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The New Global Packaging Economy

A decade or so ago, Ben Miyares, a regular contributor to this magazine and President of The Packaging Management Institute, was teaching a module for our on-line Packaging Masters Program Course “The Value of Packaging” at Michigan State University.

Mike Richmond
Mike Richmond

We had just started PTIS and believed that packaging value was very understated and that there were big opportunities ahead. The Miyares module was about packaging being bigger than an “industry”—he referred to it as an “economy.”

Flash forward 15 years and it’s plain to see that that economy, let’s call it the New Global Packaging Economy, is alive and well. But it’s still in its infancy, so expect much more to come. The New Global Packaging Economy will be a game changer that will create new growth and new opportunities in a variety of ways. In order to understand and think about packaging more broadly and deeply we need a simple model that will help us better visualize how packaging will change going forward. At PTIS we developed The Integrated Packaging Value Model™ (IPVM) in Figure 1 (shown).

Simply put, packaging is an integrated and collaborative value provider and can be thought of in the following way:

• The 3 primary circles represent (1) The Brand and the Consumer, (2) Science and Technology (the enabler), and (3) Operations (the commercialization arm)

• There is also overlap and synergies between the 3 primary circles or components that enhance and build on the value components and attributes in the model

• In the Center of the IPVM™ are the heart and brains of what makes everything go and grow in the future

• The Internet of Things (IoT) for Packaging—or IoP as we refer to it at PTIS—begins at the idea stage and moves from supply side to demand side and beyond. IoP will play a critical and circular role going forward

• Moving forward on the environmental side, we will see Sustainable Materials Management or SSM talked about more than ever before. Organizations like Ameripen and Europen are driving this effort, and in many ways their goal is to advance the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Economy concept throughout the next decade.

• Driving much of the New Global Packaging Economy will be retail and especially e commerce! In 2025 e commerce will represent 25% of global retail sales

• Collaboration, communication, and business ethics will support model development, infrastructure and growth

As packaging grows and matures there will be no “one size fits all,” rather we will see a new and fresh value chain that will provide packaging related solutions and experiences for all consumers from Gen Z to Millenials to Boomers and beyond. Business will be reshaped as IoT, e commerce, the Circular Economy, and other parts of the model mature and gain momentum. The New Global Packaging Economy will drive more growth and new opportunities, and packaging will be the key enabler.

Most organizations are not prepared for future changes, or the potential impact of these kinds of disruptive forces. The New Global Packaging Economy is upon us and companies need to better incorporate packaging into their strategies. Are you doing that? If not, this is a call to action to get started now developing a multi-year plan and roadmap to make the most out of the New Global Packaging Economy or risk being left behind.

Mike Richmond,, is one of the founders of PTIS, Global Management & Packaging Consultants.

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