The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by healthy living, experience seekers, multipurpose stability, sustainability, and the growing importance of technologies, such as Bluetooth-low energy and the Internet of 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: Starch biopolymer paperboards.
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
Starch biopolymer paperboards is a key innovation area in packaging
Starch-based biopolymer paperboards hold high potential as a sustainable alternative for paper and paperboard packaging as they exhibit uniform, defect-free surface morphology along with their biodegradable nature.
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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of starch biopolymer paperboards.
Key players in starch biopolymer paperboards – 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 starch biopolymer paperboards
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Stora Enso is one of the leading patent filers in starch biopolymer paperboards. Recently, Huhtamaki, a Finnish consumer packaging company, and Stora Enso partnered to launch a new paper cup recycling initiative, “The Cup Collective”. The programme, the first of its kind in Europe, aims to recycle and capture the value of used paper cups on an industrial scale.
Some other key patent filers in starch biopolymer paperboards include Delfortgroup, Unicharm, FiberLean Technologies, and BillerudKorsnas.
Clariant leads the pack in terms of application diversity, followed by OneWorld Packaging and SCA Forest Products in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Yagna held the top position, followed by Japan Tobacco and Ashland.
Paper based packaging solutions will be sought after in the coming years as consumers become increasingly aware of the negative effects of plastic-based packaging and companies innovate their packaging to attract the target consumers.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Packaging.