Many retail businesses focused on selling their products online after the consumers stayed home when the pandemic started. The changes in the environment compelled businesses to adapt to the situation to ensure they continue to connect with their customers online.
Even though the situation has improved, online shopping continues to grow as people become accustomed to shopping from the comfort of their homes. Brand loyalty also declined as people looked for more value for their purchases. So, retailers had to make adjustments to take into account these changes in their industry.
These changes are not limited to retailers since packaging businesses also have to consider new trends affecting their industry. These changes started before the pandemic was already in full swing. Here are some trends currently affecting the packaging industry.
The Popularity of Sustainability
The move towards sustainable packaging became popular before the pandemic started. Many countries were already looking at eliminating single-use plastics as packaging wastes started polluting the oceans in different parts of the world.
With this, governments started implementing measures to reduce single-use plastics and promote recyclable materials for packaging purposes. Some states in the US even implemented bans against the use of plastic bags. Lawmakers also introduced bills to limit single-use packaging waste as well as promote recycling.
Due to this, packaging businesses should start offering recyclable packaging materials to retailers so that they continue to provide for the needs of their clients.
Mass-producing Printed Packaging
Developments in technology incorporated branding and marketing into the packaging used by retailers when they deliver products to their customers. In the past, digital printing focused on special edition products offered by a retailer. But advances in digital printing technology allowed its use on mass-produced packaging for retailers.
The increasing need for packaging serialization and individualization served as a stimulus for better digital printing technology. It increased flexibility in packaging procedures and processes. It also spurred the digitization of technology within the packaging industry.
But some companies opted to use an industrial stamping machine to ensure the consistency of the brand design of their packaging. The equipment creates clear impressions on different materials, including plastic sheets and cardboard. Using the equipment helped increase brand awareness for companies as they aimed to reach more customers through consistent branding on their packaging materials.
The Significance of Product Safety
With more consumers ordering essentials online, it has become important to ensure these products are packaged properly. Even though this trend started before the pandemic, it gained popularity when the health crisis was in full swing.
Product safety concerns focus mainly on food packaging. It focused on ensuring the protection of food from contamination by substances that are not supposed to come in contact with them. Concern was not limited to the packaging itself since it also touched on the printing on the packaging. These concerns focused on mineral oil residue on food that comes into contact with packaging and how it affects the safety of the food.
This made it necessary for the authorities to implement legal guidelines to ensure food safety while they are delivered to their recipients. It also discouraged mineral oil residue on food items if they had to travel over long distances.
Using Bluetooth and NFC
In the past, QR codes were used to take inventory of items in warehouses. Retailers also used the technology in transactions, which facilitated the sale of items in physical stores. But the use of the technology gradually declined as Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLW) and near-field-communication (NFC) technologies increased.
The increasing acceptance of BLW and NFC technology came as people opted to avoid direct contact with others not part of their household. Aside from payments, these technologies also offer other uses, including integrating information into marketing and promotional campaigns of retailers. It also facilitated the collection of information that is necessary for business transactions.
Preventing Forgery and Piracy
Another trend that has gained attention in the market is the prevention of forgery and piracy. The last two decades saw retailers and packaging companies working to stop these illegal practices, especially in the pharmaceutical industry. Aside from affecting manufacturers’ profits, these fake products affect the health of people who buy them.
But developments in technology reduced instances of forgery and piracy. This came as businesses started using optical security features on the packaging of their products. The use of NFC also allowed retailers to check the authenticity of products delivered for resale. These counterfeit-fighting processes have gained a lot of ground in stopping these illegal activities in recent years.
Overall, developments in packaging technology are now in the limelight since people are more discerning about their products during the pandemic.