The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by automation, recyclability, and increasing the shelf life of the product, and 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: Clamshell-Type Preformed Packaging.

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

Clamshell-type preformed packaging is a key innovation area in packaging 

Clamshell packaging is usually made of thermoformed plastic and the edges, if required, can be sealed for ensuring airtight protection.  

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of clamshell-type preformed packaging. 

Key players in clamshell-type preformed packaging – 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 clamshell-type preformed packaging

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Bradford Company 41 Unlock company profile
Belron France 37 Unlock company profile
Parjointco 33 Unlock company profile
China International Marine Containers (Group) 16 Unlock company profile
Tupperware Brands 16 Unlock company profile
General Electric 15 Unlock company profile
Daikyo Seiko 13 Unlock company profile
Sartorius 12 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 11 Unlock company profile
Valeo Systemes D'Essuyage 11 Unlock company profile
Caterpillar 10 Unlock company profile
Give And Go Prepared Foods 10 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 10 Unlock company profile
Vestas Wind Systems 10 Unlock company profile
Airbus 9 Unlock company profile
Lm Wp Patent Holding 9 Unlock company profile
Gordon Murray Design 9 Unlock company profile
Deere & Co 8 Unlock company profile
Tecsis Tecnologia e Sistemas Avancados 8 Unlock company profile
CARBO Ceramics 7 Unlock company profile
Db Equipment 7 Unlock company profile
SPC 7 Unlock company profile
Lohr Industrie 7 Unlock company profile
Deutsche Post 7 Unlock company profile
Fayat 6 Unlock company profile
Siemens 6 Unlock company profile
Gode Holding 6 Unlock company profile
General Motors 6 Unlock company profile
Safran 5 Unlock company profile
Western Global Holdings 5 Unlock company profile
NORMAN TRUST 5 Unlock company profile
Thule Group 5 Unlock company profile
Groupe Guillin 5 Unlock company profile
Alstom 5 Unlock company profile
Groupe SEB 5 Unlock company profile
Shanghai Yongzheng Network Technology 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Bradford is one of the leading patent filers in clamshell-type preformed packaging. Some other key patent filers in the space include Belron France, Parjointco, and China International Marine Containers (Group). 

In terms of application diversity, Vestas Wind Systems leads the pack, while Db Equipment and Safran stood in the second and third positions, respectively. 

By means of geographic reach, Daikyo Seiko held the top position, followed by Belron France and Tupperware Brands

Clamshell-type preformed packaging will continue to be important due to features such as increased safety, space optimisation, and product visibility through transparent packages. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Packaging.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.