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The Future Of Food Packaging

HOW will the food industry survive by 2030? WHAT does the future of the food industry expect? WILL consumers choose experience or practicality? Eco-friendly, bio, recycled – just temporarily trends or the future?

The next decade will bring new challenges in food retail and among food brands, changing our consumption habits and the ways in which the food is produced, packaged and delivered.

According to recent research and forecasts, the industry of food packaging is undefined, but predictable. Based on Delphi forecasting method, some experts were interviewed to define possible scenarios of future consumer journey in the food industry, divided into 4 leading categories:

The idea of scenarios is to broaden our horizons, feed imagination and prepare for unexpectable changes.



TRENDS- What Are They?


Based on expert viewpoints, there are 2 sets of trends: likely that they agree with or dividing that they didn’t see eye to eye on.

1. Likely Trends

People consume more consciously – brands produce less.

  • Digitalization will lead
Create golden opportunities for brands and exceed customer expectations.

Digitalization will not only shape the shopping experience, but also the ways of packaging the food. By implementing technologies such as QR codes or RFID tags, people are able to learn more detailed information about a certain product with their smartphones or in-store devices.

  • Pre-made, eat-out, take-away

These prevalent purchasing ways will make the food consumption ways quicker & easier. With a reduced need to bulk-buy goods for home cooking, package sizes will rather become smaller and more user-friendly than maximize expiry dates.

  • Practicality and simplicity- above all

Living our fast-paced lives, we still continue eating- in a rush, on the phone, between home and work etc. However, the one should be unchanged- the convenience of food consumption: easy to open & close, healthy & tasty to eat.

In the era of automatization and simplification, there is no need in overly detailed product description, food packaging layouts or even utensils.

Make it simple!

  • Safety & Protection

Another unaltered trend is food packaging as a dominant tool for food safety.

2. Dividing Trends

The human factor will drive food & packaging brands to focus on tackling climate change by providing products with a lower environmental footprint.

On the other hand, the less solvent people won’t always have the luxury of making their purchasing decisions focused on sustainability.

A million-dollar question is born here!


Experience or Practicality?


Consumer behaviour and preferences will vary either on the desire of experience or the need of practicality. New climate and trends breed new choices. Different choices, conscious or accidental, lead to different outcomes and experiences.

The climate awareness will define consumer consumption and habits. Both are born of experience, but in different ways. As for experience, convenience is created by familiarity, while practicality- by efficiency. By interacting, these two alternatives drive us to the next 4 future scenarios.

SCENARIO 1: Individualism

We are what we eat!

Through focusing on identity-building has been explored that food behaviour is a way of self-expression. We make our choices based on our priorities, tastes, lifestyle and prejudice. Customize your product to make it outstanding on the shelf!

SCENARIO 2: Green experience

No plastic anymore! Paper, wood or glass? Edible food boxes? Whatever, but climate-friendly.

The packaging is more an emphasis on recycling policies. Implement your most creative and innovative ideas into life!


SCENARIO 3: Practicality

The simpler- the better. That matters most for busy people. The packaging should prove its ease of delivery & use. Food should be functional.

SCENARIO 4: The closed loop

Buy, eat, repeat!

Reusable and recycled – are the WIN-WIN innovative solutions. Believe it or not, but the sustainable future is the 50% of our reality.

We made our choice!


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