Four packaging trends for 2020 and beyond
Pyrotec Feb Blog 1


Pyrotec, January 2020: Four packaging trends for 2020 and beyond

Statistics from Smithers Pira – well known for its testing, consulting, information and compliance services that support customers in the transportation, life science, packaging, materials, components, consumer, and energy industries – reveal that between 2018 and 2028 the global packaging market is set to expand by almost 3% per annum, reaching over $1.2 trillion.

To achieve this, Smithes Pira cites four major trends in its report, The Future of Packaging: Long-Term Strategic Forecast to 2028.


Economic and demographic growth

General expansion in the global economy is expected to continue over the next decade, boosted by growth in emerging consumer markets, increasing consumer income for spending on packaged goods.

Global population expansion and urbanisation will continue to grow, translating into increasing consumer incomes for spending on consumer goods and exposure to modern retail channels.

Rising life expectancy and ageing populations are increasing demand for healthcare and pharmaceutical products, as well as for easy-opening solutions and packaging adapted for the elderly.

Another key phenomenon of the 21st Century is the rise in the number of single-person households, which pushes demand for smaller pack sizes and more convenience (resealability or microwavable packaging).



Concern about the environmental impact of products is an established phenomenon. However, since 2017 there’s a revived interest in sustainability focussed specifically on packaging. As this continues to become a key motivator for consumers, brands are increasingly keen for packaging materials and designs that demonstrably show their commitment to the environment.

Reducing food waste is one area where modern packaging technology has a major impact. For example, flexible formats such as high-barrier pouches and retort cooking add extra shelf-life to foods, particularly in less developed markets that lack refrigerated retail infrastructure.


Consumer trends

As the global market for online retailing continues to grow and more goods are purchased online, the demand for packaging solutions – especially corrugated board formats that can withstand complex distribution channels – is increasing.

More people are consuming food, beverage and pharmaceutical products on-the-go, which shows an increase in demand for convenient and portable packaging formats, particularly from the flexible plastics sector.

In line with the increase in single-person living, many younger consumers shop for groceries more frequency and in smaller quantities. This is driving growth in convenience store retailing and boosting the demand for convenient, smaller size formats.

Finally, as consumers take a greater interest in their own health matters, demand is boosted for portion-controlled healthy foods and beverages, as well as non-prescription medicines and nutritional supplements.


Brand owner trends

As many FMCG brands internationalise, there’s increased exposure to westernised lifestyles that will accelerate key growth economies through to 2028.

E-commerce and the globalisation of international trade are also stimulating demand for components such as RFID labels and smart tags to protect against counterfeit goods, and enable better distribution monitoring.


The 21st Century consumer is less brand loyal, which stimulates an interest in customised or packaging using digital printing that creates impact or an experience. This aligns with consumers’ desires for integrated marketing, with packaging providing a gateway to link into social media.

To see how Pyrotec keeps abreast of global packaging trends, visit