Consumers are flocking to packaging alternatives to the food metal can, allowing manufacturers to save on raw material costs, according to Packaging Digest.
Tim Kirchen, vice president of marketing and business development at packaging firm SIG Combibloc, said consumers want smaller portion sizes and combat food waste and packaging is evolving to accommodate their needs. Food packaging is viewed differently by customers compared to five years ago, according to Kirchen. He said they are starting to see packaging not only as a way to contain products but a representation of their commercial and environmental choices. One of these option is aseptic cartons, which are gaining in popularity because they are more environmentally-friendly.
"Environmental awareness is also playing a more important role in the U.S.," Kirchen said. "Eco-friendly packaging made from renewable raw materials is increasingly sought-after. This is where aseptic carton packs for foods and beverages come into play."
Aseptic cartons not only have the advantage of being lightweight and easy to pack but they also are made of renewable raw materials. Carton packs are created with on average 75 percent wood fiber content, which can be sourced from responsible forest management.
As food packaging is expected to become more sustainably sourced, the market for pharmaceuticals and medical device packaging is projected to expand, according to studies by market research firm Freedonia Group.
Illustrating the role of market research in predicting future packaging demand, the study shows that pharmaceuticals packaging is expected to grow to $90 billion in 2017. Medical device packaging will increase to $25.7 billion in the same period.
Bill Martineau, analyst at Freedonia Group, said plastic bottles are the fastest selling primary pharmaceutical container with bulk and dose packaging. Pouches and trays are the most in demand for medical devices because they are effective in preventing infections, securing small- to medium-sized applications and costing less than other container types.