The Future of Package Design – Beyond the Box

By David

Package design technology is on the rise, and so are its expectations to create and deliver.

Meeting consumer demand used to mean creating the best product available. But times have changed. Today’s consumers aren’t as easy to please. They’ve come to expect sustainable and eco-friendly packaging in their retail products, as well as a commitment from brand manufacturers to share these environmentally-conscious values.

As Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies shift greater focus towards rethinking packaging design, they need answers to meet these growing demands for sustainability. Brand manufacturers must now create packaging designs not only with increased functionality and greater efficiency, but with stronger shelf performance.

To do this, they’ll need to explore innovative avenues for devising new packaging design strategies. But before they can even think about to incorporate new design features, CPG and retail companies must have their design processes down to a science, or they’ll quickly find themselves grouped with the statistical majority of package failures.

Today’s plastic bottle takes 450 years to decompose. Could tomorrow’s bio-plastic do it in 5?

As if appealing to consumer values and contributing to the environment wasn’t enough, packaging designers concentrating their efforts on sustainability have been quick to discover the potential economic benefits in using renewable materials. For example, manufacturers have found that minimizing the use of corrugate cardboard in packaging has potential to reduce shipping costs, decrease the potential for product damages, and even save shelf space.

The solution for recyclable package designs calls for optimizing resource management and energy consumption, while integrating reusable elements. Packaging suppliers and design agencies need sophisticated research tools to manage these complexities. To avoid falling into a tangled process of redundant rework and organizational disconnect, inventing the next packaging breakthrough requires the means to navigate the design cycle – and it starts with the ability to control what you create.

Can package designers do more with less?

Today, we can make 3 tin cans with the same amount of material it used to take to make just one.

Packaging manufacturers have made this possible by learning to innovate through re-creation – taking existing elements and exploiting previous design assets, then applying them to new concepts. But testing the feasibility of a physical prototype takes time and resources many packaging innovators don’t have. And with 50 percent of new packaging performing worse than what its replacing, innovators need every tool available to make sure their end product functions the way it should.

Did you know:

Integrating design, engineering, and simulation can cut design time 50 percent and lower material costs 30 to 50 percent while improving sustainability and consumer delight?

What package designers need is an application built around the innovation process from “concept to shelf.”  In order to apply existing packaging concepts into new geographies with minimal investment of time and resources, design teams need to be able to collectively assess multiple sources of data and share all of their digital assets across a unified virtual dashboard. Instead of relying on other agencies and suppliers for what they need, the ability to instantly access and reuse previous designs, labels, and materials, expedites the innovative design process and increasing productivity.

To accelerate expansion into new markets, packaging designers must be able to adapt designs for line extensions, new sizes and local preferences quicker than competition. From executing change order requests with “where used” analyses, to simulating mold, manufacturing, and package performance, synchronizing product data across a single platform allows package designers to bring products to market faster and more efficiently.

By integrating design, marketing, engineering, and manufacturing systems across a single business platform, packaging manufacturers can bridge the gaps responsible for undermining the innovation process and avoid costly rework, delays, quality issues and recalls.

And like all innovators seeking to eliminate uncertainty, package designers looking to ensure their new initiatives deliver the results they want know that when it comes to concept development; seeing is believing.

Could we see our creations before we craft them?

Brand manufacturers have no more than 8 seconds to “wow” a potential buyer. With more than 40,000 different products on retail shelves, brand manufacturers simply can’t afford to let their products go unnoticed. To ensure packaging innovations effectively communicate value and stimulate customer engagement, CPG and retail companies must be able to uncover true shopper insights in the context of a realistic retail environment.

This is why brand manufacturers, design agencies, packaging suppliers and artwork designers need a virtual template for integrating visual creation, digital comparison, system of record, proofing tools to eliminate errors throughout the packaging design cycle. Using a cloud-based technology, all parties throughout the supply chain can instantly monitor individual contributions made onto each stage of the design process to ensure brand consistency across multiple product lines.

Creating and testing new packaging concepts virtually is critical in guaranteeing product shelf success. This virtual interface provides stronger visualization and design sharing, allowing technical packaging engineers to collaborate with industrial designers. Together they can identify optimal design strategies, explore package feasibility from conception, and select the best packaging candidates based on consumer feedback and manufacturability. With the means to image how design concepts will look alongside competition, brand manufacturers can ensure all key design elements of the “perfect package” are translated on the shelf, without losing sight of the finished product.

If brand manufacturers wanted to increase design performance while beating the clock of competition – could they do it?

The answer is yes. And it starts with visibility.

Brand manufacturers are realizing more and more every day that when it comes to the package design world, creating the box starts with thinking beyond its walls. But collaboration is a team effort. And with the added complexities of consumer demands and industry standards, brand manufacturers wanting to thrive in a competitive marketplace need to be able to see the big picture. They need a partner that not only understands the cycle for inventive package, but can virtually lead them throughout the process.

Consumer Product Goods and Retail companies need to appeal to the mass market, while addressing a social agenda of implementing sustainable packaging design methods along the way. Brand manufacturers who can succeed in creating a packaging design that delivers both enhanced consumer value and sustainability benefits will drive consumer engagement and brand interaction. And craft a legacy of winning products at shelf. By managing the complexities of design with Perfect Package, brand manufacturers and packaging suppliers have the power to illustrate what change will mean for the future of packaging and help us realize that future…sooner.

Discover package designs trends today’s consumers are demanding and what brand manufacturers are doing to create them.

Download the “Future of Packaging” report to learn:

  • New trends in sustainable packaging
  • How packaging can influence shoppers
  • Key technologies to accelerate design efforts

…and how Dassault Systèmes helps brand manufacturers foster a deep connection between retail companies and their shoppers, through innovative packaging design.

There is a better way to develop new packaging which avoids costly mistakes and delays, the Dassault Systèmes Perfect Package 3DEXPERIENCE® can help cut design time and costs by 50% while virtually eliminating potential quality issues and recalls.


Sustainability Series blog post: Packing Things Up

By Christina

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” might sound like a horror story but, unfortunately, it is very real:  a giant collection of marine debris in the waters between North America and Japan that is primarily made up of plastic.  In addition to polluting ocean waters, this collection of bags, caps, bottles and cups is detrimental to marine life, which mistakes plastic items for food and consumes them, only to die from complications.  According to a study published in the journal Science in February 2015, 8 million tons of plastic packaging are deposited into oceans annually.

In order to help solve this problem, many companies are now turning to new biomaterials, smarter manufacturing methods and other end-of-life alternatives to reduce the environmental impact of their plastic packaging throughout its lifecycle.

A number of multi-national food and beverage brands and packaging manufacturers have launched or integrated bioplastic products into their portfolios. Bioplastics are derived from renewable biomass sources including vegetable fats, corn starch and agricultural byproducts.  A study by European Bioplastics predicts that bioplastics production capacity will increase by 400 percent, from 1.6 million tons in 2013 to around 6.7 million tons by 2018.

Packaging companies are also using new manufacturing techniques to optimize packaging design and reduce their use of virgin materials. For example, Amcor used 3D virtual design, finite element analysis, collaborative innovation and workflow management to remove more than 12,000 tons of plastic resin from its bottles.  MWV used lightweighting techniques to remove 18 percent of the plastic from medication packets made for a superstore.

IFWE Dassault Systèmes BrandingCompanies are also taking into account how the raw materials are sourced, transported, manufactured and disposed of.  A cradle-to-cradle (C2C) approach, designed to mimic natural processes, ensures that products contain materials that can be reused or recovered at their highest possible value multiple times after their first use.

Other recent innovations have included edible containers and biodegradable coffee cups that are embedded with seeds and can be buried after use.  In the U.S. alone, coffee “to go” is a daily staple, with an estimated 6 million cups of coffee sold in shops each day—think of the possibilities!KFC image (Image credit KFC via The New York Times)

For more details on how the CPGR industry is transforming packaging, read the full COMPASS article “Responsible packaging:  Producing reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging is a key goal for many companies”.

Live from 3DEXPERIENCE Forum North America 2012 – Day 2

By Aurelien

And here is the recap of Day 2 (missed Day 1?) from 3DEXPERIENCE Forum North America 2012 (Nov 6-7, Orlando). Want to follow all the action as it happens? Use the hashtag #3DXforum or our Netvibes live dashboard.

Here is a recap of Day 2 from 3DEXPERIENCE Forum North America 2012 (Nov 6-7, Orlando). Want to follow all the action as it happens? Use the hashtag #3DXforum or our live dashboard at


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