8.1.1 Trends Driving the FMCG Packaging Market
Visiongain: What would you say will be the key trends and development over the next decade in the FMCG packaging market? Steve Osborne: Looking forward 10 years in any industry is both exciting and prone to gross exaggeration or under-estimation. If you'd asked me in 2002 what the FMCG landscape would be like today, I think I'd have expected bigger advances in packaging development than we've seen, at least on the surface. But based on what's been going on under the surface, I think we can expect to see some very visible things happening in the next 10 years. What's been happening is that we consumers have been getting a lot smarter. We have become used to smart software such as Google's almost magical Search technology, smart media like YouTube, The Huffington Post and thousands of intelligent blogs, smart devices to help us consume media, learn and interact in new ways, and smart shopping, like Amazon or ComparetheMarket.com. Yet pop into a supermarket in most of the world, and you'd struggle to spot any differences from the same experience in 2002: You'll still be pushing a creaking trolley loaded with shiny packaging to a crowded checkout, even if some of them are now unmanned. Packaging design is driven by several forces, so trends in each have to be taken into account when attempting to predict the future. I'd say that the main influences are protection, production, distribution and marketing. Sustainability is also a clear driver, and the painfully slow progress that has been made here in the last decade may speed up exponentially if the packaging world goes digital as quickly as some other industries have. But one thing that most consumer goods can't digitise is the product - so don't expect any downloading of your favourite brand of deodorant or chocolate dessert anytime soon. Packaging's primary role remains to protect and help deliver the product in the best possible condition. Likewise factories remain...
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