Packaging the future -- drupa - 2028 - Messe Düsseldorf

Packaging the future

Karl Wehner – Managing Director, Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Packaging can have a significant, yet often overlooked, influence on end customers' purchasing decisions. Packaging can convey brand values, provide product information, and ultimately impress customers even after the purchase.

When I first held the box of my first smartphone, I thought: "Wow, this feels high-quality." It was made of cardboard but with several millimeters of wall thickness. The packaging also seemed sustainable because it was made entirely of pulp and completely free of plastics. In subsequent generations, the manufacturer continuously downsized the packaging. Naturally, this allows more products to fit on a pallet, saving transportation costs and reducing CO2 emissions. But not only the appearance of packaging is important; the tactile feel, weight, and aesthetics are also relevant.

In today's era of global online commerce, packaging plays an even greater role. Customers who order products online often see the product for the first time when it is delivered by a courier or delivery service. Packaging enhances anticipation and makes unpacking a special experience. But of course, it must also ensure that the product looks and works flawlessly despite being transported over long distances.

High Demands and Customer Awareness

Today, anyone still delivering their products in blister plastic packaging is likely to alienate many customers. Many customers value sustainably produced and recycled materials. According to the current GfK Sustainability Index, 92 percent of customers in Germany support the use of recycled packaging materials.

However, plastic has properties that are not easily replaced: it is absolutely hygienic and can hermetically seal products and protect them from moisture. In short, pulp-based packaging is inherently at a disadvantage here. However, there are many companies worldwide developing alternatives with innovations and environmentally friendly ideas and can offer them at attractive prices. The challenge lies in finding these companies and establishing a trusting collaboration. Because despite high demands and chic design, packaging must remain within financial limits.

Global B2B Platform for Packaging Innovations has made it its mission to connect companies globally through its B2B online platform. This applies not only to products but also to the design, planning, and production of sustainable packaging. Companies can search for suppliers nearby or in other regions on a single platform, get to know their products, and communicate directly.

Companies can access a wide range of manufacturers, giving them access to innovative packaging solutions from around the world.

They can specify specific requirements for materials, including raw materials, production conditions, price limits, availability, weight, and sustainability, and then choose from a wide range of providers.

Conversely, is also an ideal and cost-effective marketing platform for packaging producers, providing access to new customers and markets with numerous digital tools. One of these tools is AI-based translation into 18 different languages, making it easy to communicate with potential new customers in their native language.

Shaping the Future

Online platforms like help companies keep pace with digital transformation and leverage the latest developments to their advantage.

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