”Retail and packaging are being radically reshaped by megatrends and the growing volume of online commerce”, says Mikko Rissanen, Business Development Director of Label, Pack & Release business unit in UPM Paper Asia.
“Daily retailing and the market for Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products will likely move towards online commerce. Selling groceries and brewery products online is not a big business yet, but it will certainly grow in the future. The transformation is ongoing, but its impact on the packaging industry won’t be visible until later.”
Packaging design is currently focused on attracting and persuading consumers to purchase products from store shelves.
“The increasing volume of online commerce will highlight the importance of brands because consumers are making their decisions based more on brand image and previous user experience rather than the visual appearance of the packaging. However, brand recognition will remain an important attribute and products need to look the same at the point of delivery as in the physical stores.”
Rissanen adds that ageing populations in industrialised countries is another key trend that is influencing the packaging industry. “The percentage of single-person households is constantly growing. Packaging sizes are therefore decreasing while demand for pharmacy and hygiene products is growing.”
UPM’s packaging portfolio includes packaging papers as well as label and release materials. “We currently operate in the flexible packaging segment. Our paper products offer good synergies together with our labelling materials business,” Rissanen notes.
The steadily growing number of urbanised middle-class consumers means that shoppers are switching from markets to supermarkets. More products have to be packed and personalised and their whole logistics chain has to be fully traceable.
“Our materials that go into self-adhesive products are used for applications such as package and product identification. This is our home turf, so growth in this field is great for our future prospects.”
Rissanen confirms that UPM has worked hard to increase the sustainability of its labelling material products. “We have improved our paper release liner recycling and developed thinner labelling products that will decrease the amount of waste.”
In production, UPM uses renewable and certified raw materials. “The efficient use of energy and water also offers sustainability and cost advantages.In logistics we are looking for the most sustainable solution for our transportation.”