Market Topic: 2024 Food Packaging Trends

Regulatory dynamics, consumer safety, sustainability and e-commerce a driving packaging innovations in 2024. © visoot – stock.adobe.com

Changes will keep coming in 2024 for consumer and food packaging.

By Stephen Dombroski, Director, Consumer and Food & Beverage Markets, QAD, Inc.

Lately, there has been a significant impact on almost every aspect of our lives and packaging for consumer packaged goods (CPG), and food & beverage products are no exception. All indications are that changes will continue into 2024 for the packaging industry and we can expect many more innovations to come, such as redefining the way products are packaged and delivered.

As we navigate the post-pandemic era, the focus shifts from immediate health concerns to broader industry challenges and innovations will shape the trajectory of packaging. Here is what we can expect in 2024.

Compliance and regulatory dynamics

The regulatory landscape for the consumer packaged goods and the  food industry is undergoing a substantial transformation. In 2024, businesses will find themselves navigating a complex web of standards, with governments globally implementing stringent regulations. Compliance, spanning safety, labeling, and sustainability, will become the driving force behind decision-making processes.

Companies that proactively integrate compliance considerations into their operations will not only meet regulatory challenges head-on, but will also gain a competitive edge by establishing trust with increasingly discerning consumers. The need for comprehensive traceability, transparent reporting, and proactive risk management will fuel a paradigm shift in decision-making strategies, influencing everything from supply chain management to product development and marketing.

Safety takes center stage

As the world grapples with the aftermath of the pandemic, safety and hygiene remain paramount concerns for many consumers and, consequently, the packaging industry. In 2024, we anticipate a surge in tamper-evident and secure packaging solutions. Companies are exploring features such as seals and indicators to assure consumers that the product has not been compromised.

Simultaneously, efforts are underway to enhance the cleanliness and sanitation of delivery vessels and equipment, marking a shift towards a holistic approach to product safety during transportation. Research initiatives are actively seeking packaging materials resistant to contaminants, reflecting a commitment to addressing safety concerns comprehensively.

Sustainability as a guiding principle

In 2024, sustainability emerges as a critical pillar shaping the future of consumer packaged goods and food packaging. The industry is witnessing a growing emphasis on eco-friendly packaging and responsible sourcing practices.

Companies are compelled to adapt swiftly to this evolving landscape, ushering in a new era of accountability and consumer trust. To address sustainability concerns, businesses are actively exploring alternatives such as paper-based packaging and reusable containers. The commitment to sustainable practices is not merely a trend but a fundamental driver shaping the ethos and practices of the industry, signaling a collective responsibility towards environmental conservation.

E-commerce drives packaging innovation

The paradigm shift towards contactless delivery methods, driven by the rise of e-commerce, continues to reshape packaging strategies in 2024. Doorstep drops and locker systems are now commonplace, emphasizing the need for packaging that ensures both security and tamper-evidence.

As online shopping experiences unprecedented growth, innovative packaging materials are being explored to meet the demands. While ensuring product protection during shipping and delivery is important, there is a simultaneous effort to address the environmental impact of e-commerce packaging, acknowledging its contribution to the overall volume of packaging waste.

What’s next?

Heading into the new year, 2024 promises to be a year of adaptation and innovation for the consumer packaged goods and food industry. Industry players will be presented with opportunities to redefine their strategies, foster consumer trust, and contribute to a more conscientious and environmentally responsible future. Let’s see where the journey ahead will take us.

About the Author

Steve Dombroski has approximately 40 years of manufacturing experience in consumer products and the food and beverage Industries.  His career has spanned the manufacturing, software and consulting industries, maintaining a solid focus on supply chain management and enterprise systems.  He assists companies with the development of S&OP strategies and implementation of ERP and Supply Chain Systems.  He has held key positions with leading supply chain software companies and a leading food manufacturer. Learn more at https://www.qad.com.

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