ThePackHub’s latest report tackles the latest packaging innovation trends with a global view. The recently published Global Packaging Trends Compendium 2021 details more than 550 packaging innovations and is grouped into nine trend sections. There’s a big focus on sustainability with many brands, retailers and suppliers introducing new initiatives as they work towards challenging environmental targets. Another notable area of change is the number of initiatives related to consumer behavioural changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been an increase in new introductions that tackle an apparent rise in consumer packaging hygiene converns. Some operators have taken the opportunity to introduce varnishes and lacquers to reduce the potential for COVID-19 viral transfer. Some packaging-free initiatives have also been reversed with consumer fears of COVID-19 contamination to be replaced with fully-wrapped produce once again. There has also been a proliferation in hand sanitiser packaging innovations with ease of dispensing, on-the-go convenience and reusability being recent drivers for change.
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Can sleeve aims to protect and promote - CL Label have launched CANtastic, a sleeve-based construction aimed predominantly at giving aluminium cans maximum hygiene. The sleeve incorporates a removable top which guarantees complete protection through the supply chain from production to on-shelf in retail. The advent of COVID-19 has changed many consumers’ perception of hygiene and food safety, and improving this is seen as a priority for many food manufacturers. A recent IPSOS survey found that two-thirds of consumers are concerned with the safety of food and its packaging. Cans utilising CANtastic can be recycled in the same manner as normal cans, as the PP or PET sleeve will be burnt off during the recycling process due to the high temperatures involved. CCL expect interest in the format initially from the hygiene and food safety aspect but in the future see opportunities from increased branding and consumer communication, including promotions and competitions due to the additional space available on pack.
Growing interest in hygienic packaging leads to protected cardboard range launch - Leading global provider of corrugated packaging, DS Smith has an exclusive partnership with Touchguard to develop a new range of sustainable packaging to protect against bacteria. Touchguard’s patented technology is effective against a number of bacteria and viruses. The coating can be applied at scale to provide an additional layer of protection throughout the supply chain. There has been increased retail and consumer interest in products with hygienic packaging amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The product has been tested on feline coronavirus, part of the same family of viruses as COVID-19. The 100% recyclable technology Touchguard prevents the virus from replicating, mitigating the risk of person-to-person transfer. It has a proven kill rate of 99.5% in under 15 minutes on bacteria types such as MRSA and E. coli. DS Smith is contemplating using the technology across its operations in North America and Europe. The Touchguard coating does not effect recyclability and complies with BfR36 recommendations for food-contact materials. It has been noted that there is no evidence of virus transfer from cardboard.
PVC food packaging film can inactivate Covid virus - A new plastic film for food packaging has been developed that can inactivate the Covid virus. Researchers from Rio de Janeiro-based Brazilian plastics manufacturer Alpes have claimed that transparent stretchable plastic PVC film used for meat, fruit and other food packaging can inactivate the novel Coronavirus responsible for the Covid-19 global pandemic. Alpes developed the material that contains silver and silica nanoparticles. This is a technology developed and licensed by recently-created company Nanox. In tests conducted at the University of Sao Paulo’s Biomedical Sciences Institute, the new film proved capable of eliminating 79.9% of SARS-CoV-2 particles within three minutes and 99.99% in up to 15 minutes. Alpes has tested more than 40 products that attack the novel coronavirus since the start of the pandemic with this development being the most effective. Its intended use is for wrapping of food products in supermarkets with a view that 15 minutes for the film to eliminate the virus completely would be a welcome outcome.
The impact of COVID-19 will remain long after the awful pandemic is finally under control in everything we do as consumers. In terms of packaging, it is impossible to say with any certainty what the long term impact will be. It is likely some consumers will revert to old habits but for others an increased permanent awareness of hygiene in packaging will inevitably remain. This means that the demand for products that reduce virus transfer will remain buoyant with the opportunity for alternatives solutions to be developed and brought to market.
The 2021 Global Packaging Trends Compendium comprises nine new packaging trends. It features a comprehensive accessment of more than 550 packaging innovations. It also includes the interviews of 16 industry experts from around the world, featuring packaging experts from the likes of Mars Wrigley, Mondelez, Ocado, as well as, Tim Sykes Brand Director at Packaging Europe.
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