Innovation in Packages and Products Will Lead to Innovation in Packaging Machinery
At a time where technology pretty much never leaves our fingertips, it is no surprise that the packaging industry is following that trend. While a label on a package will always be a great way to introduce products to first time consumers, there now exist a multitude of ways in which the interaction between the packager and consumer can go beyond the label as well as beyond shelf presence. As packages and products change, so will packaging machinery. Below we touch on just a couple trends that may well impact equipment in the near future.
FLAVORS AND INFUSIONS
Our combined desire for good tasting products as well as healthy products has led to an increase in products with supplements. From distilled spirits and other flavored-added beverages to protein infused, caffiene infused or vitamin infused foods and beverages, this trend seems to be happening across brands both large and small. The influx of craft brewers and distillers may also lend to new and innovative combinations in drinks, as companies attempt to stand out from the crowd. While these fill-in-the-blank infused products are not new, the number on the market has definitely increased. Packaging machinery must now handle a number of new products where processing one or more liquids may be necessary. In general terms, this trend has the ability to take what was once a unique project and make it more of a mainstream project, adding agitators, mixers or multiple fills to a single filling machine. Some products may even include a capful of flavoring or vitamins, and as new methods of infusion are found, so will unique and creative solutions to fill and cap those products become necessary.
Smart packaging entails a great number of different trends. It may be intelligent marketing including increased interaction with the consumer (from simple devices like sounds and lights to actual iphone apps that can change the display on a bottle). It could also include packaging that changes the temperature of food to extend expiration dates. Regardless of the innovation, there are some general issues that arise from smart packaging as it relates to packaging equipment. First, some of the innovations may require different material types and the equipment used must be able to handle those materials. Some may be more delicate than the standard plastic or glass bottle, and may require more gentle handling when going through the packaging process. When electronics are included, the handling point for bottles and other containers may be different from standard bottles as well. In other words, contact with certain points on smart packaging may result in a negative effect, or in the malfunction of the smart packaging. Different or modified material handling equipment, from conveyors to machine railing to stabilizing equipment, may be necessary in these circumstances.
As trends emerge, technology improves and preferences change, so do products and the packaging machinery used to prepare those products. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we love to hear about the new ideas in packaging and processing from those who are leading the way. To discuss ideas and projects with a Packaging Specialist, feel free to contact our offices today!