By Isaac Fletcher, contributing writer, Food Online
To address issues like sustainability, innovation, efficiency, and cost reduction, many manufacturers are meeting packaging needs with contract packagers
According to the Contract Packaging Association, the contract packaging industry has doubled in growth 2008. With the seemingly endless demand for sustainable packaging and the constant efforts being made by manufacturers to cut costs and increase efficiency, players in the contract-packaging industry must continue to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions.
Collaboration within the supply chain between contract packagers and manufacturers has been a strong driver for the creation of new packaging concepts and innovative designs with improved cost margins. With this type of mutually beneficial arrangement, contract packagers gain the benefit of new designs while manufacturers can reduce R&D costs. With somewhere between 73 and 85 percent of consumers’ purchase decisions made at the point of sale, packaging designs need to be innovative and attractive if a brand hopes to gain the attention of new customers.
During recent years, contract packagers have expanded service offerings to include more end-to-end processes such as early stage design capabilities through the management of the product throughout its lifecycle. With a broader range of services offered by contract packagers, manufacturers are able to streamline operations and rely on fewer suppliers for the production of goods.
The following are some of the other notable trends and highlights within the contract-packaging industry:
- Some contract packagers have gained an edge over competitors by adopting progressive technologies such as serialization concepts, robotics, and digital printing
- Serialization remains at the forefront of contract packaging processes, but the regulations regarding this process are often vague and unclear, leaving some packagers unsure of the value of offering such services
- While manufacturers are concerned with sustainable packaging, many want to be more involved with the development of sustainable packaging to better understand how contract packagers are creating more sustainable packaging
- With consumers becoming increasingly concerned with the functionality of a product’s packaging, this has become a critical consideration in the development of new packaging
The Contract Packaging Association predicts that, due to its ability to offer innovative and cost-effective solutions, the industry will continue to grow as manufacturers increasingly outsource this stage of the supply chain.