What’s hot in paperboard packaging?

What’s hot in paperboard packaging?

What’s hot in the paperboard packaging market? A lot. It’s our job to know the wants and needs of our target markets. Consumer shopping trends are changing, forcing businesses to adapt quickly and efficiently.

Paperboard packaging provides retailers, supply chain managers, and consumers endless, unique designs. It’s no wonder the market is growing.

Here’s our insight into what trends are hot in paperboard packaging:

1. Sustainability

Is your product’s packaging headed straight for the landfill? Whether you know it or not, your packaging may not be living up to the sustainability standards your customers want, and that’s critical. Consumers want to know you’re helping the environment, and they’re willing to pay more for products and services that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

In fact, according to a 2017 Sustainable Packaging Study, 92% of respondents say packaging has never been more important. While of course, product quality is essential, packaging may be the first step for manufacturers to capture their audience. It needs to protect and store products, and ideally, be reused.

Also, brands need to review their supply chains to understand if all elements of production are meeting sustainability standards. The more transparent your business can be when looking internally and externally at suppliers, the more holistic and sustainable your brand will become.

Corrugated and folding cartons are now seen as a sustainable packaging option as paperboard is inherently renewable and recyclable,  but the struggle is getting the word out to consumers. Providing information on your packaging and on your website about your company’s efforts can go a long way toward creating loyalty.

2. Digital

High-quality printing on paperboard packaging is more than just a trend, it’s becoming the standard. Digital printing is redefining the future of label and package printing and taking over.

It provides short-run flexibility as run lengths can shrink even as volumes increase. As shorter runs become common, the economics and workflows of traditional offset printing can limit productivity and profitability.

Digital printing on paperboard packaging can offer versatility, greater automation, and reduce waste. Telling the difference between digital and traditional printing is becoming more difficult, and the ability to digitally print can help companies personalize designs for their target audiences.

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3. Luxury

Upscale items, no matter how big or small, are taking designs to new heights to excite customers. The luxury packaging market is expected to grow by 4.7 percent during 2018-2023 with travel and online retail fueling the demand for packaging solutions.

Manufacturers are looking for new packaging innovations to enable their products to shine on the shelves and online. Packaging needs to have high-quality finishes, decorations, and innovative shapes. It also needs to be sustainable, as more product manufacturers are investing in biodegradable and environmentally friendly packaging like paperboard packaging to appease consumers.

4. Multi-Use

Packaging can do more than just carry, store, and protect a product. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 45 percent of materials in landfills in the U.S. come from food and packaging containers. This fact can help push designers to create versatile packaging that can live well beyond consumer consumption.

By making packages multi-use or dual-use, brands can help the environment and become useful for customers. With the growing eCommerce market, artisan and products with personalities can cater to our specific individual needs. We expect more than just a one-dimensional package.

Packaging can create a larger story and connect consumers with depth and value. For example, your paperboard packaging can be converted into food or non-food usages such as take-out boxes, provide engagement through QR codes, or create activities for children. Now, more than ever, it’s time to be innovative and sustainable.

5. Convenience

Packaging should always help provide consumers convenience, and the consumer today is very different than consumers of the past. Millenials lifestyles are busier, but they’re also looking for healthier options. Everyone is on the go, so product consumption should be delivered fast and easily disposable.

Great packaging will make sure there is convenience across the entire supply chain, from the warehouse to transportation, to online distribution.  Paperboard packaging should be easy to stack, interlocked, and provide higher storage capacity. This offers customers the chance to stock up on on-the-go products that make their lives easier.

Get on board with paperboard

Businesses can’t afford to ignore the trends we’ve listed. If brands want continued growth, they will need to be flexible to keep customers satisfied. Paperboard packaging has excellent potential to solve many packaging problems.

With digital technology innovations and increased demand in sustainable practices, it’s an option worth exploring, and we’re happy to explore those options with you. The GREIF (formerly Caraustar) team are experts in making sure products stand out on the shelf, and flexibility is essential to us. Whether the market is dry or frozen foods, candy, and confectionary, private labels, or natural products, we’re here to help.

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Posted by Theresa Attalla
Can your packaging survive the new eCommerce distribution chain?

Can your packaging survive the new eCommerce distribution chain?

eCommerce is shaking up the safe, predictable world of product packaging.

For decades, almost all packaged goods made it from factory to warehouse to store shelf unscathed. Packages may have been crushed every now and then, and harried store clerks damaged products here and there, but the risks were well-known. Losses could be projected within reasonable bounds.

Picture the humble cereal box, shipped from the factory in a large paperboard carton holding a bunch of similar boxes. Shipping or warehousing damage to the big carton might degrade a few of the few boxes inside, but most would make it to the store shelf intact, where customers could bring it home in the same condition they found it at the store.

Now, imagine someone having the same box home-delivered from Amazon or Walmart. The potential for damage between the fulfillment center and the customer’s front porch goes through the roof.

So, as you adapt your product packaging to the realities of online retailing, you have to make sure it’s built to withstand the abuses of the eCommerce distribution chain. These are the top points to keep in mind:

They want it fast

Nobody likes to wait to enjoy products they have paid for online. That’s why people are talking about using aerial drones for same-day delivery. And it’s why online retailers prioritize speed at every point in the distribution chain.

Alas, the emphasis on ASAP delivery creates an incentive to cut corners in other areas. Online retailers might reconcile themselves to delivering goods with a certain number of dents, cuts, and bashed-in corners when the package reaches its destination. The question is whether you—and ultimately your customers—are okay with that.

Want more information
about packaging for
the needs of today’s
online buyers?

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three savvy tips
in our free eBook.


You’ve lost a lot of control

Shipping consumer goods in 12- or 24-pack cartons for store shelves provides built-in protection: The few products that may be damaged in transit cushion the blow for the many.

You lose that cushion with online sales. Your customers buy each product individually, and everything must be boxed up in ways most favorable to the shipper, namely, quickly and cheaply.

Instead of being packed snugly against another box of identical mass and dimensions, products of widely varying sizes and shapes all end up in the same packing box. Bottles of laundry detergent might be packed next to single-serve packages of potato chips.

Items meant to be shipped upright could be boxed up at angles you cannot predict, much less control. Items could spring leaks and contaminate an entire shipment, causing returns that somebody has to pay for—whether that is in cash or lost customers.

Consumers are paying more attention to packaging

Consumers want their goods in recyclable packaging. They also want brands to reduce the amount of packaging they use, both to simplify the process of unpacking and to protect the environment.

Meanwhile, you’re always on the hunt for more economical and efficient ways to package your products. These forces put brands in a bind: You want to simplify packaging while reducing costs and enhancing your bottom line.

But if your packaging cannot survive the rigors of the eCommerce distribution chain, you risk the ultimate marketplace irony—trying to please customers ends up making them unhappy.

Agility and creativity solve a lot of packaging problems

What worked in brick-and-mortar-retail has to evolve in the eCommerce era. The future will belong to the companies that find the right blend of packaging durability and flexibility that sustains their business while keeping the customers satisfied.

At GREIF (formerly Caraustar), we’re spreading the word on the potential for paperboard-boxed packaging to solve some of these online-shopping challenges. New technologies are expanding the possibilities of paperboard packaging, creating options that never existed before.

These innovations mean brands that have traditionally packaged their products in plastic, glass, or cans may be able to find workable alternatives in sustainable, recycled paperboard.

Of course, paperboard is not a cure-all: Packaging must suit the requirements of the product and the demands of the marketplace. Today’s push to online sales forces everyone to be more agile and creative.

GREIF has decades of experience with consumer product packaging with some of the world’s biggest brands. If there’s a paperboard solution to your eCommerce riddles, we can help you find it.

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