The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increasing environmental awareness, sustainability, and convenience, and the growing importance of technologies, such as biodegradable packaging, Internet of Things, and active packaging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 310,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Packaging: Breakage resistant crates.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
80+ innovations will shape the packaging industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the packaging industry using innovation intensity models built on over 87,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, web dispensers for rotary baggage wrappers, multilayer laminated packaging, and oxygen blocking laminate packaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Water-soluble packaging films, cartridge type beverage dispensers, and medical syringe packaging are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are detachable drawer-and-shell type containers and barrier coated containers, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the packaging industry
Breakage-resistant crates is a key innovation area in packaging
Crates for transporting fragile bottles, have collapsible and flexible walls to ensure safety and breakage-resistant strength during transportation.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of breakage-resistant crates.
Key players in breakage-resistant crates – a disruptive innovation in the packaging industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to breakage-resistant crates
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|IFCO Systems||133||Unlock company profile|
|Rehrig Pacific Company||104||Unlock company profile|
|Amcor||89||Unlock company profile|
|Schoeller Arca Systems||62||Unlock company profile|
|Yoshino Kogyosho||56||Unlock company profile|
|Niagara Bottling||46||Unlock company profile|
|Sidel International||38||Unlock company profile|
|Kotobuki Realty||30||Unlock company profile|
|DS Smith||26||Unlock company profile|
|Reynolds Group Holdings||25||Unlock company profile|
|Royal Unibrew||17||Unlock company profile|
|Constar International||15||Unlock company profile|
|Ecolab||14||Unlock company profile|
|Orbis Canada||14||Unlock company profile|
|Coca-Cola Enterprises Great Britain||13||Unlock company profile|
|Delbrouck||11||Unlock company profile|
|KHSoplast||9||Unlock company profile|
|Toyo Seikan Group Holdings||9||Unlock company profile|
|Sipa Progettazione Automaz||8||Unlock company profile|
|Silgan Holdings||8||Unlock company profile|
|Krones||7||Unlock company profile|
|Alpla Werke Alwin Lehner||7||Unlock company profile|
|Colgate-Palmolive||6||Unlock company profile|
|Graphic Packaging Holding||6||Unlock company profile|
|PepsiCo||6||Unlock company profile|
|Danone||6||Unlock company profile|
|BITO-Lagertechnik Bittmann||5||Unlock company profile|
|GOJO Industries||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
IFCO Systems is one of the leading patent filers in breakage-resistant crates. Recently, Ifco introduced a newly designed collapsible egg crate for the purpose of transporting dairy products and eggs through the whole supply chain. The company claims that the crate is easy to handle and is suitable for the currently used dairy and egg crates used across the supply chain.
In terms of application diversity, Silgan Holdings leads the pack, while Toyo Seikan Group and KHS Corpoplast stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, IFCO Systems held the top position, followed by Royal Unibrew and Ecolab.
With product safety and reducing wastage being a top priority among manufacturers, breakage-resistant crates will potentially become an important aspect in the packaging industry.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Top Themes in Packaging 2022.