Packaging manufacturers must acknowledge and respond to the ‘rise of the consumer’ and the growing trend of ethical consumerism if they are to remain competitive, according to innovations expert Ben Elkington from LINPAC Packaging.

Mr Elkington was speaking at Thin Wall Packaging 2012, in Cologne, Germany. During his talk Packaging for the Consumer of Tomorrow, he said changing social demographics, emerging markets and new technology would all impact upon future packaging design.

“We are facing some very savvy shoppers who demand more from retailers and manufacturers. They want convenience, high quality products and service, and are thinking ‘green’. Shoppers are adapting to new technologies; browsing, shopping and interacting with brands while on the move.”

He offered an insight into LINPAC Packaging’s Fresh Thinking philosophy and its ongoing programme of innovation.

Its Rfresh Elite tray for meat and fish is made from recycled materials and is fully recyclable at the end of the consumer cycle thanks to its novel sealant technology, making it lighter than its predecessors and reducing its carbon footprint.

And their split packs cater for the increasing number of single-person households, keeping food fresher for longer and minimising food waste – the Worldwatch Institute found that approximately 40% of the food currently produced worldwide is wasted before it is consumed.