Trend Radar 2021: The Results

„Environmentally friendly packaging“: The guiding theme of FACHPACK 2021 has its finger on the pulse. This is also shown by the Trend Radar 2021. The topic of sustainability runs through numerous trends that packaging experts consider particularly attractive and relevant with a view to the coming years.

For the second time, FACHPACK, in cooperation with VEND Consulting, asked representatives and experts of the packaging industry to evaluate the potential for change of various trends. One theme runs like a red thread through the experts‘ favorites: the topic of sustainability. In terms of the attractiveness of current trends, „resource-saving packaging“ tops the list, followed by the trend towards monomaterials for better separability. Increasing the use of recycled materials is in third place, which would be inconceivable without the circular economy (4th place). Digital watermarks (7th place) help to recycle by type, and intelligent packaging (8th place) and track&trace, as quality assurance tools in the food industry, help to minimize losses due to spoilage. Even trends such as e-commerce-optimized packaging design (5th place) and brand experience (6th place) should be seen in terms of their importance, not least in the context of the sustainability megatrend. Reusable packaging (10th place), on the other hand, is an integral part of the circular economy.

For the Trend Radar, 21 trends identified in the market were clustered in the categories of packaging materials, packaging design, functionalized packaging and production and logistics technology. These were then presented to 108 industry representatives for evaluation. The industry representatives were able to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how attractive a trend is for the packaging industry (1: very unattractive, 5: very attractive) and how much it will change the packaging industry (1: not at all, 5: very much). In addition, it should be estimated in which time horizon the trend will be fully established: from in „less than 3 years“, „3-5 years“, „more than 5 years“ to „not at all“. The radar then makes the estimates quickly accessible graphically.

Circular economy with greatest potential for change

According to the study participants, the circular economy will change the packaging industry the most. However, for the circular economy to become a reality in three to five years, the necessary foundations must be laid over the next few years. Accordingly, the industry representatives surveyed for the Trend Radar assume that resource-saving packaging, reusable packaging, mono-materials, and an increase in the use of recycled materials will be implemented throughout the industry in the next few years. Like personalization, which is already widespread today, optimizing packaging for e-commerce should then be standard.

Curious about the details and all the results? The comprehensive whitepaper on the FACHPACK Trend Radar 2021 with all evaluations of the study is available for download at