What’s new for the year? The new year always sparks predictions and resolutions. Did you make any? Here are some of mine:

PREDICTIONS

• Innovations in packaging over the next 50 years will occur at a much faster pace than the past 50 years. Advancements in material, machinery and process technologies will spur some of this. But the most significant aspect will come from younger employees. Once they’ve gained knowledge and experience, I believe these experts in multi-tasking and peer communication will be even more productive than baby boomers.

(Why look so far into the future? Fifty is on my mind. Our April 2009 issue will celebrate the magazine’s 50th Anniversary of serving the food and beverage packaging markets. In that issue, we’ll look back at the last 50 years, but we’ll also look ahead.)

• “Do more with less” will take on new meaning in the packaging marketplace. Relationships will expand upstream and downstream in the supply chain-from raw material suppliers and package manufacturing machine-makers to retailers and recyclers. Each party will do their little bit so the collective whole can leap forward.

• The trend away from single-source suppliers won’t change how food and beverage companies work with key suppliers. Even though a secondary source will get some business, packaging and purchasing departments will continue to reward their innovation-development partners.

RESOLUTIONS

• Getting today’s kids interested in a career in packaging when they grow up will pay huge dividends for the future. I’m going to create-and deliver!-a presentation for grammar schools and high schools in my town on how much fun jobs are in the packaging industry. If you’re interested in getting involved, too, send me an e-mail at piercel@bnpmedia.com and I’ll send you my speech. You’re welcome to use it at your local schools. If you have your own presentation, please send it to me via e-mail. I’d love to see it.

• Even though I’m still going to work hard, I’m going to balance my life better by playing just as hard, too. With three grandkids, this should be easy, yes?  F&BP