At the time of writing, many parts of the industry are undergoing major changes – as is the packaging industry. Behind the change is also a new paradigm shift that consists of changed values with the help of new technology. But transformations always pose a challenge for both production and producers. What does it take for a company to keep up with developments?
Jan-Olof Jungersten is the CEO and founder of Visutech, but he is also a published transformation expert. Here he shares the factors behind the transformation and also what entrepreneurs need to understand and do to cope with it.
– I have over 30 years of experience in the graphic industry and have, for example, followed the transformation of the commercial printing industry closely. The technology that drove it, ie the digital printing technology, is also the one we can see enabling and driving the transformation in the packaging industry, says Jan-Olof Jungersten.
The technology Jan-Olof talks about is the digital printing technology – a development that has streamlined and scaled the printing process considerably. Today it is a process that goes directly from the computer to print on different materials or packaging, without the need for printing plates and films
Digitization, however, is not all that lies behind the paradigm shift, even though it is a decisive factor. Another driving force is the values of the current strong consumer power. Something that Jan-Olof believes happens naturally in a generational change.
– The reason why we are facing a paradigm shift right now is because all factors fall at the same time, the planets are in a row, you could say. The new technology, a generational change, new values and an acute state of the climate. The new purchasing power generation has different demands on producers than previous generations had.
The younger generation places high demands on climate-smart packaging and our society works hard for a circular economy. There is simply a massive pressure on the packaging industry to switch and do it quickly.
– To be successful, or maybe even survive, in a change like this, you need to understand your customers. It is in a recession that everything happens and markets change. When the boom comes again, the market will not look the same. Then you must have adapted to new business models and new needs, Jan-Olof explains.
To be able to adapt, you need to understand how people, cultures and societies function and change. For example, switching up their business and packaging for people in different countries can be a huge challenge.
– There is an expression that reads “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and that says a lot. Even though you adapt to new values and those values can be similar around the world, the same packaging will not appeal to all those people. Something that is a success in Germany will not be in France. So how you design your packaging in different countries plays a big role, says Jan-Olof.
But it is not just these different forces that can affect the packaging industry. The packaging industry also has the opportunity to influence and create positive societal change.
– In general, it is a difficult question. We must urgently reduce the use of plastic, but we must also urgently reduce food waste. Smart packaging has the ability to reduce food waste by influencing our behaviors. For example, packing bananas in smaller packages with fewer bananas in each. The consumer then buys the smaller package and the bananas that would otherwise have been thrown in the dustbin are sold instead to someone else, Jan-Olof concludes.
How this change will look like, how the industry adapts to the new situation and meets the new demands from consumers remains to be seen. Conducting a dialogue in the industry is, however, a must. Scanpack is an event that brings together decision-makers, innovators, researchers and producers in the packaging industry and enables knowledge exchanges, important conversations and stronger networks. Something that is necessary for us to be able to approach a circular future.
Scanpack will be held at the Swedish Fair in Gothenburg 26 – 29 October 2021. A creative hub completely focused on sharing and disseminating ideas about new technology, new materials and new solutions that give you the right sharpness to be relevant in a circular future. By bringing together innovators, designers, decision makers, researchers and visionaries, Scanpack is an exploration of what the packaging industry can and must be tomorrow. Theme areas for Scanpack 2021 are: Digitization, Environment, sustainability and recycling as well as new trends and innovations.
The Swedish Exhibition Center Gothia Towers is one of Europe’s largest integrated meeting places with a unique city location in central Gothenburg. Swedish Exhibition Gothia Towers arranges and runs fairs, meetings, hotels, restaurants, spas and a show arena. Every year, just over two million visitors are welcomed to the meeting place. Svenska Mässan Gothia Towers is owned by a private, independent foundation, Svenska Mässan Stiftelse. The foundation’s mission is to promote business and industry, and every year just over SEK 3.2 billion is generated in tourist economic effects.
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