Packaging Industry Trends to Watch in 2023
From sustainability to packaging design to automation, 2023 is set to hold some promising trends for the packaging industry. In addition, with external factors such as rising costs, supply chain disruption and recruitment still predicted to cast an influence, it could prove to be an interesting year.
As packaging machinery specialists entering our 115th year, Jacob White understands the pressures and recognises the opportunities across the sector. Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest predicted trends to watch this year.
A growing emphasis on sustainability
Sustainability has been a common thread in trend predictions for the past five years and it is no surprise that it appears again today. With consumer expectations high, more and more packaging is coming under the spotlight of a growing number of brands and businesses.
From reducing the size of the packaging to the materials selected, and even encouraging returnable packaging, the focus is expected to grow more innovative throughout the year. This may be one of the most interesting trends to watch in 2023.
Packaging design – less is more
Widely predicted across the packaging industry throughout 2022, packaging design is gradually becoming more subtle. This is set to continue this year, and is expected to make a more permanent shift towards sustainability.
While this may mean that more sustainable materials could appear, expressing the sentiment will be a priority. Labelling may become clearer or more interactive, but the biggest changes could be seen in branding. Big brands have been making the move to a more natural look in the packaging and we’re likely to see this accelerate in 2023.
Reducing the reliance on resources
Resource-heavy manufacturing and packaging businesses have experienced rising costs in the recent past, including energy, raw materials and staffing. Couple this with other challenges – shortages, delays, compliance and recruitment - and many are now beginning to think outside the box to improve their capabilities.
With rising opportunities across the sector, now is the time for many packaging lines to streamline and increase efficiency. This brings us neatly to the next predicted trend to watch this year…
Rising uptake of automated packaging lines
Automation in some form has been streamlining packaging lines for many years and the rising uptake has been a reliable trend in the packaging industry. With external influences such as rising energy costs, supply chain and recruitment promising to continue to affect the industry, we expect this to drive further uptake in 2023.
Automation, whether full or in part, has a positive impact on output, creating seamless consistency and reducing human contact. It can help to reduce the reliance on manual resources and the latest machines can help to reduce energy consumption, allowing operations to maximise lower-rate usage too.
Some of the biggest benefits of automation will be realised by many small-to-medium operations this year. Installing some of the latest packaging machines will offer these businesses greater access to multiple lines and open the doors of opportunity wider with the benefit of digital speed and size variables. This means less downtime and lower maintenance costs, reduced training and more.
eCommerce and the supply chain – packaging working harder
The eCommerce sector is predicted to slow down marginally in 2023. This is not due to a change in shopping habits, but because of a general slowdown in spending overall due to widespread cost of living rises across the globe.
However, with more than 81% of UK consumers making at least one online purchase in 2021, it is clear that catering to the demands of changing consumer behaviour and expectation should not be dismissed.
The influence will be felt in the packaging sector and could mean that packaging may need to work harder. For example, packaging could spend longer in storage facilities or warehousing, be longer in transit or handled multiple times within the supply chain than before.
What lies ahead for Jacob White in 2023?
In 2023, Jacob White is planning a busy year. Attending more industry events this year, we’ll be supporting growth in emerging regional markets and helping to introduce the flexibility they need to harness the growing opportunities.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy new year. We look forward to continuing to work with you and support your projects in 2023.