Booming online retail sales are set to drive demand for ‘substance and style’ packaging innovations in 2018, predicts Antalis as UK businesses, competing to inject that all important ‘wow’ factor into the customer experience at home, embrace solutions combining greater protection with bespoke, personalised design.
Recent figures show that manufacturers are losing an average of £37,000 a year due to ‘unsalable goods’ with more than half of damages occurring while goods are in transit along the supply chain. Although many companies simply assume that damage is a cost of doing business, this needn’t be the case especially with the abundance of new solutions now available to better protect products.
Jason Poxon, packaging technologist at Antalis, said: ‘As we look to the year ahead, businesses should make sure they keep abreast of the new and exciting packaging innovations coming to market. With online sales continuing to rise year on year and less ‘bricks and mortar’ shops, the onus is on businesses to take a two pronged approach – incorporating both substance and style into packaging to create a superior customer experience at home.’
What is more, with many consumers actively favouring brands that care about the environment, a whole host of environmentally friendly products are now available for companies looking to improve their green credentials by cutting out excess packaging.
Jason added, ‘Putting in place pioneering void fill and cushioning solutions should be the top priority as it can make a remarkable difference – not only in terms of ensuring products arrive in perfect condition, but also by speeding up the packaging process, optimising overall efficiencies and improving sustainability by minimising the amount of packaging used overall.
‘At the same time, creating a memorable first impression when a package arrives is now more important than ever before as nearly 40% of the British public admit that colour is the most appealing feature of packaging, while a quarter say that imagery caught their eye the most. This will no doubt fuel the growing popularity of personalisation in packaging as firms battle it out to achieve that all-important ‘wow’ factor.
‘For businesses looking to kick start the year on the front foot, help is at hand via our free Smart Audit where our experts will review a company’s current packaging materials and procedures and suggest improvements.’
Antalis’s ‘ones to watch’ for 2018 are:
Waste not, want not
The New Air I.B Extreme H160, an on-demand air cushioning solution that offers unparalleled damage protection, is a great alternative to foam fill. A compelling solution for businesses looking to minimise waste by cutting down on excessive wraps and void fill, it can also reduce packing times by 20% and eliminate the need to purchase moulds or special dies.
Cost effective, versatile and offering superior protection, the recently launched Sealed Air Bubble Wrap IB Pouch is another on-demand, inflatable, cushioning solution, that can provide 30% better protection than traditional bubble wrap of the same size.
Hitting the road
Looking ahead, there is also increasing appetite for mobile air cushioning solutions which allow systems to be moved around the warehouse between packing stations, providing companies with the flexibility to produce and inflate void-fill and cushioning materials as and when it is required.
Here, FP International’s Mobile Fill Wireless machine is designed to make the Mini Pak’R Retail, Mini Pak’R Industrial and Pro Pak’R mobile around the warehouse. The equipment, which is the first of its kind, is economic, quick and convenient meaning each machine can be used on multiple stations instead of having a fixed one at each.
Another emerging trend is the growth in personalised cushioning and void fill solutions that can be customised in terms of the shape and colour of the bubble, as well as offering printing options on the material.
For retailers looking to stand out from the crowd, the new Sealed Air Expressions range available from Antalis, can be customised to accentuate any brand proposition. From creative patterns such as hearts, stars and smiley faces through to bespoke designs, all coupled with a wide choice of vibrant colours, the result is a truly unique packaging experience that won’t break the bank.
Personalised print can also be added to a number of the films used on FP International’s Mini Pak’R and Pro Pak’R machines. With printing free for orders of one pallet per film type, it offers a cost effective solution for creating packaging with the ultimate ‘wow’ factor.