Design Consultancy Visit to Packaging Innovations 2019

Here at Realise we keep our eye on the ball. Even though we might think that the Packaging Innovations event might be categorised as one of the older members of the event family (like an aged uncle with questionable political views that you only really see on the odd Christmas) sustainability is a big part of what we do here in our Product Design Studio.

With packaging being one of the larger players in the waste contribution game, we thought it worth sending our chief eco-warrior, Scott Gordon (no relation to Flash) out to find out what’s changing in the world of consumer packaging design:

p.s. Download the full PDF report here


Sustainable Engagement

Hubbub CEO and founder Trewin Restorick delighted us with a seminar sharing the practical experiences of Hubbub in campaigns to nudge people to live more sustainably – including that English recycling and littering is not improving.

Delving in to tackle issues of littering, Hubbub began with a single litter box that displaying a question that would prompt smokers to dispose of their butts into either one of the two answers slots. This campaign was so successful that they were approach and asked if these were for sale, but they had only had this one!

With a challenging future ahead now has never been a more important time for designers and engineers to observe and study current social behaviours to allow us to better understand and create influencial products to tackle such issues.

Connected Packaging

Brands are experimenting with ways to create more connected worlds between product and consumer; where their is a growing need for brands to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Smartphones are being used to their fullest in combination with other technologies such as and predominantly, Near field Communication (NFC) and Augemented Reality (AR) to create richer and more emmersive experiences whilst giving brands an opportunity to showcase their innovative endeavours over competitors.

Talkin’ Things exhibiting as one of the several start-ups showcased the implementation of NFC and AR smoothly and in confidence. It’s impressive – check them out.

Alternative Packaging

Since the dawn of Blue Planet II on the BBC, we’re seeing a growing number of suppliers from around the globe offering alternative packaging solutions to a large number of single-use plastic products.

Such alternatives, offered by companies such as Footprint and Lactips, have environmental benefits with application of water-based coatings, removal of harmful additives or adhesives meaning they’re likely to be biodegradable, water soluble or edible; all in an effort to align with legislation and the pressure of the growing waste-concientious consumer.

Packaging production methods also brings new or improved processes that are less heavy on their carbon footprint (reduced wall thickness, reduced componentry, reworkable blades etc.)

Packaging Politics

Hans Van Bochove, VP of European public affairs for Coca-Cola delivered a seminar on the regulatory development around packaging and their response.

Hans highlighted that there is no such thing as the best packaging material but simply that each has a function and it’s own benefits.

He imparted that new legislations in some cases are contradictory making suppliers unsure of the right course of action to take.

Coca-Cola’s This is Forward campaign focuses on improving company wide sustainability such as 100% recovery of their bottles, 50% of PET bottles use recycled material – all in an effort towards a circular economy.

Is this corporate marketing shifting consumer eyes from unaccounted responsibility of Coke?

Is Packaging Innovations 2019 the place to go for new packaging developments?

So, we’ve been there, done that, but is it worth actually visiting next year?

Mmmm, the jury’s still out on that one. Realistically, there are a lot of better places to find innovation in packaging but if you need a broad smear of whats going on in consumer packaging, this probably isn’t a bad place to start.

It’s just not going to shatter anyone’s world anytime soon…

If you really want some innovative packaging, get in touch with a product design consultancy (Ahem…cough, cough, click here) and make something that truly breaks the mould.

Realise out.