If you could ask packaging machinery suppliers to do something better or provide something more consistently than they currently do, what would
Michelle Boadas: I’d ask them to build more flexibility and modularity into their equipment. It’s more important now than ever, at least in Europe. In the food industry, the time of blockbuster products run on dedicated lines is over. To seduce the consumer every day, we must constantly renew ourselves, almost like it’s done in the world of fashion. Modular packaging equipment makes this easier to do.
What are you seeing in package design?
One thing I see gaining in popularity and importance is interactivity. Look at Coke, for instance, with their Share a Coke campaign that debuted in Australia and much more recently has been extended to other parts of Western Europe. Consumers could look for their first name, not the Coke name, on the bottle. It’s all about engaging the consumer. QR codes are another example of this interactivity.
Do you see notable new developments in packaging materials?
Sadly, the recession slowed the development of packaging materials made from renewable resources. I would like to see this development renewed and reinvigorated. I think expanding packaging made from renewable resources is important, and Danone has the same view. Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to materials is the important role that machinery suppliers can play. For example, Arcil developed open-mold technology to allow us to produce from PET sheet a round bowl-shaped package on a thermoformfill/seal system (see pwgo.to/0129).
It shows how packaging machinery suppliers are in a position to help us make the best use of packaging materials, sometimes for a special niche product. I expect to see ffs expand and grow. You limit transportation costs because you aren’t shipping empty containers. And there’s a security and control element that is appealing, because you are not filling containers made by others. You fill containers that you make yourself. This has advantages from a chain of custody or traceability standpoint.