Top 10 food packaging developments of 2019

By Rick Lingle in Food Packaging on December 10, 2019

Augmented reality, moldable paper, smart caps, inverted pouches, better date codes, sustainable meal kits and other innovations were featured these past months.


As with most fans of college football, I like to watch my favorite team on TV and read how their success is reflected in the latest polls. Polls are not perfect, but they're the best way to rank and compare teams unless they’ve played each other…and even at that there’s much debate.

Which is totally unlike Packaging Digest’s website metrics that permit precise identification of how the many dozens of features posted since January 1 have performed and how they compare with one another. Thus, these end-of-year top-read lists are ideal for readers to make sure they haven’t overlooked must-read features that resonated with a considerable number of packaging professionals.

What is a large must-read market for a majority of PD’s audience is that of food packaging. According to one report, the global food packaging segment was valued at $293 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach a value of $423 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of around 5.4% between 2019 and 2025.

Revealed in reverse order, the opening article in our 2019 best-read lists kicks things off with a smart packaging application, specifically one using augmented reality. At one time a rare novelty, due to the ubiquity of smartphones and Quick Response codes the tech is growing exponentially; a September 2019 report pegs the AR market at a CAGR near 56% to reach $149 billion by 2025.

A case study example of a brand leveraging AR’s capability is pasta sauce maker Francesco Rinaldi, which recently updated its products in a way that allows consumers to interact with brand spokesperson Mrs. Rinaldi.

The Francesco Rinaldi AR App (available via the Apple Store or Google Play) permits consumers to pick up the jar from the shelf, scan it and hear the story of the product directly from brand mascot Mrs. Rinaldi.

“Through AR, we are looking forward and focusing on technology, while staying true to our traditional pasta sauce recipes and Italian culture,” says Mary DeMarco, creative and branding director for brand owner LiDestri Food and Drink. “The app enables us to reach a new generation of pasta sauce lovers by being innovative and disrupting tradition a little.”

Link:  Augmented reality brings pasta packaging to life


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Rick Lingle

Rick Lingle is senior technical editor of Packaging Digest. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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