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Date 27th January 2011 / www.procarton.com

Going cartonboard in the coming decade


The latest JWTIntelligence trend study for 2011 shows a positive environment for cartonboard – and not only due to sustainability. JWTIntelligence is part of the global JWT network, one of the largest marketing and communications agencies in the world.
Of the 100 trends in this study, we have selected ten highlights with special significance for marketing, the trade and, of course, packaging. In the following three scenarios we attempt to define the respective roles of cartons.

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Firstly: digitalcommunications
The multiplicity of digital shopping is still in the early days of being researched, but one thing is absolutely clear: the medium cartonboard packaging is gaining in importance in digital communication as it offers space for manifold information as well as for adding codes or “tags“, electronic labels and links in a digital environment. The advantages of cartonboard packaging: only cartons offer a smooth frontal surface (facing) which can be read without difficulty by Smartphones.

No. 6 Automatic Check-Ins
As new geo-location apps make manual “check-ins” unnecessary, the tools will become more appealing to everyday consumers. Shopkick’s “signal” hardware triggers check-ins when users enter participating retail spaces; the app then awards points (“kickbucks”) and offers tailored deals/rewards. Next up: the January launch of Geoloqi, a hyper-customizable app that allows users to set automatic reminders and notifications – sent to themselves or friends – for specific locations (e.g., a grocery list pops up as the user enters a supermarket).

No. 22 Decline of the Cash Register
Apple’s point-of-sale system is now available to third parties (Old Navy is testing a modified iPad Touch). Retailers big and small will start adopting these mobile payment systems, allowing salespeople to take a customer all the way through a transaction, even referencing stored data to provide more personalized service.

No. 40 Group-Manipulated Pricing
Group buying online went from a blip on the radar to a bonanza in 2010. As the idea matures, we’ll see more inventive variations. One way to stand out: by making the advantage of group buying more explicit, as Uniqlo’s Lucky Counter did. Rather than have a fixed price – as with many of these services – the price will decrease in real time as more people opt in. This gives shoppers more incentive to spread the word to friends and family to buy, buy, buy.

No. 56 Near Field Communication
Near Field Communication (NFC), which enables the exchange of data within four inches (it’s akin to RFID but more versatile), will be a tech buzz word for 2011. NFC chips will allow phones to act as digital wallets and tickets, wirelessly send photos and documents to printers, and pick up information from tags on ads. An upcoming version of Android will have NFC, and the next iPhone will likely have it. Watch for NFC to become a marketing tool, with consumers not quite sure what it is but wanting it anyway.

No. 75 Scanning Everything
Scanning barcodes or QR codes with smartphones will become ubiquitous. QR (quick response) codes are scannable two-dimensional codes that link to more information; they’re being adopted for everything from in-store communications and loyalty offers to information points and comics (a Danish Donald Duck comic links to audio and animation). With Tesco’s iPhone app, customers can scan the barcode of a product of interest when out and about, and it’s automatically dropped into the person’s online cart.

No. 83 Social Objects
Services like Stickybits (to scan with iPhone or Android) enable users to attach digital content (videos, links, audio, text) to physical objects, and we’ll see virtual communities form around these real-world items. While social objects open up opportunities for brands to connect with their customers, brands will also have to be prepared for consumers’ experiences around social objects to overshadow the objects themselves.


Secondly: sustainability
The development of sustainability in the economy is growing. People are increasingly looking for a world which will also offer their children a life worth living. Packaging which leads to permanent environmental damage will soon have little chance. The advantage of cartonboard packaging: their production supports forestation and sustainable forestry.

No. 19 Coming Clean with Green
Americans may see more accurate and detailed green claims after the Federal Trade Commission publishes the first update to its “Green Guidelines” in 12 years. Under the proposed guidelins, manufacturers touting a product as “green” or “eco-friendly” will have to link those claims to specific attributes (e.g., a 100 percent recyclable package).

No. 23 Deforestation Awareness
Forests are capturing the world’s attention again. 2011 is the United Nations’ International Year of Forests, and forests were central to COP16 (“16th Conference of the Parties”in Mexico. The World Wildlife Fund recently released a document file format (WWF) that cannot be printed (the tagline: “Save as WWF, Save a tree”). The REED+ Partnership, launched last May with the goal of “slowing, halting and eventually reversing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries,” had 71 nations on board by October and a pledge of $4 billion over the next two years.

Thirdly: novel products
The latest generation of products combines the human desires of well-being and being welcome on this planet at a considerably higher level. And there is no way for these new, high quality products to bypass cartonboard packaging. The advantage of cartonboard packaging: not only is cartonboard 100% recyclable, but the virtually unlimited graphic and haptic design opportunities of the surface can convey products and brands a unique flair.

No. 36 Food, Ph.D.
We’ll see many more science-inspired food products engineered to target medical conditions and beauty needs. Nestlé is investing more than $500 million to develop health and wellness products, and created the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences “to pioneer a new industry between food and pharma”. And Unilever is researching technology that can imbue foods with anti-aging and other beauty benefits.

No. 85 Storied Products
Consumers are increasingly looking for a personal connection to brands, and we’ll see more brands playing up the people and stories behind the products – whether it’s a focus on small-business owners, the people who produce the ingredients or everyday employees. Tokyo’s Pass the Baton sells vintage clothing, jewelry and housewares, along with the stories behind them or a profile of the creator. And Boticca, a London-based e-commerce site for accessories, uses the tagline “I’d rather wear a unique story.”

For all 100 Trends, click on

100 things to watch.

100 things to watch.

eco friendly product sign

No. 19 Coming Clean with Green, photo credit: vectorportal


No. 75 Scanning Everything, photo credit: swanksalot

Suzanne McEwen +43 1 218 6918 mcewen@procarton.com
Background Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard to brand owners, the trade as well as designers, the media and politicians as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium.