The definition of innovation varies from industry to industry, but a new study by USA Strategies intends to bring focus to what it means in the packaging industry. The study found that innovation is not just R&D or new technologies but also the development of new products and services that satisfy the unmet or unknown needs of consumers. Packaging design and R&D management are clearly looking for innovation and ideas from suppliers, but they also value quality and consistency, which is important so that their equipment runs efficiently

The research project interviewed over 1,000 executives including brand management and purchasing. For both of these titles, innovation and quality were more important than price. The new charge given to purchasing was to find suppliers who could bring in new ideas and even totally new products. Innovation among the respondents included an understanding of consumer needs. CPG companies wanted to see suppliers walk in with new packaging ideas, but they also wanted to see a complete package with graphics and to be shown consumer research supporting that the new package would sell.

A summary of the study is available at