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Brand owners survey reveals trends in packaging design

Results provide insights to assist both brand owners and suppliers in preparing to meet emerging market demands.

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EskoArtwork partnered with Adobe and the International Packaging Institute, IPI to conduct a survey of European brand owners to gain an understanding of trends in packaging design. The survey results provide better insight into packaging trends that will assist both brand owners and suppliers to the industry in preparing to meet emerging market demands.

"As the packaging supply chain grows increasingly complex and as global competition and regulatory oversight continue to grow, the ability for brand owners to efficiently collaborate with outsourced partners will gain in importance. Yet, over half of respondents have never been involved in online design collaboration,” says Prof. Dr. Ingo Büren, the director of Science and Technology and academic director at the IPI, located in Neuhausen, Switzerland.  “This is one area in which we expect to see significant change in the near term. About a third of respondents believe online collaboration will become a widely used industry standard."

Respondents from across Europe cooperated in the survey, of which 62% worked in companies with 500 or more employees globally. Most of the respondents represented global companies, though half are operating in small marketing workgroups and are senior managers or professionals.

Other key survey findings included the following:

• Respondents strongly believe that packaging's ability to make a product stand out on the shelf is paramount. Equally strongly held is a belief that packaging will increase in importance in its role in the marketing mix.
• 56% expect a significant increase in the use of digital prototyping, either “definitely” (12%) or “probably” (44%).
• Only 15% said that providing sustainable packaging solutions is critical to or has already been addressed in their businesses today.
• Key drivers for sustainable packaging identified by respondents included consumers (70%), regulations and legislation (64%), and retail requirements (57%). 84% believe that “environmental and sociological constraints” will require “significant change” (63%) or “new ways required” (21%).
• 50% think that packaging design will adapt to the opportunities presented by the Internet, as online shopping becomes more prevalent.
• 71% agree that “data consistency across products will have to be managed more effectively,” 65% agree that “data ownership” will need to be clarified more than it is at present. This includes structured management of artwork and other digital assets, although the majority has neither of these capabilities in place today.
• Respondents gave a score of 7.8 out of 10 to the assertion that "right-sized or optimized packaging sizes” will increase in importance over the next few years.

The survey also reaffirmed the growing popularity of and demand for, private labeling, with 54% of respondents reporting that their private-label business accounted for up to 25% of revenues.

A detailed article written by Dr. Büren, Revolutionizing the Packaging Supply Chain: Taking Technology to the Limit for Competitive Advantage, is available at

-Rick Lingle

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