2020 altered consumer behaviour and interaction with consumer packaged goods (CPG). These changes are impacting companies and challenging them to shift their innovation strategies for the “new” normal.
Developing more sustainable packaging solutions is a critical business issue for CPGs, and companies need to take on a more active role in sustainable packaging innovation to meet sustainability goals, rather than only depending on vendors.
Lux Research’s new report, “Building an Innovation Strategy for Sustainable CPG Packaging”, identified and explored six strategies that can cumulatively form a thorough roadmap for all brands:
- Strategy is driven by regulations, for example, the inclusion of recycled content
- Reusable packaging for in-store or e-commerce platforms is gaining momentum as a direct replacement for single-use packaging
- Digitalization to integrate data collection and innovation using that
- Adoption of alternative materials as direct replacements without changing packaging function
- Adopting packaging before product inverse innovation to fit new packaging forms for material and design changes
- Design for modularity to eliminate problem articles and make separation and collection of different elements easier
Drishti Masand, analyst at Lux Research, said sustainable packaging is a complex challenge, and CPGs will need multiple strategies. “The strategies laid out in the report are not exclusive of each other – it is necessary for companies to have some combination of them,” she continued.
Collaboration – the other factor
Another vital aspect of creating sustainable packaging solutions will be collaboration – both within individual organizations and across the entire supply chain. However, just because it is possible to form partnerships doesn’t mean companies should do so for every technology and every stage of the process.
Some of the strategies explored in the report will lend themselves to collaboration with others in the value chain, while others are more suitable for individual companies innovating on their own.
Regardless of whether the work is done individually or collaboratively, companies should strive to be transparent to allow value chain players, policymakers, and consumers to all progress together toward systemic change.
Most importantly, every company needs to get involved in sustainable packaging and stick with the work for genuine progress.