The Digital Shift In Packaging Industry

The Digital Shift In Packaging Industry

Animesh Singh Rao, Co-Founder, The RR Group

The onset of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic has not only impacted global health and health systems, but has also shaken varied industries such as retail, media and banking, in a relatively short time. However, one of the seemingly optimistic impacts of the pandemic has been the incessant rise of digitization. 
From tele-medicine to tele-work, digitization has been a savior in the dark times of the lockdown. One key factor emphasized during the pandemic is that-digitalization is not just the implementation of digital technologies into existing business architectures; it is about questioning existing business logics in the light of new possibilities offered by the latest digital technologies.
The packaging industry has witnessed profound transformation, with brand owners stepping up and shaking its value chain. They have been under immense pressure with the rise of competition, market expectation, and local brands to reduce the launch cycle of new products-from packaging design to arrival on the shelves. 
The reduction of lot sizes, the continual growth of digital printing and the need for color consistency between physical and online product displays, calls for more efficient workflow tools. Competition from traditional and emerging players is also intensifying within packaging plants, pertaining to digital products and services.

Consumers, retailers and food producers are looking for innovative yet convenient packaging solutions, with the slightest impact on the environment. As India prospers, the desire and the demand for modern packaging solutions are also emerging. Paper packaging is a versatile and cost-efficient method to protect, preserve, and transport a wide range of products. Attributes, like lightweight, biodegradability, and recyclability, are the advantages of paper packaging that make them an essential component in today’s modern life.

The world of food is rapidly evolving, as packaging transforms with technology. Digital transformation allows brands to empower employees, engage customers, optimize operations, and transform products. In the years to come, automation and artificial intelligence will be vital components of the food system, especially in fast-urbanizing nations like India. Smart packaging consisting of a dynamic QR Code and eco-friendly material, is growing at a CAGR of 5 percent and is likely to become a 40 billion industry by the end of 2020.

"The packaging industry has grown from just packaging to ‘an experience’ today. Consumption is now happening on-the-go"

Digitalization is sure to impact the food and beverages industry strongly. With 75 percent of consumers having a mobile phone, the broadband adoption rate is forecasted to grow more than four-fold by 2020. For India, one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world, the stage is set for crowd-powered food systems to emerge. Demand for convenience and sustainability has increased the appearance of paperboard packages. 

In addition to being environmentally friendly, paperboard packages are lighter than plastic, can be printed on and reduce oil consumption, leading to lower fuel costs. The packaging industry is going through the most substantial transformation it has seen in many years. From milk, ice creams, coconut water to wines and spirits, everything is available in paper-based packaging. Companies have come to realize that packaging needs to complement the product, rather than being a supplement to it.