Customisation and online connectivity key disruptive forces for packaging to 2027

Customisation and online connectivity key disruptive forces for packaging to 2027

Disruptive forces and changing brand owner and consumer priorities will help drive innovation in packaging across 2017-2027 according to the latest exclusive research from Smithers.

Using an extensive survey of leading industry opinion formers Smithers has identified and analysed the ten most significant forces on the packaging industry in the next decade. The results of this study are presented and analysed in depth in the Smithers technical report - Ten-year Forecast in Disruptive Forces in Packaging to 2027.  

Globally, the packaging market was valued at around $866 billion in 2016, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just over 4% since 2010 – and developing regions, such as the Middle East, North Africa and parts of South America, growing more rapidly at 5–7% through to the end of the decade. It is set to reach over $1 trillion by 2021.

Ensuring future success will depend on capitalising on emergent technologies and responding to new brand and consumer demands within a rapidly evolving retail landscape. The top ten trends identified by Smithers are:

  • Greater connectivity with consumers – with packaging forming the physical bridge to online interaction
  • Packaging premiumisation
  • Meeting tighter brand corporate sustainability targets
  • Designing packs for e-commerce
  • Adjusting transit packaging to dimension (DIM) weighting
  • Integrating the latest generation of sustainable packaging materials
  • Customisation and co-creation of packaging
  • Designing packs for optimal in-store location
  • Adapting global brand packaging for transition market opportunities
  • Engaging consumers in anti-counterfeiting.

These trends will both complement and compete with each other across the study time period. They will also all see phased introductions with the essentially technologies for several already in place.

"Considering the drive to customisation led by a new generation of digital print equipment, consumer responsiveness to one-off and seasonal product editions can be a strong factor in increasing sales, as has been well documented in the drinks industry: the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign increased sales by just over 2% in the first year and was the spark for millions of social media hits and texts and photos."

Simon Ford, author of the report.


The same has been done in the beer market, a trend that began in the US with NFL-themed beer cans. The idea is to provide consumers with a customised, personalised experience, or at least the perception of one.’

The market report Ten-year forecast in Disruptive Forces in Packaging to 2027 will focuses on key disruptive themes affecting packaging and contextualises this with Smithers extensive database of technical and exclusive market analyses. The social, economic and political drivers underpinning each of these factors will be examined, as well as the main technical aspects, and consideration of key business priorities, like production capacity and raw material pricing.

Notes for Editors            

Ten-year forecast in Disruptive Forces in Packaging to 2027  is available to purchase now. For more information download the report brochure. 

For press enquiries or a more detailed article, please contact Julie Bostock:
Tel: +44 (0) 1372 802 035 Email:

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