2021/02/05 Executive Forecast: How the past year will shape flexible packaging in 2021 (part 2 of 6)

Executive Forecast: How the past year will shape flexible packaging in 2021

2020 proved that not everything can be predicted or planned for, and it left an indelible mark on expectations for the year to come.

Source from: Executive Forecast: How the past year will shape flexible packaging in 2021 | 2021-01-04 | Flexible Packaging (


 Trends Impacting the Industry/Customer Trends and Opportunities

Head of L&P Marketing- HP Indigo

The trending rise of small brands and local manufacturing continues. Digital print with Indigo makes it possible for converters to say yes to delivering virtually any job, simple or complex, single or multiple SKU, static or with variable data the same or next day. 2020 has proven the need for a digital-first mentality, as the industry moves quickly to cope with new demand, investing in the right set of technologies now will pay dividends in the future.

Head of Products and Solutions- HP Indigo

The word “digital” often means “virtual” in the age of COVID — the way we often learn, work and engage with friends and family. In the print industry, “digital” also stands for benefits that answer the needs for shorter runs, faster turnaround times, more flexibility and increased personalization. These trends have all accelerated over this unprecedented year.

Commercial Director- Nordmeccanica Group Corporate

We have been able to prove that remote customer care, remote after-sales services, remote installations, remote start-up and remote training can be safely and successfully implemented during days of need. Will that shape the way an OEM will handle business in the future as we slowly go back to normality? Certainly, yes. Handling hundreds of meetings online has been a major lesson-learned by the industry. It was occasionally used “before 2020,” it will be the norm in the future. The steps of our business that are related to the actual product will benefit cost reductions as allowed by the digital technology and, therefore, by the ability to remotely handle some step of a project. Efficiency and a shorter time to business will also benefit by this approach. Function by function, it will be a mix of the old and the new way “after 2020.”

President and CEO- Flexible Packaging Association

COVID-19 changed purchasing habits, which greatly increased demand for some market segments, like packaged food, health and hygiene, e-commerce and PPE. Many flexible packaging manufacturers switched assets to produce PPE during this time. And while the industry saw decreased demand in institutional food purchases as many schools and restaurants closed, the increase in the other market segments as well as take-out food packaging appears to have insulated the industry greatly from the economic impacts of the pandemic so that growth is still projected to be on par with GDP.

VP of Product Management of Packaging Inks- North American Inks, Sun Chemical

The pandemic caused significant disruption in global supply chains as well as price volatility in some key raw material categories. Shifting demand away from industrial applications to healthcare use exerted pressure on solvents. As far as a supply chain impact in general, all regions around the world were and are still impacted. Areas in Asia have been a primary focus for us as many materials are sourced from regions such as China, India, etc. Although we monitor these regions regularly, COVID-19 has triggered us to monitor purchase orders and supply positions daily, especially as the situation was changing rapidly. Additionally, the global supply of pigments, pigment intermediates and various specialty chemicals were threatened by compromised distribution channels and limited available labor. Since packaging was an essential business, the flexible packaging market itself continued to see strong growth in 2020.

There are three key trends driving the growth in flexible packaging: sustainability initiatives, convenience and smart packaging. From a sustainability standpoint, these market trends include key changes in the package itself, such as better barrier protection, light weighting, recyclability and compostability. Also, despite behavior changes in shopping, convenience packaging has still been on the rise since younger single households don’t cook huge meals. Sun Chemical continues to provide the widest breadth of products available on the market for package printers that address a wide range of the industry’s key challenges, including migration, the push toward smaller package size, recyclability, shelf life and other efforts to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. We are also working closely with brand owners and major packaging groups to provide them with solutions for specialized packaging of the future.