E-commerce is beginning to take form within the retail environment. The majority of people still purchase their groceries from brick-and-mortar stores, but niche products, in particular, are experiencing online sales dominance. In the wake of specialised and niche products, the number of e-commerce grocery sales will grow by more than 20% between 2013 and 2018. What does this mean for the packaging industry and product packaging?

The emphasis has largely shifted toward manufacturers and wholesalers who are now able to avoid retailers entirely in order to get their products to the consumer. However, retailers should not be dismayed; they still represent the easiest way of getting all the required groceries to the consumer, and they may be able to shift their investment away from the physical store and into the online world through some organisational changes. Yes, retailers will be required to change their entire business model, but change is necessary for the coming years.

Product packaging will, therefore, have to change too. There will be an increasing concern for product protection as products (and fragile groceries) will need to be moved often before reaching the consumer. Additionally, speed is essential in the delivery of groceries, so product packaging changes will be required to assist in the easy movement of goods.

To assist retailers in creating protective and easy-to-handle product packaging, new packaging manufacturing methods and machines will need to be developed and utilised. For the most part, products that have durable and user-friendly packaging can be handled by robotic equipment in order to speed up the warehousing and delivery process.


Packaging materials that can assist in the delivery of e-commerce purchased products will need to be durable and flexible, yet still contain the graphics and marketing principles of in-store products. This means that air-filled materials, paper filled materials, bubble wrap and cushioned packaging bags will become increasingly valuable. Packaging foam products, such as foam fillers and foam boards, will also assist in the insulation and protection of transported grocery goods.

If you require a packaging solution for your e-commerce strategy, then consider giving Design Packaging & Tapes a call! We’d love to assist you in all of your packaging needs, and we supply all the protective packaging materials you need to safely deliver your products. Contact us!