Here are three trends that supply chain experts say will impact the packaging landscape this year and beyond.

We are right in the middle of a most unusual holiday season. The pandemic has impacted consumers in a variety of ways, and greater dependence on ecommerce is one of the most pervasive. This has put pressure on both brands and retailers to make sure packaging is flexible and easy to ship, while still meeting sustainability goals.

A recent article in Packaging Digest took a look at three trends that are expected to affect the supply chain throughout this season and into 2021.

  1. Dependence on ecommerce is the game-changer this holiday season. According to the article, market research firm Deloitte is forecasting that ecommerce sales will grow by 25 to 35% year-over-year this season. This means brands are having to revise their concept of the “unboxing” experience, since gifts aren’t just being wrapped but usually shipped. They also have to add more product protection to their packaging, since many traditional gift items like candles and glassware are highly breakable. The use of more sustainable, biodegradable alternatives to bubble-wrap is expanding, as well.
  2. Automation will continue to enhance the workforce. According to the article, studies by both Forrester and Ernst & Young show companies expanding their use of automation in order to stay in business through the pandemic, and they expect that will continue in a post-coronavirus world. Automation that enhances (but does not replace) labor can help reduce waste and streamline the packaging process, and it can make the use of space more cost-efficient.
  3. Companies will heed consumer calls for greater sustainability, looking to decrease their use of plastic even further. The article states that 66% of global consumers say they’re willing to pay more for sustainable products, and 84% say they actively seek out those products. With that in mind, paper packaging is expected to expand due to its renewability and biodegradability. It also outperforms many product protection alternatives, especially when considering indirect costs such as handling and storage, machine downtime, and facility cleanup.

AMGRAPH is committed to this level of sustainability year-round, but we are particularly aware of our customers’ requirements this time of year. Specially designed packaging, enhanced strength for shipping durability, increased sustainability—we can provide it all. If your company is struggling to balance environmental concerns with strong, efficient packaging, let us help! We make it our business to stay ahead of the trends and be ready to help our customers meet their full range of goals.