The packaging industry and tomorrow’s consumers
On 4 October 2022 the doors will open to this year’s edition of Scanpack, with four days packed with workshops, seminars and inspiration. The first day of the exhibition sees the arrangement of a new forum – Scanpack Summit – a conference with an international perspective on the theme of a circular packaging industry. As patterns of consumer behaviour change, demands are imposed on the development of a new type of industry.
At Scanpack Summit, stakeholders in different areas meet for cross-border discussions aimed at illustrating the future path of the packaging industry. Decision makers, innovators, researchers and politicians gather on the same day, under the same roof, to discuss and facilitate action to meet tomorrow’s needs.
The programme for Scanpack Summit includes appearances by several speakers who are active in different parts of the industry. One of them, Märtha Rehnberg, is a political economist who works at DareDisrupt, a think tank and consulting firm whose mission is to create paths towards a desirable future. Not only does Märtha work with private clients, she is also Policy Advisor for the EU.
“I am driven by an interest in the climate, which has been my why in everything. We need to create a society that is more sustainable than the one we have today”, Märtha says.
”We need to understand what is happening”
As a speaker at Scanpack Summit, Märtha will share her insights regarding sustainability, as well as disruption in society.
“We need to understand what is happening from the top down. Politicians make more progressive decisions when they can see the development of technology that is mature and able to meet new demands. But we also need to understand developments from the bottom up. Consumer power and values. We need to talk about who tomorrow’s consumers are, as well as tomorrow’s talents. The type of technology that will be developed by the next generation, and the values they will adopt when doing so. New technologies need to be applicable across different areas, and we need to think further and aim higher. If I can inspire visitors to picture the world they are dreaming of, I will have done my job well.”
As Scanpack 2022 approaches, Märtha hopes that more people can and dare to envisage a bright future.
“I hope that visitors will feel a sense of ”wow, there is a lot happening at the moment”. My aim is to present tools for how we can approach the future. It is more important than ever for people to tap into their own ability to envisage a better world. I hope that visitors to Scanpack Summit will find new playmates in the value chain and will be inspired to find out more about the tools I am talking about. We can’t achieve something unless we can first envisage it.”
Demands on sustainability must be met
The current generation has grown up in the midst of a debate on the climate and the environment, and this has led to a re-evaluation of needs. The aesthetics of packaging are becoming less important, while greater demands are being placed on sustainability.
What can you say about the changing patterns of consumer behaviour?
“We are now seeing consumers with strong purchasing power who are willing to buy products with materials that we would’ve laughed at a few years ago. Plastic from the ocean is a material that has become a luxury item. Consumers want to wear products made from recycled ocean plastic, and they are even prepared to pay a premium price for such products. We are definitely in a period of transition and change, and materials which were considered ridiculous just a few years ago are now part of a growing market. However, there are strict regulations when it comes to what companies may do. It’s a matter of finding areas where you both can and are permitted to experiment.”
What is your view on disruption and what it means for the packaging industry?
“It’s a combination of everything that is happening at the moment. We are seeing a progressive policy in this area, but there are also stringent requirements from authorities. We have seen that politicians don’t dare to impose tough requirements unless there are technical solutions that can make it possible to meet such requirements. But we are seeing a lot of progressive laws from the public sector in relation to the climate issue. The packaging industry needs to realise that there is a new target group who don’t value an optimal packaging solution as highly as a sustainable one. The demand for sustainable solutions is increasing and will continue to do so, and the packaging industry needs to take these new tendencies seriously”, Märtha concludes.
Märtha will be a keynote speaker at Scanpack Summit. Find out more about Scanpack Summit >>