More practical and ecological, this is what consumers claim to expect from packaging of the future. They also hope that artificial intelligence will go even further in future developments.

Packaging of future will have to meet the new expectations of consumers, while integrating technical and technological innovations… However, the expectation changes in many areas, making prospective studies of the packaging of the future difficult to decipher. With this in mind, and in preparation for the 2018 edition of the All4pack Paris show (from November 26 to 29), the YouGov Institute surveyed consumers in 6 countries to understand their expectations in evolution of packaging.

Packaging, meeting practical needs and optimizing everyday comfort

Unsurprisingly, consumers want packaging to meet their expectations and adapt to their needs. Thus, nearly half of consumers (47% to be precise) wants tomorrow’s packaging to better take into account the opening and closing of packaging. Being able to close a packaging in an efficient way – hermetic, protective…- is moreover a necessity at a time, when the displacements are more often happened. But this expectation of better comfort should not hide the main concern of consumers, which lies in the ecology and protection of the environment.

The environmental cause, the first concern of consumers with regard to packaging

For a long time, public authorities have been trying to educate the population highlighting the harmful effects of overconsumption and the need for recycling. Consumers are now fully aware of the importance of preserving natural resources and protecting the environment, especially in terms of packaging. 40% of consumers surveyed are in favor of banning non-recyclable packaging. Recycling is no longer an option but becomes a packaging imperative, and, the trend will be stronger and stronger. Consumers are also in favor of prohibiting over-packaging.

Innovations of tomorrow’s packaging, when intelligent packaging seduces consumers

With the demand of more convenient and more environmentally friendly packaging, consumers also want to be better supported in terms of the management of these packaging: 34% of respondents believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will be beneficial for the packaging sector, for example, by alerting them the expiry date of the packaged product. But the intrusion of AI into the packaging of future should also, for 38% of consumers, benefit the protection of the environment, helping to better sort the packaging, and to reduce unnecessary uses of packages.

These consumer expectations, revealed by this opinion study, imply adequate responses from manufacturers and packaging specialists. The environmental aspects have already been taken into account for several years, while the search for packaging, which aims to make it ever more practical and easy to use, remains one of the priorities of specialized players in the field. Therefore, it is now the generalization of artificial intelligence, which will support future developments, and in this area, the possibilities seem to be endless to this day. So, is tomorrow’s smart packaging the ultimate evolution expected by consumers?

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