According to the members of the Pack Experts Committee [1], an ad hoc panel gathered by the organisers of the All4Pack Paris tradeshow (November 14-17, 2016), packaging - driven by the supply chain and increasingly influenced by the consumer - is more than ever a critical factor for brand strategy.

Cost effectiveness remains a strong economic “driver” © Photo F....

Cost effectiveness remains a strong economic “driver” © Photo F. Favart

First of all, according to the experts, cost effectiveness remains a strong economic “driver”, in the short and medium terms, but must not affect supply and delivery times and flows. Packaging should therefore also be practical, secure, customised and tamper-resistant, bearing indicators for use and other details to assist consumers and/or patients and provide them with essential information. Indeed, with the exponential growth of social networks, consumers are more than ever in the driving seat and have become very demanding in the areas of service, safety, information and ethics. Furthermore, environmentally-related factors are still a concern in the medium and long terms. Brands, who want to see even more efficient industrial waste management, project themselves beyond their own packaging eco-design processes and aim for zero waste, which will oblige all players - from suppliers to consumers - to reason in terms of individual, re-usable and recyclable materials.

The All4Pack Paris tradeshow will open its doors on November 14-17, 2016 ©...

The All4Pack Paris tradeshow will open its doors on November 14-17, 2016 © Photo F. Favart

The experts also consider that innovation at the heart of the supply chain and e-commerce. The experts believe that shipping packaging will play a growing role in the “customer experience” in e-commerce. It must be optimised in its format whilst being suited to automatic handling, and raise the question as to how it is disposed of. The role of packaging in the supply chain becomes even more important in the light of product delivery becoming a social or community-based activity.

Eventually, the specialists judge that the technologies which will emerge in the future will make packaging more than intelligent: they will have to respond to the presence of germs, enable the cold chain to be interrupted, flag the presence of allergens, communicate with refrigerators to manage use-by dates and avoid waste, and save the consumer the effort of reading instructions.