04/12/2017 Challenges in meeting the consumer demands in the future Previously we have taken a look into what the consumers want and expect from future packaging. Now, let us consider the challenges retailers and brand owners are facing in meeting these expectations. Finding new packaging solutions may be driven by lowering costs, but the projects are often initiated for various reasons:Strengthening the brand in a competitive marketAdopting to sustainability legislationProtective packaging – as the need for protection changes, there may be a call for new solutionsConsumer trends or complaints on packagingThe consumers’ expectations increase the pressure to develop solutions, and the questions from the consumers are many: How fresh is the food?Where does the food come from?How is the quality and safety of the food?While many have started the shift towards more consumer-needs-driven products, packaging is still largely driven by manufacturing capabilities. Brand owners often seek converters’ help - and miss the advantage of utilizing material expertise early enough in the projects.One bottleneck in the decision-making process is the differences in the key roles’ personalities. The young and inexperienced may have different views than older persons who have been in the same position for many years and could have more doubts about trying new, inventive things. So, we need to cross some borders to meet the challenges the consumers set out. Cooperation is needed across the industry and the entire value chain, to develop new solutions and to drive new standards, to reach a bigger scale. Coming together, different players must jointly push innovation and development of new technology and packaging formats that can be implemented across brands and categories. Stora Enso’s Innovation Centre for Packaging is one vehicle for that.Read more about Innovation Centre here.