Top Packaging Industry Trends for 2023
December | 2022

With the new year fast approaching but so much still uncertain, it can feel difficult to plan ahead. We’re here to help by compiling some of the biggest trends and predictions for 2023. Keep reading to learn more about what’s on the horizon for 2023. 


2023 Trend: Sustainability

Sustainability has been one of the hot-button issues over the past few years, and don’t expect it to go away anytime soon. More than ever, consumers are conscious about not just what they’re buying, but whether the packaging is similarly sustainable. 

If you’re in the B2B industry, other companies are also looking for more sustainable options to meet regulatory and board demands.

When thinking about sustainability, consider a variety of factors — not just whether a product is made from recycled material — but whether it can be recycled or reused downstream. Freight and printing methods also affect a product’s sustainability. 

2023 Trend: Supply chain issues are lessening — but still a factor 

According to McKinsey and Co., companies report improving some aspects of their supply chains that have caused headaches over the past two years. From switching suppliers to focusing on regional instead of global sourcing, these changes have improved availability and lead times. 

However, there are still challenges to consider. Depending on your raw materials needed and their sourcing, supply chains could continue to be strained in 2023.

2023 Trend: Building resilience for economic uncertainties 

The word of the moment is “recession.” We’re not there yet, but many experts predict a full-scale recession by the end of 2023 or early 2024. 

Fortunately, that allows some time to plan ahead and think about what you can do to recession-proof your business. From marketing and messaging alignment to changes in the product itself to your target audience, there are a variety of ways you can make sure your business is primed and ready for an economic downturn. 

2023 Trend: Labor shortages will continue 

Many companies have learned to cope with a reduced labor force at this point, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still challenges. 

The manufacturing industry, in particular, lost about 1.4 million jobs at the start of the pandemic and has struggled to fill them since.

Companies that are seeing hiring and retention success know that a good internal culture is the not-so-secret ingredient. A positive culture where employees feel respected, valued, and paid well is one that will attract and keep more people.

2023 Trend: Embrace change 

From the internet of packaging (including QR codes) and automation to simply thinking about a problem differently, the industry has shown it rewards innovation. 

Being agile and identifying and solving problems quickly can mean the difference between stalled sales — or worse — and a company that flourishes even during challenging economic times. 

Some tips to help spark ideas and innovation at your company include: 

  • Regularly gathering feedback from all levels 
  • Intentionally staying informed on the latest news and trends in the marketplace
  • Speaking directly to your customers to hear their pain points and challenges 

Stay in the know in 2023

We can’t always predict the future, but we can help you stay informed on current happenings and trends in the packaging world. Read more of our Distributors’ Korner updates or sign up to receive them monthly. 

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