The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increasing environmental awareness, urbanisation, sustainability, and healthy living, and growing importance of technologies such as sustainable/eco-friendly 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 Innovation in Packaging: Water-Soluble Detergent 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. 

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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 

Water-soluble detergent packaging is a key innovation area in packaging 

Water-soluble packaging is a type of packaging that is soluble in hot/lukewarm as well as cold water. For instance, Green Ocean Group’s products, which are made from a bio-based material, are sustainable and environment-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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of water-soluble detergent packaging. 

Key players in water-soluble detergent 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 water-soluble detergent packaging

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Procter & Gamble 399 Unlock Company Profile
Kuraray 304 Unlock Company Profile
Henkel 117 Unlock Company Profile
Unilever 112 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 38 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 32 Unlock Company Profile
Reckitt Benckiser Group 27 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 26 Unlock Company Profile
LAKMA Strefa 13 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Shokubai 13 Unlock Company Profile
Aicello 11 Unlock Company Profile
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore 9 Unlock Company Profile
Eurotab 7 Unlock Company Profile
Dow 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Procter & Gamble is one of the leading patent filers for water-soluble detergent packaging solutions. Some other key patent filers in the space include Kuraray, Henkel, and Unilever. Proctor & Gamble recently introduced its recyclable cardboard-based box for its Ariel-branded All-in-1 Pods. This box, called ECOCLIC, is a laundry care box meeting sustainability, certified child safety, and inclusivity targets. 

In terms of application diversity, Mitsubishi Chemical Group leads the pack, followed by Nippon Shokubai and Dow in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, LAKMA Strefa held the top position, followed by Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore, and Kuraray

Water-soluble detergent packaging will become a leading advancement with many players adopting this format in order to make their products more sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

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

Data Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.