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 Packaging, 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 Direct-to-consumer in Packaging: Capsules/pods for beverages.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 87,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the packaging industry, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future.
Capsules/pods for beverages is a key innovation area in direct-to-consumer
A pod refers to tea or coffee that is sealed in filter paper. It has a round and flat shape and is either packed loose inside a resealable bag or wrapped in foil. Pods differ from capsules in the manner that they contain 7gm of coffee as against capsules’ 5gm. This makes the coffee extracted from pods to be more full-bodied. Moreover, pods are easily recyclable thereby making them environmentally friendly.
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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of capsules/pods for beverages.
Key players in capsules/pods for beverages – 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 capsules/pods for beverages
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Nestlé is one of the leading patent filers in capsules/pods for beverages. Nespresso Australia recently introduced a range of home-designed customised pods. The new coffee blends, namely Bianco Doppio, Bianco Forte, and Bianco Piccolo, are inspired by Australian tastes. The new range is compatible with the Vertuo Next coffee machine.
Some other key patent filers in the capsules/pods for beverages space include JDE Peet's, K Fee System, and Freezio.
In terms of application diversity, Anheuser-Busch InBev leads the pack, while Ahlstrom-Munksjo and Freezio stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Unilever held the top position, followed by PepsiCo and American Securities.
Capsules/pods for beverages will potentially become an important aspect in the packaging industry. With consumers seeking better consumption experiences and recyclable products, this packaging format will gain popularity.
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.