What we as a company have seen and addressed in how we have developed our business over the years, has been the impact of certain global mega-trends and disruptions that have ignited a revolution within the packaging industry. The common thread between 2022 and 2023 is that end-consumers are demanding a more responsible approach to packaging waste and are keen to see those brand owners responsible, respond in an appropriate way rather than just tell them what they think they want to hear. Andreas Carlson, Director of Global Sales at Persson Innovation looks ahead to what is shaping up to be a very interesting year. He has put his thoughts together on how 2023 would look in this article.
Consumers who because of activism, new regulations and education are far better informed about the consequences of their packaging waste. They want to reduce their environmental footprint and have through their actions ensured that the topic of “sustainability” is touched on at every step of the packaging supply chain.
And the world of e-commerce, with its explosive growth driven by the shift in consumer behavior in a post-covid environment shows no signs of slowing down.
The two mega-trends of sustainability and online shopping together with an increase in the regulation of packaging waste have heightened end-consumer concerns over climate issues and manufacturers commitment to their sustainability goals.
Plus, the proliferation of digital devices facilitating the increase in online shopping and social media noise has sped up the pace of change and disruption in the marketplace for CPGs (consumer packaged goods – brand owners) and converters.
Along with the change in buying patterns, there has also been a shift in what consumers buy. So, CPG’s have been busy adding more SKUs through product development, catering for those changes in demand.
Consumers are for example buying larger items for economy, especially in the grocery category, plus for other customer segments CPGs are using packaging to aesthetically and ergonomically add a premium quality feel to justify higher price points.
These two global mega-trends going forward will present companies with a new set of packaging challenges, to meet end-consumer demands on packaging materials and design, and provide an improved customer experience, with a focus on sustainability.
In terms of a balance, end-consumers are willing to pay more for packaging with green credentials. But as new regulations emerge globally in response to consumer concerns, “greenwashing” or empty promises from brand owners of sustainability commitments won’t cut it anymore.
Brand owners have over the last few years made public commitments regarding their green goals in response to the increase in regulatory and consumer pressure. And social media activism along with savvy end-consumers means that they are keeping businesses to their word on recycling and sustainability commitments.
A CPGs product packaging continues to be a vehicle for a brand to communicate its values and sustainability commitments, aligning with end-consumer attitudes towards safeguarding the environment.
As an added bonus, reducing the amount of materials in packaging or transitioning from plastic bags to cardboard boxes along the packaging supply chain makes business sense and has a positive environmental impact.
Continued growth in e-commerce and the D2C (direct to consumer) sector will increase the number of online transactions and volume of shipments.
The e-commerce sector has applied different packaging solutions, reinventing the customer experience by adopting easy-to-handle, e-commerce-specific packaging.
And to reduce the number of product returns because of damaged items, there is a growing demand for sustainable protective and transport specific packaging.
Plus, to support a higher price point, brand owners are using upgraded packaging solutions, such as using handles to lift the whole purchase experience.
So, for the whole online shopping transaction, from the customer touch points on the website, to distribution, transportation and the unboxing, handles will elevate the end user experience for a more premium feel.
Retailers are also now acting on the feedback of consumers with regards reducing the amount of secondary packaging and using more recyclable packaging materials.
CPGs want to avoid any contentious issues with consumers as they weigh up their purchase choices based on trying to reduce their own personal environmental footprint.
Overall, shoppers continue to move online with no signs of the trend abating, increasing the volume of e-commerce transactions and shipments, presenting a new set of packaging challenges for businesses to address.
Our mission has always been to work together with our clients, partners, and network to be one step ahead. So, in 2023 we will continue with our focus on tradeshows, reaching out to build our network and look forward to the chance to speak face to face with our customers.
We do have a global customer base and we will continue to develop our local representation across key geographic markets and a variety of business sectors. With knowledge of local languages, legislation, and the convenience of being in the same time zones all contributing to being able to do business easier.
At Persson we have over 40 years of packaging R&D experience to tap into to develop packaging solutions for our handle customers globally. And providing our innovative solutions around recyclable materials offers companies a path to highlight their own environmentally friendly credentials and can help shape brand perceptions.
With such a dynamic marketplace, we recognize that changes in end-consumer demand, new waste management regulations and questions on recyclability are taking CPGs and retailers into new and unfamiliar territory.
Which is where Persson can help converters address the pressure in 2023 as they must be more innovative with their packaging concepts.
As a global company with strong local Swedish roots, we are lucky to have a dedicated team of professionals in-house, handling everything from design to production, and ensuring we keep on top of our sustainability commitments.
So, packaging has emerged from 2022, into 2023 as a possible point of contention as consumers weigh up their choices with regards the environment, sustainable materials, and the impact that their buying behavior has.
So overall, what we will see in 2023 is a continued focus to deliver a well-functioning and cost-efficient packaging supply chain. Providing CPGs and converters with the tools to retain customers and grow market share.
And of course, for Persson to lead the packaging industry transition from plastic to paper handles, the natural choice as we continue to build on our handle product lines i.e., EcoGrip, SoftGrip and HeavyGrip, adding new products with added features and materials.
It’s about time to re-think packaging. It’s time for our 100% Sustainable paper handle: EcoGrip!
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