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Market Trends

Packaging Solutions

From sustainable solutions to luxury features, what are some of the stand-out trends in the packaging market, and what products are available to help print companies capitalise on these demands?

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Antalis bills Performa Light CarbonZero as the market’s first carbon neutral cartonboard

All Wrapped Up

Packaging has long been talked about as an important growth market for print service providers (PSPs), whether this is for companies seeking to move into the sector or those already active here looking to expand their offering.

The trickier part of the conversation focuses on exactly how you can succeed in a market that is so diversified and attracts so much interest. Considering wider trends and how you can address these will help you identify the areas where the most opportunities lie, and target work you can realistically take on.

Here, we look at some of these core trends, speak with packaging specialists about how to access this sort of work, and consider some of the latest solutions on offer to the market that will help you in your quest for growth.

A Tricky Decision
First up is Metsä Board, which provides solutions across a range of markets within the print sector, with a strong focus on packaging. Ilkka Harju, packaging services director at Metsä, says given the ever-changing demands, finding a packaging solution capable of balancing regulatory compliance, with evolving customer expectations, quality standards, and business requirements can be challenging.

“We have noticed clients coming to us to work together on issues such as designing for a better consumer experience with less environmental impact, reducing overpacking and light-weighting packaging, and calculating the environmental impacts of their packaging,” Harju explains.

Metsä Board explains it is critical for all packaging to both protect and reflect its content

So, what should PSPs be looking for in packaging materials? Harju says Metsä is ideally equipped to help with these trends and issues facing the entire packaging chain, picking out how the company has solutions to address a range of demands.

“At Metsä, we have developed luxury gift box designs where the traditional rigid box is replaced with a lighter weight material containing minimal amount of glue in the construction,” Harju says.

“In collaboration with our partner network, we have created a new lightweight, high-performing gift box solution made of micro-flute with a surface liner out of either uncoated, white kraftliner, or coated white kraftliner. This solution serves as an alternative to the rigid boxes often imported from Asia. 

“With this innovation, we have also been able to reduce the amount of material needed and the carbon footprint without compromising the consumer experience.”

Leading on from this, Harju goes on to advise on what makes a successful packaging job, focusing on how the visual appearance of a package tells the consumer a lot about the content and its quality, with packaging needing to reflect its content.

Harju picks out areas like printability and convertibility as being a must for people working with branding, adding that the package needs to protect the content inside. Harju explains boards with a good white printing surface, which give the possibility to use a wide range of special treatments such as embossing and foiling, but also support fast runnability in production and sustainability values, offer the best combination to printers.

Switch to Shorter Runs

Elsewhere, Dufaylite also offers a selection of packaging solutions. Managing director Ashley Moscrop says one key trend that stands out in recent time is the desire for smaller orders. As consumer spending has tightened people are requesting shorter runs.