food packaging trends innovations 2018

Coolest Food Packaging Innovations to Track in 2018

While food packaging trends may not be the most exciting subject for the average person, the capabilities of new food packaging innovations are enough to blow anyone’s mind. Innovations that literally change the way we look at canned goods, that lead to more colorful packages. These double as video game power-ups are all reasons for people in every industry to get excited about what 2018 has in store for us.

Get hype about food packaging by considering the following three huge innovations worth gawking at in 2018.

Clear Plastic Cans Replacing Metal for Canned Goods

Clear retortable plastic cans have been experimented with for years, but for the first time a major food manufacturer and packager is going to implement them within their product line. These cans use a coextruded translucent plastic tubing in combination with seamed-on steel top and bottom components.

Canned goods have had their familiar look for well over a century, so the innovation of clear plastic cans on store shelves is no doubt going to turn heads.

“We saw this innovation as an opportunity to differentiate ourselves on the canned vegetable aisle with a new transparent package that gives the consumer the cues of freshness and superior quality that they can see,” says the Marketing Director of McCall Farms, the first company to reach market with the clear cans. “In addition, we received input from several area retailers that they would be interested in testing this new package.”

Most interesting of all, the plastic cans are largely a drop-in replacement for McCall Farms’ existing steel can line. The same line can therefore run regular cans and the new plastic cans with minimal changeover or machinery investment.

Vivid Colors, Foil, and Bold Patterns, Often in Limited Runs

In an age where we’re exposed to more media and art than ever before, consumer tastes have gotten more critical. They have an eye for design, and many brands have capitalized on this by creating outstanding designs to differentiate their product from their dozens of competitors on the shelf.

In 2018, colorful design and artistic expression will become more important than ever.

Color management company X-Rite Pantone explains that this stylistic packaging “increasingly goes beyond color to include embellishment options such as foils, special varnishes, soft touch finishes and more. Designers are also using more intense solid colors, fluorescents and iridescents.”

For extra flair, packages are being printed digitally through non-conventional processes, allowing for unique colors and special finishes. Digital print technology accommodates the need for flexible, limited-run or small batch productions as manufacturers create more unique SKUs than ever before.

Intelligent Packaging Connects Consumers

Consumers can now engage digitally with their packages in ways they have never been able to before. Technology like Digimarc’s scannable labels we recently discussed connects consumers to informational portals for the products they buy. These portals can reveal information about sourcing, freshness, and ingredients.

“Food traceability and complete transparency has become more important than ever for consumers,” says Supply Chain Digest. They also reveal research saying that 50% of U.S. consumers say they would be interested in getting more product sourcing information by scanning food packaging.

A more fun use of interactive packaging was recently brought to market by none other than video game company Nintendo. Their line of “amiibo” NFC (near field communication) toys can unlock content in popular video games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. But one rather unconventional amiibo took the form of a Mario-branded cereal box. Mario lovers can purchase the cereal from their local grocery store and then scan it using their video game system for special power-ups.

This unique application shows just how far food packaging innovations can go in giving the public new ways to enjoy their food.

Take Advantage of New Food Packaging Innovations With Raab Sales

Raab Sales can upgrade your existing food packaging lines with the latest equipment featuring best-of-breed technology. For instance, FoxJet Marksman Elite print controllers can coordinate two production lines and up to four printheads simultaneously.

Find out how we can help you innovate and upgrade your existing production or packaging lines when you contact our experts today.


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