Trends Affecting the Packaging Market

December 8, 2015

According to PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, there are three trends currently affecting the packaging market in every region of the world. These macro trends are driving consumer purchasing preferences. We’ll take a look at each of these trends, their impact on packaging and how they are affecting packaging labels (cut & stack, pressure sensitive, roll-fed and shrink sleeves).

Consumer trends impacting packaging:

  • Greater consumer awareness of health and wellness
  • Stronger influence of recycling and environmental issues
  • Increasing disposable income and purchasing power


Health & Wellness Awareness

As consumers are becoming more aware of the health and wellness impact of consumer products, this trend continues to promote the growth of related products. Many consumer products goods companies are responding by introducing more natural products and removing artificial ingredients. Products marketed as organic and natural are experiencing large growth as well as product categories including bottled water and yogurt are seeing large sales growth.

For labels, there has been an increased use of clear film labels to showcase the quality and authenticity of products that are healthy and use natural ingredients. We are also seeing increased use of matte finishes on film labels (pressure sensitive, roll-fed, shrink sleeve) and the use of natural looking and uncoated papers (cut & stack, pressure sensitive).

Packaging Options

Recycling and Environmental Issues

The recyclability and reusability of packaging are major trends that are continuing, especially with the increasing use of PET and glass bottles in beverage packaging. Consumers are more and more concerned with products that are good for them and their impact on the environment.

Although labels represent a relatively small component of a package, there are several related developments to make them more eco-friendly. One label trend is downgauging. Across label formats, material is being light weighted in order to reduce material usage and weight. There are also shrink sleeve developments to help make them more recycle friendly. For the packaging and shipping of label, there are options available to use less corrugate to reduce their environmental footprint. For cut & stack labels, shipping cartons can be replaced with a tray to reduce corrugate. For cut & stack, roll-fed and shrink sleeve labels, instead of using cartons the labels are stacked and reinforced for shipment.


Increasing Disposable Income and Purchasing Power

The growing middle class around the world is leading to larger disposable incomes. This trend has fueled the growth of convenience and premium products. For premium products, there has been a shift toward higher value labels such as pressure sensitive and shrink sleeves. The growth of convenience is driving the demand for more single serve products, functional packaging and labels. As brand owners look to differentiate and introduce more premium products, more specialty materials as well as inks and coatings are being used across label formats. These include: metallized, tactile, matte, glow-in-the-dark, holographic, pearlescent, thermochromatic (photo).

There are a variety of innovative and sustainable label options available. Contact Fort Dearborn Company online or call (847) 357-9500 if you are interested in discussing your label needs. If you would like to receive one of our free label sample kits, you can request an Innovation Sample Kit or Sustainability Sample Kit online.