. Lighter weight and biodegradable plastics. In
fact, the “hottest” sustainability talk today is lightening the
packaging load because it results in lower transportation costs and reduces the
overall carbon footprint.
ironically we’re seeing two different trends. While there is some transition from
glass to plastic in industries that have traditionally been
“glass-only” (i.e., beer, wine, premium waters used in restaurants,
etc.), we’re also seeing some retail channel partners advocating a return to glass
because it’s “natural” and highly recyclable.
The bottom line?
It’s no longer about paying “lip service” to the notion of
sustainability. It’s about the ability to prove the use of sustainable
practices at every stage of getting a product to market and ensuring its reuse
and/or recyclability post-use.
Given the sheer
number of baby boomer consumers, “retro” and “vintage” packaging
remains a top decorating trend in 2011. They’re especially popular choices for
brands celebrating a big anniversary, say 40 – 100 years. Ditto on the
popularity of simple, minimalist decorating that’s artistic, elegant and chic.
Color trends? Fiery, passionate reds. Soft greens. Water-colored blues. Vibrant
violets. Intense, alive colors that catch the consumer eye and beg to be
talks? Smart packaging? Interactive labels? If you truly want to differentiate
your package on the shelf, mobile technology is the vehicle and you’ll want to
jump on this bandwagon – before your competition does! Many of today’s
consumers are simply too “mobile” to take the time to read labels.
Manufacturers now have the ability to communicate additional product
information to potential buyers through their smart-phones, using technology
such as 2D bar codes on their packaging and in advertisements. Some of the
technology available is also able to deliver analytics about consumer behavior
and demographics back to the manufacturer. Exciting. Interactive. Fun. We
predict that the food, beverage and pharma industries will be embracing this
trend with a passion.
4. Packaging is
getting well…smaller. There are several reasons for this including the fact
that the prices of certain resins are continuing to increase as they have over
the past several years. In addition, overall manufacturing and packaging
content prices are continuing to rise as well.
raise prices, many brands reduce the size of their packaging to maintain the
appearance of price stability for the consumer. Examples? Haagen Dazs ice cream
“pints” have shrunk from 16 to 14 oz. and Tropicana OJ packaging
downsized from 64 to 59 oz. Consumers seem to notice price increases more
readily than they notice package reduction or weight loss when it comes to the
products they purchase, so a few ounces reduction in package size here or there
is barely noticeable and keeps them “on budget.”
5. “Made in
manufacturers have ventured outside of the U.S. for their packaging needs in
an effort to reduce costs, interestingly enough, many have returned not having
discovered the “holy grail” on foreign soil. Quality issues, missed
deadlines and high transportation costs have often proven more costly in the end;
earning “Made in the U.S.A.”
renewed respect, admiration and loyalty. Some of our largest CPGs have even
started to ask us, “Where are you sourcing from?” If the answer isn’t
“North America,” the conversation
So there you
have it – O.Berk Company’s predictions for the top five packaging trends for
2011. If you’d like to discuss any of these predictions further, please email
us at [email protected].
with four locations on the east coast provides complete packaging services and
solutions to the beauty/personal care, pharmaceutical/healthcare, food/beverage,
and household/ industrial markets, with stock and custom plastic and glass
containers, caps, pumps, sprayers, along with labeling and decorating services.