The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by recyclability, reusability, durability, protection from light, and convenience, and growing importance of technologies such as 3D printing, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and IoT. In the last three years alone, there have been over 427,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environmental sustainability in packaging: water soluble pouches. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 77,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the packaging industry, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Water soluble pouches is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Water soluble pouches refer to small packaging units that dissolve in water to release their contents. These pouches are typically made from water-soluble films, which can dissolve and disintegrate when in contact with water, thereby releasing the contents they contain.

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 water soluble pouches.

Key players in water soluble pouches – a disruptive innovation in the packaging industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to water soluble pouches

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Procter & Gamble 445 Unlock Company Profile
Kuraray 377 Unlock Company Profile
Unilever 207 Unlock Company Profile
Henkel 135 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 85 Unlock Company Profile
Reckitt Benckiser Group 75 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 40 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 31 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Shokubai 14 Unlock Company Profile
LAKMA Strefa 12 Unlock Company Profile
Aicello 12 Unlock Company Profile
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore 9 Unlock Company Profile
Dow 8 Unlock Company Profile
Eurotab 6 Unlock Company Profile
Gpcp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Church & Dwight 3 Unlock Company Profile
Aqua Sol Components 2 Unlock Company Profile
3M 1 Unlock Company Profile
Sakai Moving Service 1 Unlock Company Profile
Kirin 1 Unlock Company Profile
Multi-Pack Solutions 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Procter & Gamble is one of the leading patent filers in water soluble pouches. The company recently launched water soluble pouches for its dissolvable hair care range. These sustainable water soluble pouches are said to be made from fibrous sheet and enhance the consumption experience by quickly dissolving in hot water. Some other key patent filers in the space include Kuraray, Unilever, Henkel, Mitsubishi Chemical Group, and Reckitt Benckiser.

In terms of application diversity, Nippon leads the pack, while Mitsubishi Chemical Group and Aicello stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Novo Nordisk Foundation held the top position, followed by LAKMA Strefa and Kuraray.

The future of water soluble pouches will be shaped by consumer demand for eco-friendly and convenient packaging solutions, as well as advancements in materials and customization options. As sustainability continues to drive innovation in the packaging industry, water-soluble pouches are likely to play a significant role in reducing packaging waste.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in Packaging.

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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.