Chuck HollingsworthIn their latest Global Beverage Packaging Market report, market research firm TechNavio ( estimates that the beverage packaging industry will have a compounded annual growth rate of 4.11% globally over the next four years. This steady growth will create many opportunities for beverage packaging companies to increase production and find new innovations across the industry.

With this growth in mind, FPSA’s Beverage Council has identified four trends that beverage packaging industry professionals should be looking for in 2015:

Individuality – Consumers like to have a beverage, food product or packaged good that is unique and special for their family, use or event. More than ever before, they view the products they buy as a reflection of their health habits, environmental consciousness and resourcefulness.

Connected – While individuality is important to consumers, they are also making purchasing decisions based on the opportunity to connect with a larger community online, even when choosing a beverage. Additionally, consumers have the expectation that they will be able to engage with brands, even during times that they aren’t using the product. Innovative packaging can connect them to online resources through scan-able bar codes, special passwords and other technical means.

Craft beer brewer Butcher Brewing used on-pack QR codes to build customer loyalty, drive sales and collect data about their consumer’s interests. The QR codes linked the customers to unique websites for each of their products and encouraged the visitors to make another purchase.

Convenient – Consumers don’t want to have some complicated beverage, food or packaged good. They want it to be ready at the time they are ready for it, whether in it's temperature, shape, taste, etc.

As consumers continue to demand a wide variety of flavors, beverage manufacturers continue to create new and innovative beverage delivery systems to support this demand.

Keurig Green Mountain and Soda Stream have revolutionized the industry by giving the consumer their favorite single serve flavor on the go. In addition to variety, single serve also allows the consumer to produce only what they will consume, which leads to less product waste. An additional dietetic benefit of the single serve is portion control.

Sustainability – Environmentally conscience consumers are looking for the three R’s during their food and beverage purchasing process - reuse, recycle and repurpose. Beverage companies need to constantly be looking for new sustainable packaging in order to keep up with this consumer demand.

Beverage industry professionals should take note of Hillshire Farms' innovative packaging, which is used for packaging lunchmeats and capable of being repurposed for home use containers. Since the package can easily be repurposed by the consumer, there is an additional element of recycling ease where the consumer doesn’t need to worry about how to recycle it.

Innovative packaging has proven to be a successful tool as beverage brands look for new ways to engage with the consumer. We expect these companies to continue modifying their packages to meet these consumer demands. As the industry grows, we expect to see many new innovative packages in the beverage industry in 2015.