In Packaging, PDA Stories, News & Events

A year ago today we could not have predicted where our world would turn in 2020. In the packaging world, we were poised for a decade of solidifying our sustainability efforts and bringing the tech advancements in artificial technology to packaging. Little did we know this would all be halted for a global pandemic.

As essential businesses, the packaging world had to stop in its tracks to fulfill its duty to people. We shifted our perspective from consumers to people – our sole focus was to package up the world’s necessities and get them to people as quickly and efficiently as possible. While at the same time keeping our people safe.

Needless to say a lot has changed to meet these new demands. Here’s the top trends that have emerged in what will likely be the new normal for packaging.

 

Ecommerce is here to stay

We already knew that ecommerce was taking over. The luxury of having our daily necessities (and wants) delivered to our doors, within a few days at most, was already expanding faster than anyone could have predicted. Now, consumers have spent the last 6 months relying on ecommerce for nearly everything. Companies that never sold online had to quickly adapt. The companies that have forged ahead have polished their ecommerce strategy and focused on how to get product to consumer (instead of consumer to product).

Many people won’t want to go back to the stores, even when it becomes safe again. Once they’ve formed new habits and learned new ways of getting the products they love, they won’t need the brick and mortar store in the same way they used to.

Subscription services and other creative ecommerce channels will continue to rise. For packaging companies, we’ll continue to focus on how to make people happy through packaging. The unboxing experience will only become better and more customized. Packaging is quite literally a form of communication to your customer. By specializing the packaging for your products and adding elements that represent your brand experience you can really connect with your customer.

 

Sustainability Stays

Now that the initial shock of the global pandemic is wearing off, we can start to pay attention to concerns that we had pre-Covid. Perhaps the most important of those issues for the packaging industry is sustainability. For packaging companies, we have to continue to provide sustainable options for our customers, and make it easy for their customers to recycle our packaging products. For example, curbside recycling options are the easiest way for consumers to get the product back into the recycling stream.

We’ll also see recycled products make it into new industries. With so much material entering into the recycling stream this opens up opportunities for companies that buy and use recycled products.

For brands, it’s critical to incorporate recycling instructions for your customers. There are many products that might seem recyclable to the customer and end up in the wrong bind. At the same time, if people don’t know what to do with the end product they will often send it to the landfill.

Lastly, reusable options will continue to grow. Many consumable products have a lot of water in them. Such as soaps, cleaners, and other consumer goods. We’ll continue to see companies learn new ways of condensing their product to make it easier to get to the end user.

 

What Will Happen in Warehouses

At PDA, we call our warehouses logistics centers. We don’t just store goods; our logistics centers are filled with thought leaders, engineers, designers, marketing experts, and more. In the post-Covid centers, we have the obvious safety precautions. It’s a no brainer now to have a mask, use hand sanitizer, etc.

For the packaging line, we are adapting to the new spacing requirements. This may never change. Thankfully this is happening in a time where we have the equipment to continue to run our packaging lines. We have options available to keep our people safe, and incorporate automated equipment to help keep people at a safe distance without compromising efficiency.

 

Conclusion

 Every industry has changed as a result of Covid-19. In packaging we’ve learned the importance of being able to adapt and find solutions. Ultimately, the packaging industry is shaped by what people need most.

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