The UK food and drinks industries are looking for greater innovation from packaging suppliers to support ongoing expansion plans. New research has revealed that manufacturers with ambitious plans over the next 12 months will demand a paralleled improvement to the packaging industry. 

The study of over 100 leading UK food and drink manufacturers was carried out by the organisers of the easyFairs Process, Pack & Track Food Shows.

Well over a third of the companies questioned seek greater innovation from packaging supliers – with 12% saying that the industry is too complacent. 

It was found that in the next year 65% of food and drinks processors plan to launch new products, 45% are moving into new markets, and a quarter will expand their overseas sales. To deliver these plans, 25% will forge a strategic alliance, one in ten will expand their current site and 10% expect to merge with or acquire another company, the study revealed.
To keep up with this projected expansion, 45% of processors will be required to reduce their materials usage and 40% to speed up their packing lines. Over a third of manufacturers want to introduce a new innovative pack format, and 30% are looking for packaging to provide greater product differentiation.
Only 39% of processors report that budget is inhibiting packaging innovation, despite cheaper overseas competitors forcing a turn to cheaper materials in the industry as a whole. 
During the year ahead, 25% of manufacturers expect to invest substantially more in labelling, coding, printers and smart packaging and 30% anticipate spending more on packaging machinery.
Haf Cennydd, show director for easyFairs Process, Pack and Track Food says: “As food and drink companies grapple with the twin challenges of reducing their cost base and expanding their businesses so all aspects of supply are being scrutinised.  Suppliers who help them respond to these challenges will be rewarded with far more mutually lucrative relationships.”

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