3 top packaging issues emerge in 2018

Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

February 6, 2018

3 Min Read
3 top packaging issues emerge in 2018
Top articles in January 2018 focus on food packaging, packaging design trends and sustainability.

Food packaging developments, sustainability and packaging design trends lead as top issues so far this year, as we review the five most popular articles based on page views for January 2018.

Our #1 article of the month has almost as many page views as our top article of all time! It may be cruel, but we make you wait to see what that article is, as we start from #5 and work our way up the list.

5. Pouch filling operation sets new standard in quality, efficiency

The contract packaging market continues to do well, with ecommerce fulfillment and other specialties taking some of the complexity away from product manufacturing plants so they can concentrate on their core competency: making products.

A private tour of Cascata Packaging—a Salt Lake City, Utah-based operation 100% devoted to flexible packaging platforms for viscous liquids like baby food and sports nutrition products—reveals the company’s attention to quality and transparency, while also addressing key market trends.

4. Proposition 65 and food packaging: A preview of coming changes

Anyone selling product in California must abide by the Prop 65 labeling law, to inform consumers when the product contains chemicals known to the state that cause cancer and birth defects and other reproductive harm.

Forthcoming changes to the regulation, which will strongly impact food packaging, include a revision to the warning language. Brands will need to identify at least one carcinogen and at least one reproductive toxicant in the product on the label. They will also need to include a website address where consumers can get additional information from the lead agency.

Obviously, labels with this type of warning could give consumers pause before buying the product. But not complying could be costly, too. “Out of 333 judgments in 2017, total penalties amounted to more than $167 million,” says Mitzi Ng Clark, partner, Keller and Heckman LLP.

She’ll provide more details about this regulatory update during a presentation at WestPack 2018 (Feb. 6-8; Anaheim, CA) on Thurs., Feb. 8, at 2:30 p.m. in Booth 5297. The presentation is free for WestPack attendees.

3. Nature’s Path packaging takes a bold new direction

A family owned company, Nature’s Path has been organic for more than 30 years, before being organic was vogue. A recent packaging redesign—with bold colors, clean design and front-of-pack imagery that focuses on the visual aesthetics of the food—is helping these organic breakfasts and snack foods “pop” on store shelves.

Arjan Stephens, evp at Nature’s Path, explains an important component of the new design: “We focused heavily on telling our organic heritage, which in turn we hope will inspire consumers to choose organic.”


2. 8 sustainable packaging hits of 2017

During our end-of-year review of our top articles, we focus in on sustainability and present:

8. Procter & Gamble’s shampoo bottle made with “ocean waste”—that is, plastic that was recovered from beaches and recycled.

7. McCormick’s sustainable packaging strategy.

6. A blog about the viability of 100% recycled flexible packaging.

5. Analysis of results from Packaging Digest’s exclusive annual survey on sustainable packaging.

4. Coca-Cola’s sustainability packaging strategy.

3. A reminder that refillable packaging is an eco option.

2. A champion for “durable” bioplastics.

1. Emerging sustainable packaging materials.


1. 5 packaging design trends on the way out in 2018

Pamela Webber, chief marketing officer at 99designs, recognizes good packaging design when she sees it…or creates it. But she can also spot a dud, and did so five times in this top article of January 2018.

Knowing what’s in and what’s out comes in handy for packaging designers and brand marketers. Here’s what not to use:

5. Hyper-masculine packaging

4. Wasteful packaging material

3. Familiar packaging

2. Small typography

1. Over-cluttered designs


About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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