The food packaging of the future will need to be innovative to respond to the many issues identified in recent years. The most pressing of these issues is sustainability. However, society is also calling for packaging that delivers better in other areas.
The packaging of the future is set to surprise us with new uses, designs and added value, and it will be particularly visible in the increasingly environmentally friendly food industry. Let’s take look at the main areas of innovation we are currently working on and some of the trends we are seeing in food packaging.
PACKAGING OF THE FUTURE: PACKAGING THAT COMMUNICATES
The way packaging transmits information to consumers is about to change radically. Before long, everybody will be talking about innovations in this area.
Smart packaging is innovative on two fronts. Firstly, it can provide important information about the condition of the food inside, and secondly, it allows the product to interact with consumers on a social level, gamifying the buying and/or consumption processes (providing advantages in terms of brand management, publicity and marketing).
The global health crisis means food safety and its monitoring has become a real concern for consumers. With new, smart packaging the food industry will be able to regain consumers’ trust.
NEW FOOD PACKAGING MATERIALS
Biodegradable plastics (which decompose through the action of sunshine, water, the bacteria in soil, etc.), will be one of the main areas of food-packaging innovation in the future.
At SP Group we have developed materials such as BIONATUR and BIO FVSOL MATT N, which are both biodegradable. As well as being biodegradable, BIONATUR has a good oxygen and light barrier, and is compostable (it is a biobased structure). BIO FVSOL MATT N is a material that looks and feels like paper, and doesn’t lose its biodegradable properties even after printing.
FOOD PACKAGING OF THE FUTURE AND FOOD WASTE
To create the food packaging of the future, developers have to look at today’s society and study how packaging needs to evolve. Sizes and servings will have to be adjusted to smaller family units to prevent food waste and the excess use of plastic in packaging.
Adjusting packets to an appropriate size will ensure nothing is left in the fridge, and savvy designs will enable food to be safely transported anywhere.
THE FOOD PACKAGING OF THE FUTURE, PLASTIC AND SUSTAINABILITY
According to a recent OCU report, the plastic food packaging industry is facing the challenge of finding solutions to meet the demands of almost three quarters of all consumers, whose buying decisions are now based on the environmental impact of products.
When buying food, consumers are not only scrutinising production methods (organic fruit and veg, higher welfare meat, etc.), they are also considering the type of packaging it comes in.
For this reason, the circular economy is going to play an important role, and producers are going to have to adapt. Manufacturers of plastic food packaging have been aware of the changes required for some time and they have been approaching the issue from three different angles:
- Reusing all industrial waste.
- Researching and developing easily recyclable mono-material plastics.
- Guaranteeing responsible industrial production to reduce environmental impact and energy consumption.
Our Reciclactive project is a case in point. With this project we are working to obtain 100% recyclable plastic, using plastic waste from other extrusion applications.
Our Biothermic project is another interesting project. Its aim is to create recyclable and biodegradable packaging for the meat industry that can be used with high-temperature treatments.
SP Group is fully committed to developing the food packaging of the future, continually investing in innovation, value and sustainability. Find out about all our advances here.