With the U.S. economy hovering between a boom or bust situation, 2018 appears to hold plenty of opportunity—and risks—for growth in packaging. High consumer confidence and some of the best economic growth in years bode well for packaging across the board. However, an uptick in inflation and developing consumer trends might tax any advances. In this month’s special report, Packaging Strategies approached industry experts to provide their outlook for segments of the packaging market.

We look at what’s driving packaging innovations and new technology, flexible packaging, the paperboard/carton/corrugated market, cans and glass bottles—along with what consumer trends each is seeing. For a detailed projection of where packaging is likely headed in 2018, look at the following in-depth reports with insights that may affect your business.

Packaging Outlook 2018 articles:

  • Fundamentals Drive Packaging Innovation
    by Sean Riley, Sr Director of Media & Industry Communications- PMMI
    According to input received from more than 58 consumer packaged goods professionals who took part in the Vision 2025 focus groups conducted by PMMI, some familiar fundamentals are fueling new approaches to industry challenges.
  • Flexible Packaging Overview
    by Danny Beard, President- Packaging Specialists
    The global flexible packaging industry had a strong year in 2017 with a sales growth rate significantly higher than U.S. GDP. All segments of the flexible packaging industry took part in this growth, but growth for value-added flexible packaging was higher.

  • Paperboard Packaging Overview
    by Greg Kishbaugh, Editor- Flexo Market News
    A cornerstones of the folding carton industry, and a reason for its continued stability, is the fact that most paper-based packaging is used for consumer staples. While definitely not recession-proof as many in the industry have liked to say, it provides a level of security to the industry. 
  • Metal Cans Packaging Overview
    by Sherrie Rosenblatt, VP Marketing & Communications- Can Manufacturers Institute
    Manufacturers of steel cans are quietly reaching a new milestone in response to consumer preference for new can linings. Years of research, rejection of more than 90 possibilities and extensive safety tests have led to a new reality.
  • Glass Packaging Overview
    by Lynn Bragg, President- Glass Packaging Institute
    The glass container industry’s key indicators remained stable in 2017, with opportunities for growth in 2018 in the premium, craft spirits & wine segments, food and non-alcoholic beverages. Consumers see glass as best for taste, eco-friendly packaging and superior for creating premium and specialty experiences.
  • Consumer Trends Affect Packaging
    by Matthew Lindsay, Vice President- APT
    Consumer preferences are changing and e-commerce is growing, lowering the barrier to entry for new players. As a result, CPGs are striving to maintain market share and drive sales. However, the industry sales growth rate for 2017 indicates that these efforts are not driving sufficient growth.