Packaging Industry Trends to Keep in Mind for 2012
Packaging Industry Trends To Keep In Mind For 2012
As our company builds packaging machinery for new customers each year, it is impossible to not notice the unique bottles, containers, caps and labels that emerge annually. We are constantly tweaking our filling machines, capping machines and other packaging equipment to suit the sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle, changes made to products and packaging. While the packaging industry is already a large, multi-billion dollar industry, it is not - and will never be - unchanging. If for no other reason, the packaging industry will change simply because tastes change, demand changes. Recently, Ray Kieser of Schawk, Inc., in the UK shared some thoughts on likely consumer trends for 2012. In reviewing some of these trends, the aftermath of the recession and the economy on consumer attitude is quite clear.
From the first rock to be sold in the Stone Age, the vendor has probably always been trying to please the buyer. While this has not changed, the ability of the buyer to voice opinions about products has become much more powerful. Facebook, YouTube and other social media have made it incredibly simple for a customer to share both good and bad experiences with a product. Any product. Though we manufacture packaging machinery, our customers have the same voice as those going to a grocery store and picking up a bottle of shampoo. Product changes and new products must not only be analyzed, but also explained to customers as a way to ensure that they do not feel alienated, angered or hurt by the change. On the other hand, social media allows a packager to create a stronger bond with the consumer by making them privy to, or even a part of, product decisions. The consumer voice will get stronger in 2012, but also expect this trend to continue well into the future.
Corporate Social Responsibility Projects, or CSR's, seem to be growing in popularity. This may be in part due to the attitude taken toward corporations in the latest world-wide recession. It is no secret that many individuals blame the actions of corporations for much of the economic downturn. CSR's may be as simple as "going green" in the manufacture of packaging machinery or as extensive as building community help centers in a corporation's hometown. These programs give back to the community while also boosting the reputation of the company.
Similarly, the down economy has lead to a resurgence of positive messages and humor in packaging and advertising. A positive message can be displayed in plain English, but may also take form in the color, package, bottle shape or other unique qualities of a product. Expect your competition to continue this trend toward the positive in 2012 and the foreseeable future.
"Super-sizing" may be on the way out. In an economy where most people have very little to waste, there also seems to be a trend toward smaller packages and less product. This trend may be a little tricky for some packagers. Unique packaging techniques may be necessary to convey a positive message while also showing consumers that you are not wasting product and material, in effect giving them what they want. As environmental concerns continue to grow, expect the trend toward less packaging, or eco-friendly packaging to continue.
Mr. Kieser finishes his list of trends affecting the packaging industry with trust, noting that consumers seem to have "renewed scepticism" and are "looking to the past and going back to those brands...that can be relied upon." He also notes that this is a trend that will never lose relevance. No argument here, as the best way to win and retain customers is to earn their trust. Your product, packaging, communication and service should strive to earn that trust. Whatever other trends may be seen at a given time in the packaging industry, consumer trust will forever be among them.
Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc. manufactures packaging machinery for a wide number of industries. From bottled water to cosmetics, we work with our customers to ensure that the packaging process helps to achieve the product goals. For more information on our rinsing machines, liquid fillers, capping machines and other packaging equipment, browse our website at www.liquidpackagingsolution.com or call us toll free at 1-888-393-3693.
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