The Corrugated Forecast is Looking Bright
According to a press release earlier this morning, the corrugated packaging market is projected to increase by 5% from now until 2020. 5% may not seem like much, but when the industry was already valued at 150.1 billion in 2014…well, the technical term is a “boom.”
But why? Why would the oldest, most basic form of packaging be forecasting such big numbers in a world of smart packaging and luxury customizations?
Maybe because cardboard is timeless. Almost literally. A classic packaging product, corrugated cardboard is still the most functional. Thanks to its fluted walls, cardboard boxes provide lightweight-but-durable cushion for a variety of products big and small. It can be printed upon for clarity of product. It ships flat, which is a huge space (and money) saver. Thankfully, it’s also eco-friendly, being recycled itself and recyclable in turn. Yes, corrugated cardboard really is a miracle material when it comes to custom packaging.
But, seriously, why the boom?
It’s hard to believe in a world of smart packaging–interactive, trackable retail boxes–the cardboard box could even compete. After all, in their basic form, corrugated cardboard boxes are sort of the ugly duckling of packaging. However, it’s hard to compete with its shippibility. For starters, it ships flat and in bulk which is nearly priceless to business owners. Once assembled and filled, that same lightness that makes it cheap to ship incoming keeps shipping rates low on the outgoing.
And, if you hadn’t noticed, e-commerce is booming like never before. There’s your answer: corrugated packaging is riding the wave of internet sales. Think Amazon. Think Loot Crate. Think any of those ______-of-the-Month clubs. Everything from craft beer to razor blades have a monthly shipment service these days, and corrugated cardboard packaging is keeping the bulk of these products safe in their travels.
While many online subscription clubs have embraced the eco-friendly look of cardboard, they are not without personalization. Many of these companies rely on YouTube unboxings for their advertising. Often times, companies like Loot Crate and Nerd Block will send out sample products to be opened live in YouTube clips–a hybrid of testimonials and demonstration videos. That on-the-spot Christmas Morning feel of seeing the products opened for the first time really makes the packaging the star of the show–or at the very least, the opening act. Now more than ever, custom cardboard boxes for retail need to be unique and visually appealing. Will presentation packaging see the same boom?