6 Packaging Trends to Anticipate in 2023

Packaging trends for 2023 further the role of advancing technology in packaging processes while committing industries and manufacturers to produce more sustainable and environmentally friendly products and options for their consumers. In anticipation of 2023, look to automation and bio-based packaging solutions as leading trends in the packaging industry. With tech and going green at the forefront, here are 6 top packaging trends for your company.

1. Automation of Packaging Production

Manufacturers, large and small, are trending toward fully or partially automating their packaging production processes. Automating some or all packaging processes allows companies to increase productivity, output, accuracy, and safety by reducing and eliminating repetitive and mechanical tasks on production lines. Automation streamlines equipment needs and processes while achieving greater efficiency and increased quality. 

2. Integrating Smart Technology

As technology continues to enhance the quality of our lives, so has it positively impacted packaging efficiency and functionality. At the forefront is the emerging technology of smart packaging—a type of product packaging that utilizes interactive technology designed to better customer experience and allow companies to improve the efficiency of the supply chain. QR codes and Near-Field Chips (NFCs) are product packaging innovations that heightened customer access to product and company information. The increasing integration of smart technology in packaging will enhance customer experiences with products and provide opportunities for companies to enhance their product marketing.

3. Digitalization of Packaging

In conjunction with trends in automation and the integration of smart technology into packaging is leveraging digital technologies and digitized data in packaging. Digitalization uses digital technology, digitally controlled manufacturing protocols, printed electronics, and three-dimensional software applications to connect consumers and businesses to products. Digital packaging offers consumer experiences that connect them to dynamic relationships with brands, products, and companies. It can feature connected technology that utilizes QR codes, smartphone scanning, and augmented reality for digital marketing.

4. Bio-Based Packaging

Another trend in packaging for 2023 is the use of bio-based packaging material. Bio-based materials are produced from renewable or biodegradable materials directly or indirectly from nature. In contrast to non-renewable, petroleum-based materials used in packaging, bio-based materials offer consumers the alternative of utilizing eco-friendly packaging solutions. Bio-based materials can deliver packaging solutions that are both more versatile and more cost-effective. For example, the properties of bio-based materials used to form textures, substrate thicknesses, and coatings can be easily modified to meet consumer packaging demands. Because most bio-based materials are biodegradable, there is the minimal environmental impact when packages are manufactured with the material. In the sustainable packaging sector, bio-based materials are used as the consumer market increasingly favors greener packaging solutions and less waste. 

5. Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging is the practice of utilizing sustainable materials, methods, and processes to manufacture and produce packaging products. Sustainable packaging is made from bio-friendly materials to conserve raw materials. Materials like PET or HDPE plastic, cardboard, and paper wrappings can be recycled. Another source for sustainable packaging is industrially compostable materials made of renewable starch-based PLAs (polylactic acid) and other carbohydrate-based materials. Though sustainable packaging is nothing novel, global trends for its continued growth and expansion is supported by the demand from health-aware and environmentally-conscious consumers. 

6. Product Descriptions

A new and innovative method for presenting product descriptions is trending for 2023. Nearly every packaged product comes with some enclosed description. Instructional or descriptive booklets or printed info sheets are typically inserted in a sealed plastic sleeve somewhere in the package or attached to the product itself. Adding enclosed descriptions is costly, time-consuming, wasteful, and environmentally unfriendly. 

Far more cost-efficient and eco-friendly is printing product descriptions and instructions on the interior surfaces of packages. Conveying product information as part of the package design reduces material costs, production time, and the subsequent waste associated with separately printed descriptions and the plastic sleeves they are inserted in. 

Engineered Automation (EAM Inc.) is a designer and manufacturer of custom assembly and product handling automation equipment. To learn more about our services, please contact us today!