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Date added: 2016-09-22 The Evolution of Packaging

The packaging industry continually evolves. Packaging has transformed from simply being a functional item, to being a central part of everyday life, with growing demands on the packaging industry to create more modern, more lightweight and more reusable packaging.


Customers are constantly looking for the latest trends and for products that offer greater functionality. As a result, new concepts and developments in packaging are essential in order to manufacturers and brands to stay relevant. In the last few decades, packaging has progressed, with a number of key aspects influencing the transition towards newer, fresher packaging that reflects current moods and trends.


Environmentally Aware Consumers

Today, we’re far more aware of the need to be environmentally friendly and the importance of reducing our ecological footprint. Consumers are seeking out products that are more sustainable. The packaging industry has followed suit, using technological and design advances to create eco-friendly products that are easily recyclable. Recent trends in packaging reflect this choice to have a positive impact on the environment, with a clear example in the drinks industry. Bottled water brand, Buxton, has made a conscious decision to use technological advancements to create updated, ergonomic bottles that use 25% less plastic. Volvic, another bottled water brand, now make a ‘greener bottle’ from 20% sugar-cane waste, making it a 100% recyclable PET plastic bottle, massively reducing their carbon footprint.


Such packaging developments demonstrate how the industry has progressed to meet growing customer desires for environmentally friendly packaging that can be reused and recycled.


Cost Cutting Solutions

The need for more cost-effective packaging is important for both businesses and consumers. Manufacturers want products that are cheaper to make and transport, but still produce a high quality, reliable and convenient product, with customers looking to buy these products at an affordable price. The desire to cut packaging production costs – and transport costs – has seen a shift from glass to plastic packaging. PET in particular has become much more popular in the bottled drinks industry. The Coca-Cola bottle has evolved from its classic glass bottle to a plastic equivalent that is much cheaper to produce in large quantities, easier to transport as plastic is lighter and won’t break as glass does and is more convenient for customers to carry. The milk industry has also followed this change from glass packaging to plastic packaging for the same reasons. The other advantage in switching to plastic is that limited edition glass versions can be sold as memorabilia for special brand anniversaries or sporting events, for example.


Eye-catching Designs

As packaging has evolved, design aspects have also developed, with shapes, colours and customised labels and printing all becoming an integral part of packaging design and manufacturing.


Innovative and creative packaging is key to customer attraction and satisfaction. Perfume bottles have transformed from the traditional pear shaped bottle to today’s myriad of shapes and colours – all designed with the intention of being able to sell a perfume at first glance.


Key goals in the evolution of packaging have been to produce reusable, eco-friendly and lightweight products that are cheap to produce in large quantities, whilst maintaining a reputation for being high quality and reliable. In an ever-changing society, the packaging industry looks set to continue adapting and evolving.