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Smart Packaging: The Next Big Thing in the Pharma Industry

The growth in the global pharmaceutical industry will be driven by safety concerns and the ability of products to fit in the loop of connectivity and communication. Smart labels, QR scanning, brand protection, and identification are some of the aspects that indicate that smart packaging industry needs to evolve constantly to serve all product-shipping business verticals, including pharmaceuticals.

One of the key challenges faced by pharma companies today involves the increasing cost of bringing new formulas into the market. In the case of generic medicines, competition is becoming fierce. Furthermore, companies in the sector are increasingly experiencing pharmaceutical logistics challenges such as shortcoming relating to drug expiry date management, counterfeiting issues that jeopardize quality of care, and product degradation and recalls. A lot of effort is being put in by players in the sector to re-design pharma value chain and turning these roadblocks in opportunities. Among the several advanced techniques used by pharma companies for enhancing performance, smart packaging has been a breakthrough. Smart packaging is an advanced packaging system that can monitor changes in a product or its environment and help pharma companies to act upon these changes. Sensor-equipped smart packaging in the pharma industry can help track a product along the supply chain to the end-user.

There is no doubt these are exciting times in the pharmaceutical industry with advanced techniques such as smart packaging underway. But is your business prepared to accommodate these trends? Request a free proposal to know how our experts can help you best prepare for the changing market trends.

Benefits of smart packaging in the pharma industry

smart packagingTemperature control

If medicines are not stored at the right temperature, it can not only lead to product damage but can also prove to be dangerous for consumption. With smart packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical industry, it is now possible to create labels informing about a product’s temperature during the shipping process and storage. This helps doctors, pharmacists or patients to determine whether the drugs are safe to take or not.

Adhering to medication

Smart packaging for pharma products is a great way of reminding patients about adhering to the prescription. NFC tags used in smart packaging provide patients with enough information so that they know they are using the drug as intended. The information is often delivered in an interactive way on the patient’s smartphones, for instance via video.

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Stock control

Smart packaging will be beneficial for pharma companies to keep tabs on their stock and manage their inventory levels better. The sensors in smart packaging allows companies to check the stock level available with them and adjust the production and supply accordingly to prevent situations of understocking or overstocking.

Enhances clinical trials

Smart packaging solutions for clinical trials are largely focused on patient compliance and engagement. Sometimes, during a clinical trial, enrolled patients typically need to maintain records that document their drug administration. Many don’t take the time to do that real-time and, as a result, their data is subject to error. Smart packaging aims to avoid such errors by notifying the patients to take the medicine on time and recording the exact time that the medicine was consumed.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for companies in the pharma industry

Packaging industry trends

Investing in the North American Packaging Market: Key Packaging Industry Trends Poised to Take Off

North America remains the global leader in the packaging industry right now. Although the North American packaging market faced a brief dip in 2009, the sector has seen steady growth over the past couple of years. However, new packaging industry trends such as the rising need for eco-friendly and sustainable solutions are posing new challenges for companies in the sector. Also, China is poised to become a packaging industry major by 2020, and together with other markets in Asia, it will remain the industry’s top growth engine alongside North America. While this shift is notable, North America’s relevance in the global packaging market remains substantial due to its size and rate of innovation. The largest end-user segment of the North American packaging sector is food, while the fastest is projected to come from healthcare and cosmetics, closely similar to the global packaging industry trends. This blog provides a packaging industry overview in North America, highlighting the key packaging industry trends that investor and companies can expect to see.

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North American Packaging industry trends

Impressive growth in Mexico

Mexico is predicted to have the highest packaging industry growth among the three North American countries. One of the key packaging industry segments that is expected to show positive growth in Mexico is the soft drink beverage packaging that meets the needs of customers seeking both versatility and sophistication from their packaging.

Success of rigid plastic packaging

Packaging industry trends such as rigid plastic packaging is forecasted to show steady growth in the North American packaging market and will experience the highest growth rates across plastics. Furthermore, PE and PET will remain the main plastics used for consumer manufacturing.

Paperboard to lead market share

Paperboard is one of the notable packaging industry trends that suffered a steeper decline than most other packaging materials during the recession, especially in the US. However, it has recovered quickly and returned to pre-crisis levels. In the North American packaging market, paperboard holds the largest share of packaging consumption. Corrugated packaging claims the largest share of the North American paperboard packaging sales.

Companies often tend to overlook the key packaging industry trends and challenges that can have a significant impact on their business. Get in touch with our experts to know how our solutions can help you stay updated and engage in making the right business decisions.

Recovery of industrial sectors

The North America economy is greatly affected by uncertainties. This also includes the impact of the European economic crisis and political uncertainty in oil-exporting countries. The US has also been significantly affected by falling real estate values and difficulties in securing financing for future investments. However, the industrial segments have been in recovery since a sharp downturn in demand a decade ago. Real estate values are now also starting to show recovery. The proliferation of several innovative packaging industry trends and growth of the packaging sector can be expected in the next few years.

Retail-ready packaging

Packaging industry trends such as retail-ready packaging provides an attractive structure as well as advertises a product. It refers to packaging in the form of a self-contained unit that is delivered to a retailer and is immediately ready for on-shelf product display without the need for assembling or unpacking. Such packaging industry trends significantly cuts down on operation costs as the shipping-package is shelf-ready. Retail ready packaging is continuously gaining popularity and traction in North America as a number of retailers consider its implementation and others expand their efforts in the area. This is due to an increased understanding of RRP, and the ever-growing penetration of RRP across categories.

Learn more about the key impact of packaging industry trends in North America on investors and businesses.

European food packaging

Unwrapping Packaging Industry Market Innovations and Updates 2019

The global packaging industry is booming with rising demands especially from growing economies at an annual rate of over 5%. Furthermore, factors including the growing urbanization, development of retail chains, investment in housing and construction, and the burgeoning healthcare and cosmetics sectors especially in BRIC nations are driving sales growth for the global packaging industry. Over the years, customer expectations from packaging industry (especially food packaging) have drastically evolved. They now expect packaging to comprise of three key qualities: convenience, ease of use, and ease of transportation. With a steady increase in competition as well as opportunities to improve offerings, the vendor landscape in the global packaging market is poised to experience steady growth over the next five years.

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Packaging industry trends and market updates 2019

Packaging industry

The article below scans the category for the packaging industry in its entirety to help vendors in this sector understand and stay abreast of the latest news, innovations, and market developments.

Packaging industry moves to more customized options

Owing to the busy lifestyle today, consumers will continue to crave convenience. This could result in a new level of customization, taking not only personalization of the product but even the packaging industry as a whole to new heights. With the breakthroughs in technology, printing, and data collection, we can soon expect highly personalized and localized packaging formats. Furthermore, the rising concerns relating to global challenges such as shortage of food and water demands the needs to reduce problems such as food waste. Protective packaging will play a major role in making food safer and more accessible. This will also help serve the need to keep food items fresh for longer during transportation to long distances. The demand for greater protection coupled with the demand for greater sustainability will be met with a highly protective packaging that is also more environmentally-friendly, lighter and more suitable for transport.

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Nanotechnology in packaging industry

Vendors in the sector are exploring opportunities for packaging in marketing their products better. Technologies such as NFC, RFID, and LED solutions are expected to offer consumers a new level of interaction, information, and entertainment. Furthermore, the use of nanotechnology in packaging industry could provide better protection against air and light, improving the shelf-life of products. Nanotechnology in packaging industry could also help promote active packaging. This involves using materials that actually interact with the products’ content, fighting microbes, and thereby reducing the risk of foodborne diseases.

Growth of flexible packaging market in GCC

Flexible packaging includes materials such as bags, pouches, plastic, film, aluminum foil, metalized or coated paper or film, or any combination of these materials that is easy yielding and has no rigid structure. Flexible packaging is currently the fastest growing segment in the global packaging industry and is used in consumer as well as industrial packaging. Currently, the flexible packaging market is observed to be exhibiting strong growth in the GCC region. This growth is driven largely by continuous development in sectors including food, retail, consumer goods, and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, the increase in personal disposable income and the growth in retail and consumer goods market further add to the growth of the packaging industry in GCC economies.

Foodservice packaging is growing despite challenges

Nearly two-thirds of manufacturers in the foodservice packaging segment of packaging industry are experiencing rapid growth in volume. These manufacturers also gained a surge in sales. Due to the increased number of fast-casual options, quality food offerings, and value to their customers, this segment of the packaging industry is expected to expand in the next few years despite several challenges including environmental concerns and government regulation taking the center stage. Supermarkets/grocery stores and delivery services are also noted as opportunities for market expansion of the foodservice packaging because of the popularity of being able to grab products on the go or have them delivered.

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Market Opportunity Assessment: Uncovering and Understanding the Scale of Market Opportunities for the Consumer Packaging Space

The macroeconomic environment coupled with the growing need to develop economically sustainable packages is a major concern for companies operating in the packaging market.

Recent developments in the packaging industry have created a high demand for packaging materials such as foils, pouches, and cling wraps. However, striking the right balance between the functionality of the package and elegance is a major challenge for players in the consumer packaging sector. Packing industry firms are now focusing on developing innovative packages that are aimed at attracting customers to drive sales. At the same time, they are looking at developing solutions that meet the durability and functionality requirements.

The Business Challenge

  • The client: A consumer packaging company

With an objective to uncover hidden market opportunities, the client – a leading packaging industry firm – approached Infiniti to engage in a market opportunity assessment to identify market risks and opportunities and gain a detailed understanding of the market prior to expanding the business. The primary objective of this market assessment engagement was to gain holistic perspectives and real-time insights on the market scenario to act fast and make the most of potential market opportunities.

How Can Market Opportunity Solutions Help Companies in the Packaging Industry?

In today’s competitive landscape, packaging industry firms are constantly under the pressure to stay relevant. To gain a competitive edge, companies need to understand the market and stay aware of the industry challenges and barriers to growth. A comprehensive market opportunity assessment ensures that businesses have the necessary data to build precise business plans and strategies.

Summary of our market opportunity engagement

Market OpportunityAsk An Analyst


Client Journey

To help the client gauge numerous factors influencing their decision-making process in the packaging industry and to identify the emerging trends, the market opportunity experts at Infiniti followed a strategic research approach. The approach included primary and secondary research methodologies coupled with qualitative and quantitative data collection procedures. The market intelligence experts also reached out to various stakeholders in the packaging industry to understand the factors that are influencing the industry.

Solution Benefits and the Business Impact

With the aid of Infiniti’s market opportunity engagement, the consumer packaging manufacturer gained comprehensive insights into the market opportunities. A detailed assessment of the supply market also unraveled competitive maneuverings and enterprise demand, which significantly impacted their product development and positioning strategies. The market opportunity assessment also offered a bird’s-eye view of the key competitors and their major products, which subsequently helped them to identify ways to improve their market share.

The Future

The global packaging industry will very soon witness a major shift towards smart and intelligent packaging – packaging that can sense changes in its external environment and transmit the signals informing about the change. With trends such as this influencing the market, packaging manufacturers will be poised to make changes that will have a significant impact on their overall business value.


A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the packaging industry.

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