Trends that Are Transforming the Print and Packaging Industry

As designers, manufacturers and suppliers of protective presentation cases, padded bags, foam and polystyrene packaging, keeping up with industry trends is a big focus. 

We expect to see some real changes throughout the print and packaging industry, with a larger focus on sustainability, reduced waste and more efficient processes.

In this article, we talk through some of the latest trends that are transforming the print and packaging industry, around the world.


Robotics has become a game-changer for the packaging and e-commerce industry, whilst offering flexibility and speediness in the production process. With robotics having the ability to navigate around warehouses and create consistent high-quality items in bulk, they become a highly efficient method of printing and packaging and become a top favourite choice for manufacturers and retailers.

Speed is a winning factor for anyone in this industry, alongside consistency and precision. This is why many of the leading grocery retailers are using robots to achieve a faster and more reliable performance, by taking over processes of packaging and printing.

3D Printing

Using molten plastic, 3D printing can create a product or packaging as a prototype before it is later produced in bulk. A benefit of 3D printing is the improvement of the manufacturing process, by allowing companies to effectively test a product and allow designers to work on their creative designs before deciding to go ahead with bulk producing.

This allows companies to reduce waste and effectively save money by scaling back the production process. This has become a game-changer due to its ability to provide a quick and easy way to test products and packaging before they go into full-scale production.

Companies can also print on demand, with other benefits of becoming easily accessible and a flexible way of designing prototypes.


Sustainability has been a major trend in recent years, which has resulted in major companies switching to 100% recyclable materials. Demand for these recyclable materials has rocketed in recent months, with 2020 seeing the highest rate of demand that we’ve ever seen.

Demand is increasing in multi-use products as we are seeing more customers looking to move away from single-use product solutions, and investing in products that offer a longer-term solution for protection and presentation needs.

We do expect natural materials to eventually replace most common household plastics, which will become a massive strengthening factor for brands looking to change to entirely environmentally friendly.

Environment and sustainability is set to become one of the main deciding purchase factors, providing that eco-friendly packaging doesn’t drive up the prices of products or reduce material quality.

Inevitably, sustainability has become one of the strongest trends, so it’s no surprise that there have been calls for more companies to incorporate sustainability and environmentally-friendly packaging in their products.

Our focus when designing and manufacturing products is for them to be reliable and durable and that they thereby reduce ecological impact.

Reduced waste

With higher demand for companies to incorporate environmentally-friendly materials, there is also a demand for companies to reduce their production waste. Whilst ‘zero-waste’ becomes an ideal goal for organisations worldwide, we have seen larger companies begin to implement this.

Investing in the right technology is essential as businesses aim to conserve resources, raw materials, and energy, whilst meeting tighter and tighter deadlines to satisfy customers.

Whilst systems like CMMS and asset management software have been around for decades, they really should not be overlooked as first and foremost, they help print and packaging manufacturers ensure they have the basics in place – effectively maintained equipment that performs exactly as expected, every time. 

Without this reliability and predictability, it’s near impossible to measure or drive the improvement that OEE systems and manufacturing execution software is designed to support. And only with reliable equipment and a culture of continuous improvement will the print and packaging sector be able to achieve world-class manufacturing standards.

Smart packaging

Smart packaging is expected to become an increasingly popular trend throughout 2020. Some packaging specialists have begun using RFID (radio-frequency identification) codes which are integrated into product packaging. RFID is a unique tag which intends to transmit information from the tag to the receiver, which is read by a device. It works by using radio-frequency from the RFID tag which stores information and is then picked up on by the RFID reader.

In packaging industries, companies benefit from using RFID by having an understanding of the characteristics of their buyers, by tracking the location of the product during the process of shipping and protecting against theft. Of course, this does spark controversy on how ethical this is.

Smart packaging can be highly beneficial for some industries working with food, beverages and medicine that needs to be temperature-controlled. The benefit of smart packaging for these industries is the ability to monitor the temperature and quality, which is critical for these industries looking to maintain a reliable and efficient level of customer service.

Augmented Reality Incorporated Packaging

Augmented reality incorporated packaging has the ability to provide a transparent insight on environmental impact and remaining eco-friendly. Having codes on packaging to enable augmented reality is an engaging and informative route of showing customers and clients more about the product they are buying. 

Whether it’s a friendly gimmick or showing the product journey, from the factory to the shelf in a supermarket, it’s a great way of building engagement and maintaining branding.

How can PottertonPacs help?

With one of the broadest ranges of bespoke interior solutions on the market, PottertonPacs are confident we will be able to propose a custom interior solution to suit your needs. We also offer custom fabricated, stitched, moulded and fabricated interior solutions too.

We pride ourselves on being expert designers, manufacturers and suppliers. We provide expertly made protective presentation cases, padded soft bags and other heavy-duty transit equipment cases for a wide range of industries.

If you’d like to talk to our experienced team regarding foam conversion, polystyrene or other custom interior options that could offer a solution to your  packaging needs, we would be happy to answer any of your questions or recommend a possible solution for your consideration. Get in contact at 0116 276 7562 with any queries or concerns you may have. 

Get started on protecting your valuables today.