Almost £500 million was invested by corrugated packaging industry towards innovations over the last three years so that digital printing technology can be improved. The demand for retail-ready packaging has increased dramatically including point of sale merchandising units. Consumer shopping habits have changed and it now dictating the future of corrugated packaging designs.
Consumers nowadays have busier lives that they usually do shopping at convenience stores. The change in consumer preference has resulted into growth in convenience stores estimated at 22% or £20.2 billion by 2020. For packaging designers including the supply chain, this requires addressing the issue from a different angle. Since convenience stores are a lot smaller than supermarkets and groceries, they have less shelf storage. The size of packaging for fresh and chilled food as well as meals-for-tonight has to be significantly reduced in order to maximize shelf storage including back-of-the house space.
For packaging designers, reduction in the size of packaging means additional costs because they have to create small packs that will enhance the appeal of fresh foods. Food packages must be easier and quicker to unpack so as to maximize brand impact. Since the packs are smaller, manufacturers will expect lower costs because fewer resources will be required. The introduction of the thin film cold wrap technology will ensure cost reduction and make the packs easier to prepare for shelf storage. The technology is not only flexible but it can also enhance efficiency of delivery systems. This solution consumes fewer resources and materials to negate the impact of smaller packages.
Meanwhile, corrugated boxes also have its merits because it provides superior protection when shipping even if it does not provide maximum appeal for fresh and chilled food in shelves. Corrugated boxes are also being subjected to innovations so that its strength can be combined with the excellent shelf presentation of thin film cold wrap.
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