The Future of Food Packaging – Trends from PACK EXPO 2017

The Future is Here!

Here at Emmerson Packaging, we’re freshly back from PACK EXPO 2017 in Las Vegas, where all the newest innovations in the packaging world were on display. There were several standout and truly innovative products being showcased, but truth be told, what we saw was largely a continuation of the same trends we’ve seen over the last few years. The biggest impact we saw was packaging changes made to reflect consumers’ changing priorities for convenience, better quality products, environmentally friendly choices, and premium designs.

As packaging manufacturers, we put a strong emphasis on packaging solutions that help our customers better serve their customers, whether that’s through advances in material strength and sealing technologies that better protect products, or design and material choices that help brands better signal that their values are aligned with those of their customers. As such, here are four of the most interesting and innovative trends we saw on display at PACK EXPO 2017.

1. Ultrasonic Package Sealing

As a reflection of the movement towards enhanced product quality and consumers’ increasing preference for flexible packaging, ultrasonic sealing methods were on display at PACK EXPO 2017. Ultrasonic seals are tighter than traditional heat seals, and the improved seal quality can increase the shelf life of products for many months compared to traditional sealing methods. Ultrasonic sealing also reduces waste, allowing manufacturers to ship more product at a lower cost/unit. We’ll likely see many packaging manufacturers move towards ultrasonic package sealing in the coming months.

2. Pouch Products Disrupting the Market

More and more manufacturers are making the switch from traditional packaging to pouch packaging. At PACK EXPO 2017, we saw flexible pouch design pumping new life into existing brands while also helping new products position themselves as fresh and innovative. Flexible pouch packaging helps manufacturers deliver a more convenient experience to consumers while also making their products stand out on store shelves.

3. Food-Safe Packaging Replacing Preservatives

Preservatives are introduced into a wide variety of consumer goods in order to extend shelf life. However, if your packaging itself is absorbing the oxygen that causes food to degrade in the first place, shelf-life can be extended dramatically without including preservatives in your food products. This is ideal for organic and wellness-related products, but speaks to a larger trend in the consumer movement towards making healthier, higher quality food choices. Being able to position your product as being preservative-free can be a major leg up in the market.

4. Environmentally Friendly Single-Serving Packs

Two of the most powerful consumer-driven trends in packaging are at direct odds with each other—the movement towards the convenience of single-serving packaging and consumers increasingly viewing environmentally friendly packaging options as a signal of premium quality. This is where environmentally friendly flexible packaging options like our own SmartPack™ and SmartPack-BDG™ come in. Consumers can have their cake and eat it too when it comes in convenient packaging that they don’t need to feel guilty about.

Emmerson Packaging: Your Partners for the Future

While we didn’t see a lot of surprises at PACK EXPO 2017, we did see trends continuing away from longstanding packaging standards towards packaging that is more convenient, more environmentally friendly, and that does a better job of protecting its contents. As you’re planning for your company’s future, you can count on Emmerson Packaging to be by your side, helping you find the new and innovative packaging solutions that are right for you and your products. If you’re ready to make a packaging change, contact Emmerson Packaging today.


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