The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by safety & trust, healthy living, digitisation, sustainability and growing importance of technologies such as bio-degradable packaging, Bluetooth low energy, and 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: Packaging Cans with Tearing Tabs.

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.

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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

Packaging cans with tearing tabs is a key innovation area in packaging

Packaging cans with tearing tabs provide convenience to the customer by providing an easy means of product usage. The tear tabs can be easily removed, either completely, or pushed along a prepared tear strip in the can end for product consumption.

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 packaging cans with tearing tabs.

Key players in packaging cans with tearing tabs – 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 packaging cans with tearing tabs

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Crown Holdings 381 Unlock Company Profile
Ball 318 Unlock Company Profile
Impress Group 130 Unlock Company Profile
ARD Holdings 101 Unlock Company Profile
Toyo Seikan Kaisha 76 Unlock Company Profile
Anheuser-Busch InBev 76 Unlock Company Profile
Xolution 41 Unlock Company Profile
Showa Denko 36 Unlock Company Profile
Toyo Seikan Group Holdings 35 Unlock Company Profile
Red Bull 27 Unlock Company Profile
N2 Packaging Systems 23 Unlock Company Profile
SNSTech 23 Unlock Company Profile
Ball Europe 22 Unlock Company Profile
Daiwa Securities Group 21 Unlock Company Profile
Silgan Holdings 20 Unlock Company Profile
Soudronic 17 Unlock Company Profile
Walter Robb 16 Unlock Company Profile
International Patents and Brands 14 Unlock Company Profile
AptarGroup 13 Unlock Company Profile
Estavayer Lait 12 Unlock Company Profile
Kotobuki Realty 11 Unlock Company Profile
TRICORNTECH 10 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Steel 7 Unlock Company Profile
Graphic Packaging Holding 7 Unlock Company Profile
Murray, Michael 7 Unlock Company Profile
Sonoco Products 7 Unlock Company Profile
Ball Packaging Europe 6 Unlock Company Profile
Nestle 6 Unlock Company Profile
SZENT 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Crown is one of the leading patent filers in packaging cans with tearing tabs. Recently, Crown Embalagens Metálicas da Amazônia, a subsidiary of Crown, partnered with Brazilian beverage producer, Socorro Bebidas (Socorro), to extend its line of mineral water to include infinitely recyclable beverage cans as a part of its sustainability efforts. Some other key patent filers in packaging cans with tearing tabs include Ball, Impress Group, ARD, and Toyo Seikan Kaisha.

TRICORNTECH leads the pack in terms of application diversity. Nippon Steel and Daiwa Securities Group stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Impress Group held the top position, followed by Xolution and N2 Packaging Systems.

Packaging cans with tearing tabs will be preferred in the coming years as they provide convenience to consumers for easy consumption.

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