Sustainability Challenges Cost as Packaging Industry’s Top Challenge in Coming Years

Food Security Remains a Top Trend

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 24, 2012 – While today’s packaging professional is focused on cost, performance and food safety/security, sustainability will replace cost as a dominant trend in 10 years, according to a study done by Packaging World and DuPont. Food safety/security is and will remain a top trend, respondents say.

The results from a futurist study, designed by Packaging World and DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, reflect the opinions of more than 500 subscribers to Packaging World and foodproductiondaily.com

When asked what trend would most impact their packaging ten years from now, many respondents cited food safety concerns, saying: 

  • “We are facing new threats to food safety due to climate change, the failure to address the problems in agriculture, lack of food in the world, and finally finding solutions for sustainable approaches.”

  • “In the future I expect food packaging to have a whole new set of environmental and performance requirements. Public awareness will increase and continual improvement of performance will be required.”

  • “I foresee sustainability in a new context, where food waste, shelf life, etc. all goes more together.”

"A key takeaway from this survey is the driving need to work throughout the value chain to develop solutions that holistically address the needs of the industry," said Dale Outhous, vice president, DuPont Ethylene Copolymers.  “This type of approach will be needed to tackle challenges as complex as food safety/security, where DuPont is collaborating with many parties in order to drive solutions to tomorrow’s issues.  This is evidenced by the recent partnership with The Economist and launch of the Global Food Security Index. ”

Other findings:

  • Regulations will have a greater influence on packaging design in 10 years, according to 82 percent of respondents.

  • Packaging will play a more important role in a product’s success in 10 years, say 81 percent or respondents.

  • Sixty-five percent agree that plastics will continue to replace glass and metals and flexible packaging will continue to replace rigid structures.
2012 Packaging Survey Results - Bar Chart

2012 Survey Results

Summary of findings from futurist study designed by Packaging World and DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers
View Media

"One common theme throughout the survey is the need to maximize value with minimal impact," said Shanna Moore, former global sustainability director, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.  “Interestingly we see cost sacrificed for sustainability.  While affordability underscores everything we do, the message is clear: Sustainability must be considered at the onset especially in light of expectations that the consumer will have even more value in it.”

The online survey – completed in August – captures insights from consumer goods manufacturers and converters in marketing and packaging development roles.  Food, healthcare and beverage markets ranked the highest, but nearly every industry that uses packaging was represented. Two thirds of the respondents are from Europe, with the remaining in North America.

Drawing from an extensive mix of adhesives, sealants, modifiers; barrier and peelable-lidding resins, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers works with customers around the world on packaging initiatives that help protect the product, environment, improve shelf appeal, convenience and reduce cost in the food, cosmetics, medical products and other consumer goods and industrial packaging industries.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802.  The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.  For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.